International Approvals

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Approvals and Certifications

NSF helps you gain access to new global markets and simplify international product acceptance. The program helps manufacturers of water treatment, distribution, plumbing and residential water filtration products meet multiple strict and complex requirements to sell and compete in major and emerging global markets.

With nearly 70 years of experience working with manufacturers and national, state and provincial regulatory agencies, NSF is your single-stop resource for global market access.

Manufacturers all over the world trust NSF, the respected independent testing and certification organization, to provide the approvals needed to leverage new global opportunities. Wherever you need to go, we can get you there.

For more information, contact americas@nsf.org.

Benefits of Certification

NSF provides companies with a single point of contact to help navigate the various regulatory, testing and certification requirements for drinking water treatment, distribution and plumbing products in various countries. By doing so, we are able to streamline multiple country approval projects from the initial application to final approval, which reduces testing costs and a product’s time to market.

We can help your company achieve product certifications required in major and emerging global markets such as:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Why Work With NSF?

With more than 65 years experience working with manufacturers and national, state and provincial regulatory agencies, NSF is well-versed in navigating global market access. Manufacturers all over the world trust NSF, the respected independent testing and certification organization, to provide the approvals needed to leverage new global opportunities.

Approvals and Certifications

To help ensure regulatory compliance in global markets, NSF provides various international approvals and certifications that are required to sell water fittings, plumbing products, water filters and other drinking water contact products into international markets.

BS6920

NSF tests products for compliance to BS6920, a British standard that ensures the suitability of non-metallic products for use in contact with water intended for human consumption. BS6920 sets out a number of test methods by testing odor and flavor of water in contact with the material, appearance of water, growth of aquatic micro-organisms on the material, extraction of substances that may be of concern to public health and extraction of metals. This is also required for WRAS approval.

Regulation 31

In England and Wales, Regulation 31 of The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000[1] ensures that water suppliers, when producing and distributing drinking water, only use products and substances that do not cause any detrimental effects on the safety or quality of the drinking water. We can provide assistance and expert knowledge with both the application process as well as conducting testing to accredited standard as specified by the DWI (Drinking Water Inspectorate) to meet the stringent requirements of Regulation 31.

WRAS Approval

NSF offers third-party testing of fittings to meet the requirements of the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, the Water Supply (Water Fittings) (Scotland) Byelaws 2014, and the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009. After our testing is complete, we send the test reports to the WRAS agency, which will provide the approval. This approval requires that a water fitting should not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination to the water supply and must be of an appropriate quality and standard. Non-metallic materials that contact water are also required to comply with BS6920.

ACS

NSF provides testing for compliance with Attestation De Conformite Sanitaire (ACS). The French regulations in effect (French order of 29 May 1997) provide for the laboratory assessment of products and materials in contact with drinking water so as to check that they are not capable of modifying the organoleptic, physico-chemical and microbiological properties of water.

Brazil INMETRO

For manufacturers who wish to sell drinking water treatment devices or bottled water into Brazil, NSF offers a single point of testing and certification. NSF received accreditation by Brazil’s National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO) to offer the INMETRO seal of conformity for these products. Working with NSF, manufacturers can be assured that these products will be accepted into the Brazilian marketplace.

WaterMark

NSF has ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for testing to many AS/NZS standards that are required for achieving the Australian WaterMark, which is mandatory for plumbing and water treatment products sold in Australia and New Zealand. The WaterMark certification scheme includes material safety and performance testing as well as an audit of the manufacturing facility or facilities. NSF provides testing services for WaterMark, and our partner in Australia, Global Mark, provides the WaterMark certification.

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  • Open How do I know plastic plumbing products are safe for use?

    Most state drinking water regulations and local plumbing codes require PE and PEX tubing and fittings conveying drinking water to meet NSF/ANSI Standard 61 to ensure components will not contribute harmful levels of contaminants to drinking water. All U.S. model plumbing codes and 46 of the 50 U.S. states require PVC drinking water system components to meet the requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61.

  • Open What is NSF/ANSI Standard 61?

    NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects is the American National Standard for health effects of drinking water system components. It establishes the health effects requirements for the chemical contaminants and impurities that are indirectly imparted to drinking water from products, components and materials used in drinking water systems.

    NSF/ANSI Standard 61 is overseen by the NSF Drinking Water Additives Joint Committee comprised of representation from the regulatory community, the manufacturing industry and user groups. The American National Standards Institute accredits NSF standards development procedures to ensure a balanced committee of stakeholders develops the standards in an open process. The NSF Council of Public Health Consultants, a group of 30 representatives from academia and local, state and federal regulatory agencies, provides technical advice on and oversight of the NSF standards.

    The NSF Health Advisory Board is a standing task group that consists of toxicologists from the U.S. EPA, Health Canada, state and provincial agencies, industry and private consulting firms. This group is responsible for reviewing and approving all allowable contaminant concentrations that are published in NSF/ANSI Standard 61.

  • Open How are plastic pipe, fittings and system components tested?

    First, we perform a formulation review of the material to determine what possible contaminants could leach out into drinking water and what type of chemical extraction testing is necessary. Our policy does not allow lead as an ingredient within plastic pipe formulations.

    We expose products to formulated exposure waters, and then analyze these exposure waters for contaminants. We use three separate formulated waters during product exposure: pH 5.0 and pH 10.0 (with 2 mg/L available chlorine for PE pipe and fittings) for extraction of metallic contaminants, and pH 8.0 for organic-based contaminants.

    PE products are tested at an ambient temperature of 73° F (23° C). PEX tubing samples containing water are heated to 140° F (60° C) for domestic hot water systems or 180° F (82° C) for commercial hot systems.

    Products are conditioned by exposure to the formulated waters (with the addition of 2 mg/L available chlorine for PE products) for 14 days, with water being changed on 10 of those days.  We then analyze the water collected from the final 16-hour exposure period for contaminants.  Any contaminants found must be below EPA or Health Canada levels for regulated contaminants.  For non-regulated contaminants found, NSF/ANSI Standard 61 sets health based pass/fail levels based on review of available toxicity data using the risk assessment procedures in annex A of the standard.

  • Open What types of analyses are performed on PEX tubing?

    Water exposed to PEX tubing and associated fitting systems is tested for the following contaminants as required by NSF/ANSI Standard 61:

    • VOCs (Volatile organic compounds)
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    • Semi-volatile compounds (base neutral acid scan by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy)
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    • Phenolics
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    • Regulated metals including antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium and thallium
    •  
    • Methanol
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    • Tertiary butyl alcohol
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    • MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether)
    •  
    • Any other potential contaminant identified during the formulation review

    These test methods are capable of detecting contaminants in water as low as 4 parts per billion (4 ppb) and lower, equivalent to a 0.0000004 percent concentration.

  • Open What types of analyses are performed on PE pipe and fittings?

    Water exposed to PE pipe or fittings is tested for the following contaminants as required by NSF/ANSI 61:

    • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
    •  
    • Semi-volatile compounds (base/neutral/acid target and scan by GC/MS)
    •  
    • Regulated metals including antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium and thallium
    •  
    • Any other potential contaminant identified during the formulation review
  • Open What types of analyses are performed on PVC products?

    Water exposed to PVC products is tested for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phenolics, residual chloride monomer (RVCM), antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, tin, thallium, phthalates (for flexible PVCs) and any other potential contaminant identified during the formulation review.

  • Open How do I know if plastic plumbing products meet this requirement?

    Plastic pipe, fittings and system components meeting the health effects requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 61 bear either the NSF-61 mark or the NSF-pw (potable water) mark on the print string.  The NSF-pw mark indicates the product meets the health requirements of NSF/ANSI 61 as well as the performance, long-term strength and quality control requirements of NSF/ANSI Standard 14: Plastic Piping Components and Related Materials.

    If a PEX product has only an NSF-rfh mark, this indicates the product has only been evaluated for radiant floor heating applications.

    If a PVC product has only an NSF-dwv or NSF-sewer mark, the product has only been evaluated for drain, waste and vent applications or for sewer applications, respectively.

  • Open Where can I find NSF listed products?

    NSF certified products can be found in our online listings.

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  • NSF’s knowledge of international regulations and global regulatory requirements is exceptional. I have worked with NSF for over eight years and found their knowledge and insight to be valuable and integral to our business strategy.Ginger Patera, Senior Global Product Development Manager, Whirlpool
  • NSF and Carso are premier, respected brands in the global water product testing and certification industry. This combined expertise provides many benefits for clients, specifically expedited approval time and deep knowledge of the regulations.Christelle Autugelle, Materials Test Department Manager, Group Carso
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