The rules for destroying documents and keeping data safe for many years remained unregulated by law. The situation finally changed in 2018, when the local standard DIN 66399 (applicable in Germany, although it was also used in other countries due to the lack of detailed regulations) was replaced by the international standard ISO / IEC 21964.

Two organizations, which form the specialized system for worldwide standardization: ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), have cooperated to establish a joint technical committee, ISO / IEC JTC, in the field of information technology.

The ISO/IEC 21964 limits for particle sizes also have not changed from the DIN 66399 standard and remain as follows:

Paper documents

Paper documentsStrip widthParticle size
P-1≤ 12 mm ≤ 2000 mm ²
P-2≤ 6 mm ≤ 800 mm ²
P-3 ≤ 2 mm ≤ 320 mm ²
P-46 mm≤ 160 mm ²
P-52 mm≤ 30 mm ²
P-6≤ 1 mm ≤ 10 mm ²
P-7≤ 1 mm ≤ 5 mm ²

Optical data media

Optical data mediaParticle size
O-1max 2000 mm ²
O-2max 800 mm ²
O-3max 160 mm ²
O-4max 30 mm ²
O-5max 10 mm ²
O-6max 5 mm ²
O-7max 0,2 mm ²

Magnetic tape media

Magnetic tape mediaParticle size
T-1 mechanically incoperable
T-2max 2000 mm ²
T-3max 3200 mm ²
T-4max 160 mm ²
T-5max 30 mm ²
T-6max 10 mm ²
T-7max 2,5 mm ²


Electronic data media

Electronic data media Particle size
E-1
mechanically/electronically inoperable
E-2split
E-3max 160 mm ²
E-4max 30 mm ²
E-5max 10 mm ²
E-6max 1 mm ²
E-7max 0,5 mm ²

HDD magnetic data media

Hard drives magnetic data media Particle size
H-1 mechanically/electronically inoperable
H-2demagned
H-3deformed
H-4max 2000 mm ²
H-5max 320 mm ²
H-6max 10 mm ²
H-7max 5 mm ²

Film media

Film media Particle size
F-1 max. 160mm2
F-2max. 30mm2
F-3max. 10mm2
F-4max. 2.5mm2
F-5max. 1,0 mm2
F-6max. 0.5mm2
or shredded ash ≤ 0.5mm2
F-7max. 0.2mm2
or shredded ash ≤ 0.2mm2