How Do I Get My Product Approved for North America?

When exporting equipment to Europe, a manufacturer can make a self-declaration that their product meets the requirements of the applicable directives for safety (CE mark). This is not the case in North America.

The safety standards relating to personal hazards such as fire and shock must also be certified by an appropriately accredited third party. This ‘ordinary locations’ assessment must be completed prior to or concurrent with the hazardous locations assessments. The applicable standards for an ordinary locations assessment tend to be based on product type and not concept specific.

For manufacturers producing a large number of units and requiring the option to continue production after product certification, a ‘Model’ certification will be required. This combines product design certification with with on-going quality audits.

For manufacturers producing a small number of units and not requiring the option to continue production after a single product/batch a ‘Field’ certification may be more appropriate. For field certification, all products manufactured are reviewed for compliance by the CSA engineer. Assuming compliance, the marking label will be applied by the CSA engineer to all products, thus removing the need for on-going inspections.

For all North American certifications, manufacturers are advised to ensure all safety-critical components must are correctly certified and being used within their certification, in order to drastically reduce cost and project delivery times.

Model Certification

The process for model certification for North America is much the same as manufacturers will be used to for ATEX and IECEx certification, in that the client must provide certification drawings along with their marking requirements and details of all standards that have been applied. This will be reviewed for compliance with the standards by a CSA engineer who will provide a certificate or a list of non-conformances. In most cases, the manufacturer will require a evaluation of their manufacturing location.

Field Certification

Field certification requires the same documentation as Model Certification. The main difference is that all products that are manufactured must either be shipped to CSA or a CSA engineer must inspect each unit on site. As with Model Certification, the CSA engineer will provide a certificate or list of non-conformances. CSA Group has one of the largest teams of engineers able to assess your product for a North American approval.

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