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What is ISO?


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an organization formed in 1947 to create common standards intended to facilitate international trade.


ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.

ISO develops International Standards. We were founded in 1947, and since then have published more than 19000 International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and business. From food safety to computers, and agriculture to healthcare, ISO International Standards impact all our lives.


ISO story

The ISO story began in 1946 when delegates from 25 countries met at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London and decided to create a new international organization ‘to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards’.

In February 1947 the new organisation, ISO, officially began operations.

Since then, it has published over 19000  International Standards covering almost all aspects of technology and manufacturing.

Today it has members from 164 countries and 3 335 technical bodies to take care of standard development. More than 150 people work full time for ISO’s Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.