A new single safety standard IEC 62368 is coming into force that will replace existing standards IEC 60950-1 for information communications technology equipment (“ICT”) and IEC 60065 for audio visual equipment (“AV”) in many jurisdictions around the world, including the EU.

One of the drivers for the new single safety standard is that the historic distinction between traditional ICT and AV products has become increasingly blurred. However, the new standard is more than an amalgamation of two existing standards. It introduces a new hazards based testing approach, amongst other changes.

In the EU, IEC 62368 has been published in the Official Journal as a harmonised standard. It will supersede the harmonised versions of IEC 60950-1 and IEC 60065 from 20 December 2020, when these two standards will be withdrawn and the presumption of conformity under EU law applying to these standards will cease.

This will affect not only new product ranges, but also units of existing product ranges. Where a manufacturer currently uses one of the two outgoing harmonised standards to demonstrate compliance with the requirements under EU law, the product will potentially have to be re-tested to the new standard and new Declarations of Conformity will have to be prepared for units placed on the EU market after 20 December 2020.

Whilst December 2020 may seem like a long way off, businesses need to be thinking about this now:

  • Compliance and retesting costs could be high and need to be budgeted for in 2020;
  • Businesses will need to factor in lead time if product design changes are required to comply with the new standard;
  • Business also need to be thinking about the components and sub-systems they procure. The new standard applies not only to the finished product, but also certain components and sub-systems; and
  • Finally, many businesses will be affected by this change. If your business relies on third party test houses, you’ll need to get in the queue for the work to be done. Get in early to avoid unnecessary delays.

Posted by Tracey Bischofberger