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    October 3, 2023

    More IEC environmental assessment services



    The IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ) was 
    established already in 1980, basically as an international certification system for quality of electrical components and assemblies (transistors, capacitors, PCBs etc), to provide confidence in the supply chain processes.
    Over the years, the system has been extended to cover other needs in industry, also outside the pure electrotechnical area, e.g. avionics and nuclear energy. 
    As the climate and environmental aspects have become more focused, the scope has also been extended to certain environmental services, initially for control of hazardous substances in electrical equipment according to e.g. the 
    European RoHS Directive
    . This service (denoted HSPM) concerns compliance with the specification IECQ 080000, a specific variant of ISO 9001. More recently, based on regulatory developments and requests by industry, it was decided to establish two new international conformity assessment services, namely for Eco-design and Carbon footprint of electrical and electronic products.
    For Eco-design, IECQ has collaborated with IEC’s standards committee for environmental aspects, TC-111 on development of the international standard IEC 62430, Environmentally conscious design (ECD) - Principles, requirements and guidance, as basis for assessment of the products.
    Conformity assessment bodies like Nemko are now encouraged to join and be qualified for offering the new services involved.

    For Carbon footprint, a service is being established for product claim verification, i.e. the process of assessing and verifying that the process used to arrive at a carbon footprint claim has been done according to the international standard ISO 14067, which defines the principles, requirements and guidelines for the quantification of the carbon footprint of products throughout their lifecycle stages, from resource extraction and raw material sourcing to production, use and disposal.

    IECQ has a working group for nuclear industry supply chain services based on the international standard ISO 19443 Quality management systems - Specific requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2015 by organizations in the sup-ply chain of the nuclear energy sector supplying products and services important to nuclear safety (ITNS). 
    So far, only a few process certificates to this standard have been issued. However, with the increasingly critical 
    energy supply situation worldwide, the interest for nuclear energy is increasing, especially for relatively small modular units with risks that are considered far less than with large plants. 
    This shift in global interest towards nuclear energy to support electricity demands shows growing interest in both ISO 19443 and an international approach to certification, such as IECQ.

    For more information, please contact the editor.

    (Article is based on various IEC - CAB documentation and edited by T.Sollie)

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