Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small CEE 7 standard
for domestic plugs and sockets
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CEE is an abbreviation of Certification of Electrotechnical Equipment. Standards were published by the IECEE (International commission on rules for the approval of electrical equipment).
Full name of CEE publication 7 is "Specification for plugs and socket-outlets for domestic and similar uses". CEE 7, dating back to the early 1950s, unifies standards utilized in several continental European countries.
Beside CEE 7 two other CEE plug/socket standards have existed; a potential source of confusion.


CEE 7/1
CEE 7/3
CEE 7/5
CEE 7/2
CEE 7/4
CEE 7/6
CEE 7/16
CEE 7/17
CEE 7/7


CEE type
Main characteristics

Related museum pages
16A unearthed socket that accepts each of the CEE 7 type plugs. Most socket have a shallow recess. Sockets that accept plugs with a ca. 38 mm round base go back to the early twentieth century.
In a growing number of European countries unearthed sockets are no longer allowed in newly build houses.

7/1-2 images and details
7/2 Round base 16A unearthed plug that fits in CEE 7/1 sockets only. CEE 7/2 plugs will gradually disappear in favour of more versatile 16A CEE 7/17 or 2.5A CEE 7/16.

7/3 16A earthed socket with two peripheral earth contacts. The design, also known as Schuko, dates back to the late 1920s (see origin).

7/3-4 images and details
7/4 16A plug with earth clips, often indicated as Schuko plug. Designed for CEE 7/3 sockets. Plugs fit also in CEE 7/1 sockets, but without earth connection.

7/5 16A socket with an earth pin, known as French type, which is in fact an incorrect name.
The socket type was introduced in France in the 1950s, but already two decades earlier in Belgium (see origin).

7/5-6 images and details
7/6 16A plug that matches with socket CEE 7/5. Fits also in CEE 7/1 socket, but without earth connection.

7/7 CEE 7/4 do not fit in CEE 7/5, and CEE 7/6 do not fit in CEE 7/3 sockets. Plug type 7/7 has been designed to solve this incompatibility problem. Cords fixed to irons, vacuum cleaners etc.have nearly always fixed CEE 7/7 plugs, but rewirable plugs are also available.

7/7 images and details
7/16 2.5A not earthed plug that is compatible with each of the three CEE sockets and also with Danish, Italian and Swiss standard domestic sockets. A true (continental) Europlug. Plugs have pin with a diameter of 4.0 mm and must have insulating sleeves.

7/16 images and details
7/17 Unearthed plug rated at 16A and is compatible with each of the CEE 7 and Danish sockets. Most CEE 7/17 plugs are molded to appliance cords, but in a couple of countries rewirable plugs are available. CEE 7/17 have 4.8 mm pins without sleeves.
7/17 images and details


Map of Europe
Six standards for domestic plugs and sockets are used in Europe:

BS 1363 (purple)
CEE 7/3-4 (green)
CEE 7/5-6 (blue)
CEI 23-50 (yellow)
DS 107-2-D1 (brown)
SN 441011 (red)

Click map for details and table that summarizes
compatibility of the six European sockets standards and 20 types of domestic plugs, including CEE 7/…


CEE 17 - IEC 60309
CEE 22 - IEC 60320
There have been three CEE standards for plugs and socket: CEE 7 (2.5 -16A, 250V for domestic use), CEE 17 (large range for industrial use) and CEE 22 (0.2 -16A, 250V appliance connectors). CEE 7 is the only CEE standard to retain its name. CEE 17 became IEC 60309*. However in practice the use of "CEE plug /socket" can be confusing. Several manufacturers use CEE (without 17) for industrial plugs and sockets, rather than IEC 60309. CEE 22 is now IEC 60320, a generally accepted name.
*IEC = International Electrotechnical Commission.


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