Bjarney: The IEC, just like the other organisations, are financed by selling standards. The price is based on number of pages and drawings I think.
(I did think about getting the standard which contains all the plugs and sockets of the world, but it costed hundreds of dollars.)
As far as I have understood, the IEC 60364-1 contains only general guidelines, not specific requirements. It's not a "how to" guide like the NEC. The European codes are based on it, just like the Australian/New Zealand code.
I have read the comparison you link to. It does point out some interesting things. E.g. the IEC is based on the 230/400V system and on other IEC standards for things like breakers and panels whereas the NEC is based on the 120V systems and relies on UL to ensure that breakers etc. are safe. Therefore, UL and the NEC are rather closely connected. This makes it very difficult to wire to the NEC without UL listed devices. The reverse is probably true as well. (Note that the passage cited by Joe only says that the NEC adresses the principles of section 131. There must be a large number of other sections...)
I wonder if it would not be possible to create one common code for the whole world. The wiring material used doesn't have too look the same to be under one code. It has to meet the same safety requirements, but
it doesn't matter if the box behind the receptacle is round or square, as long as it is grounded if it's metal or is fire resistant if it's plastic.
The comparison pointed out several unadressed issues in the IEC 60364 code and I think the IEC has taken steps to adress them. (E.g. voltages higher than 1000V)
[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 12-30-2002).]