|What are UL, CSA, ETL and CE ?|
UL: Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is an independent nonprofit organization that writes and tests products for safety and certifies them. UL has developed more than 800 standards for safety, and millions of products and their components are tested to ULs safety standards.
Some examples of UL standards are:
UL 1492: Audio-Video Products and Accessories
UL 1419: Professional Video and Audio Equipment
UL 1581: Reference Standard for Electrical Wires, Cables, and Flexible Cords
UL 1411: Transformer and Motor Transformers for Use in Audio-, Radio-, and Television-Type Appliances
UL 6500: Standard for Audio/Video and Musical Instrument Apparatus for Household, Commercial, and Similar General Use.
CSA: Canadian Standards Association
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
Example: C108.8: Limits and Methods of Measurement of Electromagnetic Emissions
ETL: Originally a mark of ETL Testing Laboratories, now a mark of Intertek Testing Services
The ETL Listed Mark is an alternative to the CSA and UL marks.
ETL Testing Laboratories has been conducting electrical performance and reliability tests since 1896. Intertek Testing Services (ITS) acquired ETL from Inchcape in 1996. ITS is recognized by OSHA as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), just as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and several other independent organizations are recognized.
ITS tests products according to nearly 200 safety and performance standards. The ETL Listed Mark and C-ETL Listed Mark are accepted throughout the United States and Canada when denoting compliance with nationally recognized standards such as ANSI, IEC, UL, and CSA.
This certification mark indicates that the product has been tested to and has met the minimum requirements of a widely recognized (consensus) U.S. product safety standard, that the manufacturing site has been audited, and that the applicant has agreed to a program of periodic factory follow-up inspections to verify continued conformance.
If the mark includes a small US and/or C, it follows product safety standards of United States and/or Canada, respectively.
CE: Conformance European (Communaut Europ enne or Conformit Europ enne)
What is the CE mark, and what is its purpose?
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.
An important document related to CE is the Declaration of Conformity (D.O.C.). Basically it's a piece of paper which a company authority must sign to say that the device meets the requirements of the Directive. The D.O.C. must include a list of any standards used to justify the claim of compliance with the Directive. Youll see the Declaration of Conformity packed with certain Crown products, either separately or as part of the operation manual.
If a Crown product is stamped CE, the product does not emit excessive radiation (microwave or RF), and is not overly sensitive to picking up radiation.
Here are some examples of tests that electronic devices must pass to earn the CE mark:
EN 55103-1:1995 Electromagnetic Compatibility Product Family Standard for Audio, Video, Audio-Visual and Entertainment Lighting Control Apparatus for Professional Use, Part 1: Emissions
EN 61000-3-2:1995+A14:2000 Limits for Harmonic Current Emissions (equipment input current <=16A per phase)
EN 61000-3-3:1995 Limitation of Voltage Fluctuations and Flicker in Low-Voltage Supply Systems Rated Current <=16A
EN 55103-2:1996 Electromagnetic Compatibility Product Family Standard for Audio, Video, Audio-Visual and Entertainment Lighting Control Apparatus for Professional Use, Part 2: Immunity
EN 61000-4-2:1995 Electrostatic Discharge Immunity (Environment E2-Criteria B, 4k V Contact, 8k V Air Discharge)
EN 60065: 1998 Safety Requirements Audio Video and Similar Electronic Apparatus
What is RoHS?
The RoHS directive stands for "the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE)". This directive will ban the placing on the European Union (EU) market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of:
- hexavalent chromium (Chromium VI)
- polybrominated biphenyl (PBB)
- polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants
Known as Directive 2002/95/EC, it will be enforced throughout the EU from 1 July 2006. Its purpose is very clear – to restrict the use of these six substances within electrical and electronic equipment, thereby contributing to the protection of human health and the environment.
It is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) 2002/96/EC which sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods and is part of a legislative initiative to solve the problem of huge amounts of toxic e-waste.