CSA and UL announce new agreement to develop Mutual Component Acceptance Program and expand Memorandum of Understanding

Agreements will streamline certification process for electrical manufacturers WASHINGTON, D.C.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) and CSA International today signed agreements to establish a collaborative process leading to the mutual acceptance of certain components and to expand the certification organizations’ 1996 data exchange Memorandum of Understanding.

Loring Knoblauch, President and CEO, UL and Robert Griffin, President and CEO, CSA Group signed the two documents on November 10, 2003 during the NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference, in Washington, D.C.

The agreements are the result of several months of negotiation between UL and CSA, with support from NEMA, Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) and major electrical customers.

CSA and UL signed an agreement to develop a mutual component acceptance program that will eventually provide for the acceptance of components used in end products submitted to UL or CSA for certification/listing. Under the terms of the agreement, each organization will accept the other organization’s certification/listing of components in end-products provided that each organization can apply their existing component acceptance procedures to the components certified by the other organization, and only after equivalence of follow-up programs has been evaluated and confirmed. The agreement will initially be limited to Low Voltage Distribution and Control Equipment and will be re-assessed after an 18-month period.

The expanded Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) goes beyond the 13 product categories described in the 1996 MoU and will ultimately include all electrical end-product categories and standards for which UL and CSA are accredited by both the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). Under the expanded MoU, manufacturers of electrical end products will be able to obtain both CSA and UL certification/listing on the basis of a single product test program carried out by one of the two organizations. The implementation of the MoU will be in support of expressed industry needs and will be delivered following the completion of required validation activities by both organizations.

According to UL’s Knoblauch, the expanded MoU and proposed component-acceptance program are part of UL’s ongoing effort to streamline the certification process for customers who seek both U.S. and Canadian market access. “UL is committed to helping manufacturers who are faced with ever increasing costs and tightening time-to-market demands,” he said. “We are very pleased that these initiatives will not only enable UL to help NEMA and EFC members get safe products to the market faster, but will also ensure the integrity of our testing and follow up program.”

CSA’s Rob Griffin said, “Both initiatives contain significant benefits for the electrical industry in eliminating redundant testing costs and improving speed to market. CSA applauds the strong leadership and commitment demonstrated by NEMA, Electro-Federation Canada and electrical manufacturers to achieve this significant first step. CSA International will continue to explore component acceptance solutions that will benefit other members of the electrical industry”.

NEMA President Malcolm O’Hagan said, “This historic agreement will help NEMA members get their products to market more quickly while avoiding unwarranted costs. We commend Underwriters Laboratories and CSA International on this new agreement made in the interest of their customers.”

Electro-Federation Canada is delighted to see the two premier electrical certification authorities in North America cooperating in the important area of mutual component recognition and through a Memorandum of Understanding, in other areas of cooperation. Milos Jancik, Chair of the Electrical Equipment Manufacturers Advisory Council (EEMAC) said, “Our members welcome this important step which creates significant benefits to the Canadian electrical manufacturing community without compromising our impeccable record of product safety”. Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) is a national not-for-profit industry association representing over 250 member companies in the electrical, electronics and telecommunications industries in Canada. Together EFC member companies contribute $50 billion to the Canadian economy while employing more than 130,000 quality workers in more than 1400 facilities across Canada.

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.


November 10, 2003