Origins & global reach

A standard for international e-commerce

ETIM – the Technical Information Model – is an open standard for the classification of technical product data that removes ambiguity and ensures that all users of the product data are using the same terms to describe the same attributes and values. Use of this common Standard removes inefficiency in the supply chain and facilitates the transition to online trading.

In 1991 electrical contractors in the Netherlands came up with the idea for ETIM. These visionary installers were finding it difficult to source and compare products and had the idea that a common data model for technical product data would make life much easier – and they were right. Since the early 1990s ETIM grown across borders over the past 25 years to be used today in multiple languages in many countries across the world including the USA and Canada.

The ETIM Standard is governed by ETIM International, which has its HQ in Brussels.

Download ETIM International’s brochure:

International partners in Europe and beyond

Each country, including the UK, is a member of ETIM International which has its HQ in Brussels.

Each member country is at a different stage of its ETIM journey. This map shows the growing global community, and the darker the country shading the more established they are in ETIM.

ETIM International global map of members

  1. Austria – joined 2010
  2. Belgium –  joined 2008
  3. Denmark – joined 2014
  4. Finland – joined 2015
  5. France – joined 2012
  6. Germany – joined 2008
  7. Italy -joined 2015
  8. Lithuania – 2017
  9. Norway- joined 2014
  10. Poland – joined 2010
  11. Portugal (AGEFE) – joined 1 January 2019
  12. Russian Federation – joined 2017
  13. Spain – joined 2008
  14. Slovakia – joined 2018
  15. Slovenia (GZS ZEE) – joined 1 January 2019
  16. Sweden – joined 2008
  17. Switzerland – joined 2008
  18. The Netherlands – joined 2008
  19. UK – joined 2016
  20. USA/Canada – joined 2015

Finland: an ETIM success story

Led by the EDA’s equivalent trade association, Sahkoteknisen Kaupan Liitto or STK, Finland launched its product database for the industry in 2006, becoming an member of ETIM International in 2015.

Their database drives a dedicated website, which features 240,000 electro technical products from over 400 manufacturers. The website provides installer visitors with links to product sheets, documents, photos and logistics data, and to date the site has received 1 million visits and 4 million page views and counting.

To get their data in a state of ETIM-readiness, STK established Standardisation Committees, involving 120 industry representatives.

“Communication is a key to success”

Mindful of the need to raise and maintain the message about the important of data quality and consistency, STK have made communication across the sector a priority.

Initiatives includes a programme of half-day product data training courses for members and an awards programme to acknowledge those manufacturers and wholesalers who are flying the flag for data excellence.

In addition, their ETIM initiative has a high profile presence at Finland’s largest electrical trade fair.

ETIM in Finland's largest trade fair ETIM at Finland's largest electrical trade fair