'Tis the Season of Product Certifications - A Look at the Process
With the holiday season quickly approaching, there is no better time to focus on the complexities of launching new electrical and electronic (E&E) products on the market, such as household appliances, gadgets, or the favorite type of presents for kids of all ages – e-toys. With a thorough certification process, holiday gifts can be delivered on time and on budget around the world.
Product certifications handled on a national level are still very complex, and different considerations need to be observed in order to fulfil all national regulations and requirements. Expert knowledge is essential to guarantee short time solutions for each market and minimize business risks.
Harmonization of Norms
Certification requires expertise, solid contacts and a worldwide presence, which is why manufacturers tend to out source the certification process to experienced, globally present service providers. A great number of national certification marks also require 3rd party testing and certification to guarantee independent verification of compliance with safety regulations.
For a simplified certification process, international efforts towards common certification and shorter product development cycles have been established. For the most common electrical household products, ITE, power tools, electrical toys and medical products the CB-Scheme governed by the IEC (International Electrical Committee) was set up.
It works with a series of multilateral agreements and harmonized standards. Being a member of the CB scheme shortens the lengthy processes between different testing labs and certification bodies. Only one initial test is being carried out in a single location, which is situated in the applicant’s or manufacturer’s country. Therefore, waiting times and costs are considerably reduced, the process more convenient and access to international markets enabled much faster.
CB reports are internationally standardized test reports, and if issued by a National Certified Body (NCB) can be the basis for receiving several other certificates without having to retest a product, which translates into time and costs savings. SGS has two CB certification bodies and runs dozens of recognized laboratories in various countries across the globe.
Complex Processes to Make Things Simple
In China, a major children products manufacturing country, harmonizing legislations is a complex process. This is confirmed by the particulars of Chinese certification rules. The CCC Certification requires additional on-site testing in China, even if a product has obtained a CB report.
On the other hand in other parts of the world, such as Germany, there is the GS-mark (Geprüfte Sicherheit = Tested Safety mark for Germany), a well-known certification mark, which requires additional technical documentation. The GS-mark is in high demand for German retailers of electrical and electronics products, because it proves conformity with safety and additional requirements such as chemical analysis of plastics – PAH testing and annual quality check by factory inspections.
Accessing the North American market is often falsely connected with the requirement to only receive Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certifications. However, SGS, as a member of OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) and a laboratory of NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories), offers tests and certifications in accordance with UL and North American standards and norms.
For electrical and electronic products, including products for kids, our experts offer an attractive and speedy alternative to UL Certifications for the US through the SGS North America mark, allowing more flexibility in the development and launching of products in the US market to maintain and build a positive brand reputation.
Make Certifications Work for You
Country-specific, product-specific or job-specific qualification requirements can be extremely frustrating to deal with for manufacturers and retailers. If not approached correctly, the process will require considerable time and money that could otherwise be invested in developing new business ideas.
In addition to safety regulations, there are specific EMC, performance or restricted substances requirements. SGS can support manufacturers and retailers through its extensive global portfolio of services. Experienced, multidiscipline SGS experts will help shorten your product development process and time to market.
A worldwide network of labs as well as the necessary contacts in key manufacturing regions simplify your certification process and provide you with clear support when developing norms-compliant products. SGS can also perform factory inspections required to secure various certifications all over the world.
Additionally, the implementation of SGS quality control systems will help you control and decrease production costs. Our experts will also assist in enhancing the marketability of your products through various certification marks and will help you to cover all global markets quickly.
Electrical & Electronics Certification Manager
t +86 21 61915645