Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small Plugs and Sockets in Europe
map and compatibility table
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In Europe you can find six different types of sockets, see map below. One standard on the British Isles, Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar, and five continental European standards. These five differ from each other with regard to the earthing system. Non-earthed Europlugs can be used in any continental European country. The British BS 1363 standard is fully different from any other type.
A table gives details about the compatibility of 20 types of earthed and non-earthed household plugs, and the six 
European types of sockets. Note the difference between 220-240V, 50 Hz mains in Europe and 110-125V, 60Hz in North America and Japan. 

Standardization in Europe ?
A quick look at the map of Europe shows that the CEE 7/4 (Schuko) standard is most popular. According to population, about 250 million people within the European Union (EU) and another 225 million elsewhere in Europe are using Schuko plugs and sockets. Approximately 49% of people in the EU rely on Schuko, whereas the proportion of other standards is 25% French, 13% British, 12% Italian and 1% Danish. These figures seems to support the conclusion that Schuko is the prime candidate for an EU wide standard in plugs and sockets. However, there are serious technical, sentimental
and financial obstacles. First of all there are safety issues caused by the non-polarized nature of the Schuko design. Safe alternatives could be the French or British standard. Because of the complications due to a different wiring system in the UK, it hardly imaginable that Brittain would like to switch to any other system, but also continental European countries are inclined to be loyal to their own system. To avoid giving preference to any system the International Electrotechnical Commission has proposed - many years ago - a new type of safe and handy-sized plugs and matching socket (see IEC 60906-1). A noble initiative, but its realization will cost a fortune and/or will take decades.

Despite the remarks above, Schuko plugs have become the de facto - but not officially recognized - standard across most* of the countries within the European Union, because:
(1) the CEE 7/7 hybrid Schuko/French plugs (see table below) are fully compatible with both Schuko and French type sockets;
(2)
Italy has developed a type of socket suitable for both traditional Italian and Schuko plugs (see CEI 23-50, Universal socket);
(3)
Denmark is allowing French standard sockets from July 2008 and Schuko from 2011.
* except: UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar (using BS 1363 standard).
Switzerland, not an EU country, has its own standard.
Russian GOST 7396 Group C defines plugs that closely resembles CEE 7/4, /6, /7, /16 and /17. They are also used in Belarus and Ukraine.

 

Plugs Sockets in Europe

Countries and autonomous regions in Europe are indicated by their 2 digit ISO 3166-1 standard code.
AL: Albania; AT: Austria; BA: Bosnia - Herzegovina; BE: Belgium; BG: Bulgaria; BY: Belarus; CH: Switzerland; CY: Cyprus; CZ: Czech Republic; DE: Germany: DK: Denmark; EE: Estonia; ES: Spain; FI: Finland; FO: Faroe Islands; FR: France; GB: United Kingdom; GE: Georgia; GI: Gibraltar; GR: Greece; HR: Croatia; HU: Hungary; IE: Ireland; IS: Iceland; LT: Lithuania; LU: Luxemburg; LV: Latvia; MC: Monaco; MD: Moldova; ME: Montenegro; MK: Macedonia; MT: Malta; NL: Netherlands; NO: Norway; PL: Poland; PT: Portugal; RO: Romania; RS: Serbia: RU: Russia; SE: Sweden; SI: Slovenia; SK: Slovakia; TR: Turkey; UA: Ukraine. 1= Andorra (AD, Schuko); 2= Monaco (MC, type French); 3= Liechtenstein (LI, SWiss); 4= San Marino (SM, Italian); 5= Holy See / Vatican City (VC, Italian); 6 = Kosovo (KV, Schuko).

 

Sockets  (earthed): Schuko French British Swiss Italian Danish

Plugs: small Schuko socket small French socket small BS1363 socket small Swiss socket small Italian socket small Danish socket
Europlug
not earthed
(CEE 7/16)
small Europlug Compatible Compatible Not compatible; adapter plug is essential. Compatible Compatible Compatible
European
not earthed
(CEE 7/2)

small CEE 7-17 plug Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Compatible, if diameter of pins not larger than 4.0 mm Compatible
French
earthed
(CEE 7/6)
small Franch plug Not compatible Compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Compatible, but without earth connection !
hybrid type
not earthed

(CEE 7/17)
small Schuko CEE 7/17 plug
Compatible Compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible
(see footnote)
Compatible
Schuko
earthed
(CEE 7/4)
small Schuko CEE 7-4 plug Compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible
(see footnote)
Compatible, but without earth connection !
hybrid type
earthed
(CEE 7/7)

small Schuko CEE 7-7 plug Compatible Compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible
(see footnote)
Compatible, but without earth connection !
British
earthed
(BS 1363)
small BS1363-13A plug Not compatible Not compatible Compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible
Swiss 10A
earthed
(SEV 1011)
small Swiss 10A plug Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Compatible Not compatible Not compatible
Danish
not earthed
small Danish 2 pin plug Compatible
(except older
models that are too wide)
Compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible
(because of
pin diameter)
Compatible
Danish
earthed
(107-2-D1)
small Danish 3 pin plug Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Compatible
Italian 10A
not earthed

small Italian 2 pin plug Compatible
(if plug not
wider than
33 mm)
Compatible
(if plug not thicker than
14 mm)
Not compatible Not compatible Compatible Compatible
Italian 10A
earthed
(CEI 23-50)
small Italian 10A 3 pin plug Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Not compatible Compatible Not compatible
US, Japan
not earthed
(NEMA
1-15P)
small NEMA 1-15 plug Not compatible, adapter plug is essential. Only shavers can be used in bathrooms
that are equipped with a multi-standard socket for shavers.
 
Standard mains electricity in Europe is 220-240V, 50Hz.
Depending on the appliance a 240 to 125V transformer might be necessary.

US, Japan
earthed
(NEMA
15-5P)
small NEMA 5-15P Not compatible, adapter plug is essential. 
Standard mains electricity in Europe is 220-240V, 50Hz.
Depending on the appliance a 240 to 125V transformer might be necessary.
British
shaver plug
British shaver plug BS 4573 shaver plugs are not identical to Europlugs. Special multi-standard sockets for shavers
 accept British shaver plugs; otherwise an adapter is essential. 
Old British
earthed
(
BS 546 5A)
small BS546-5A 3 pin plug Not compatible, adapter plug is essential.
Old British
earthed
(BS 546 15A)
small BS546 15A plug Not compatible, adapter plug is essential.
Israeli
earthed
(SI 32)
small Israeli plug Not compatible, adapter plug is essential.
Australian
New Zealand
earthed
(AS/NZS 3112)
small Australasian 10A plug Not compatible, adapter plug is essential.
IEC 60906-1
introduced in
Brazil and South Africa
small NBR14136 10A plug Not compatible, adapter plug is essential.

Footnote re. Italy: CEE 7/4, 7/7 and 7/17 plugs are compatible with a new Italian type of socket that also accepts Schuko plugs.


adapter plugs
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