Electrical Product Regulations and Requirements in the U.S. and Canada

We explore the reasons why electrical products in many categories need to be certified to be sold in the U.S. and Canada, including national compliance requirements, minimization of risk and liability, and consumer demand.

Below is a transcript of this video clip.

The major reason is that the United States and Canadian markets demand that your products be certified or recognized when they're being used in North America. And it's not just because it's a requirement. For you, it's minimizing your risk and liability. Certification not only opens up the Canadian and the United States markets, but it minimizes your risk so you're less likely to be sued, etc.

We mentioned that you have to have it, and that's because all 50 states and all Canadian provinces and territories are looking for the NRTL, the Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory mark, on products, looking for that certification mark on the component or product. Without that mark, your product can be rejected from an installation, from an end-user. So really what that means is you could be losing sales. You can't sell to the United States. You can't sell to Canada. Products could get rejected.

It could delay site openings. If you're selling somewhere and they're using it at a facility, that site might not be able to open, and they're going to pass on costs to you because it's potentially your product that's causing the delays. It could delay your own facility openings if you don't have certified products going into your production equipment. It's increased the cost for mitigation and modification. If you're using a component that's not certified or recognized, it's going to take time and money to change it to something that's recognized and certified. And most importantly, it's a safety hazard for both the users and facilities to have something that's not certified or recognized.

Again, the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is looking for this NRTL mark. And they know to look for this mark because it shows that this product complies and has been certified to, or meets, the minimum safety and design requirements. These safety standards are the minimums you have to have. You can go above and beyond that, which is excellent, but the national codes and authorities with jurisdiction are looking for this mark because it's minimum levels of safety and also a mark of quality. It shows that, you have the robust, quality systems in place that you can meet these safety standards, that you know how to make this product to work, function and be safe.

And for an AHJ, they know that the ratings that are on your product have been evaluated and approved. They know the right ratings on this product are indeed real and that are accurate and not just something pie in the sky. And the NRTLs have online listings that the Authorities Having Jurisdiction look at to verify these products are indeed certified, and this is to help combat counterfeit products. There are many marketplaces out there with online globalization. Counterfeit is a real concern, a real problem, especially when it comes to safety. And the NRTL mark really is a good way to combat that, and then the online listing to verify that the product with that NRTL mark is indeed certified.

And last thing we want to comment that a compliance or product "complies with" isn't necessarily the same as "certified." Certification is an independent, third-party verified process that someone has gone in and checked these products do meet these safety requirements. "Complies with" is ambiguous at best, and at worst is, "We haven't been third-party evaluated. We are just saying via self-declaration, 'My product meets these standards.'" It's just not good enough in the United States and Canada and in many parts of the world. They need that third-party certification.

Electrical Product Compliance for the U.S. and Canadian Markets

This webinar covers electrical product testing and certification by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory or an SCC-accredited certification body.
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