IEC 60204-1: Safety of machinery - Electrical equipment of machines

Amendment IEC 60204-1: 2021

Last update 01/12/2021

Amendment IEC 60204-1: 2021

An Amendment to IEC 60204-1 was published in September 2021. The work began in February 2020, with an initial meeting in Frankfurt at the VDE, the German association for standards in electrical, electronic and information technology.

This work, carried out by a team of experts, was requested by countries outside the European market: their problem came from the fact that EN 60204-1 has significant differences from the IEC version. The reason for the differences is that the IEC standard has been harmonized with the Machinery Directive and in that process it had to be "approved" by consultants from the European Community: the so-called HAS Consultans. These consultants requested some changes to the IEC text; hence the differences. The main difference is the approach towards EMC tests. Hereafter the language in the IEC edition:

[IEC 60204-1:2016] 4.4.2 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)


Immunity and/or emission tests are required on the electrical equipment unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • the incorporated devices and components comply with the EMC requirements for the intended EMC environment specified in the relevant product standard (or generic standard where no product standard exists), and; 
  • the electrical installation and wiring are consistent with the instructions provided by the supplier of the devices and components with regard to mutual influences, (cabling, screening, earthing etc.) or with informative Annex H if such instructions are not available from the supplier.

NOTE […]

That language was removed in the EN edition. The Amendment has the following language:

[IEC 60204-1:2016/AMD1:2021] 4.4.2 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)

Delete the existing second paragraph of Subclause 4.4.2.

The same language was however added in annex H.2 regarding the EMC. H.3 is an informative Annex. That shows the agreement among the experts for IEC 60204-1 that is all EMC suitable material is used, no EMC test has to be done on the electrical equipment of a machinery. Unfortunately, with today’s language in IEC 60204-1, Electromagnetic compatibility remains an aspect to be analysed when assessing the conformity of the Electrical Equipment of machineries. The issue is that there is no product standard for EMC assessment, except for Machine Tools (EN 50370-1 and EN 50370-2).

The Amendment has an improved language regarding the bonding of metal parts of the machine. Today's Language in 8.2.1 and 8.2.2 is very unfortunate: it seems that all metal parts of the machinery have to be bonded: or, more precisely, "all conductive structural parts". That sentence is now removed in the Amendment!

[IEC 60204-1:2016/AMD1:2021] 8.2.1 General

Replace the fourth bulleted item of Subclause 8.2.1 with the following new text:

  • those conductive structural parts of the machine used for protective bonding.


[IEC 60204-1:2016/AMD1:2021] 8.2.2       Protective Conductors

Move the  seventh and eighth bulleted list items of Subclause 8.2.2 to be sub list items under the sixth bulleted list item.

Delete the existing ninth bulleted list item of Subclause 8.2.2.

The ninth bullet of 8.2.2 was stating that all "all conductive structural parts" had to be bonded!

More will be corrected in the seventh edition, that will see the light around 2026. In the meantime, we recommend you do not follow the rule: "IF IT DOES NOT MOVE, THAN GROUND IT!"