This document gives details on the meaning of several certification listing marks: UL, CE, EMC, FCC and CSA.
The UL Listing Mark
This is one of the most common UL Marks. If a product carries this Mark, Underwriters Laboratories found that samples of this product met UL's safety requirements. These requirements are primarily based on UL's own published Standards for Safety. This type of Mark is seen commonly on appliances and computer equipment, furnaces and heaters, fuses, electrical panelboards, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems, personal flotation devices like life jackets and life preservers, bullet resistant glass, and thousands of other products.
Product testing can be verified through UL directories online at http://www.ul.com
The CE Mark
The European Commission describes the CE mark as a "passport" that allows manufacturers to circulate industrial products freely within the internal market of the EU. The CE mark certifies that the products have met EU health, safety and environmental requirements that ensure consumer and workplace safety. All manufacturers in the EU and abroad must affix the CE mark to those products covered by the "New Approach" directives in order to market their products in Europe. Once a product receives the CE mark, it can be marketed throughout the EU without undergoing further product modification.
Most products covered by New Approach Directives can be self-certified by the manufacturer and do not require the intervention of an EU-authorized independent testing/certifying company (notified body). To self-certify, the manufacturer must assess the conformity of the products to the applicable directives and standards. While the use of EU harmonized standards is voluntary in theory, in practice the use of European standards is the best way to meet the requirements of the CE mark directives. This is because the standards offer specific guidelines and tests to meet safety requirements, while the directives, general in nature, do not.
The manufacturer may affix the CE mark to their product following the preparation of a declaration of conformity, the certificate which shows the product conforms to the applicable requirements. They must maintain a technical file to prove conformity. The manufacturer or their authorized representative must be able to provide this certificate together with the technical file at any time, if requested by the appropriate member state authorities.
There is no specific form for the declaration of conformity, but specific information is required. The declaration must include the following:
(1) The manufacturer's name and address.
(2) The product.
(3) The CE mark directives that apply to the product, e.g. the machine directive 93/37/EC or the low voltage directive 73/23/EEC.
(4) The European standards used, e.g. EN 50081-2:1993 for the EMC directive or EN 60950:1991 for the low voltage requirement for information technology.
(5) The declaration must show the signature of a company official for purposes of the company assuming liability for the safety of its product in the European market. This European standards organization has set up the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive. According to CE, The Directive basically states that products must not emit unwanted electromagnetic pollution (interference). Because there is a certain amount of electromagnetic pollution in the environment, the Directive also states that products must be immune to a reasonable amount of interference. The Directive itself gives no guidelines on the required level of emissions or immunity that is left to the standards that are used to demonstrate compliance with the Directive.
The EMC-directive (89/336/EEC) Electromagnetic Compatibility
Like all other directives, this is a new-approach directive, which means that only the main requirements (essential requirements) are required. The EMC-directive mentions two ways of showing compliance to the main requirements:
- Manufacturers declaration (route acc. art. 10.1)
- Type testing using the TCF (route acc. to art. 10.2)
The LVD-directive (73/26/EEC) Safety
Like all CE-related directives, this is a new-approach directive, which means that only the main requirements (essential requirements) are required. The LVD-directive describes how to show compliance to the main requirements.
The FCC Mark
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency that is directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.
All devices that operate at a clock rate of 9 kHz are required to test their product to the appropriate FCC Code.
The CSA Mark
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a nonprofit association serving business, industry, government and consumers in Canada and the global marketplace. Among many other activities, CSA develops standards that enhance public safety.
A Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, CSA is very familiar with U.S. requirements. According to OSHA regulations, the CSA-US Mark qualifies as an alternative to the UL Mark.
Here are some areas where CSA standards are applied:
- Canadian Electrical Code, Part III-Outside Wiring
- Electrical Engineering Standards
- Electromagnetic Compatibility