How do I know what standards apply and whether they are mandatory?

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Greg Togtema

Newbie level 3
I am bringing a consumer electronics product to market, and I do not want to have its introduction delayed because it does not meet various certification. Certifications I can think of are:

- Electromagnetic compliance
- Electrical Safety
- Hazardous materials (RoHS)

But how can I be sure I have addressed them all? For instance, if I use a lithium battery, is there a special 'battery compliance' certification needed before sales can occur?

I have been looking online for hours trying to find this answer. I can find many IEC, UL and CE standards, but there is no authority saying which one is necessary for product sales.

Thanks!

Truedeal

Member level 2
You do not have to comply to U.L., C.E. to sell. FCC for conducted and radiated emi May be necessary depending on the product.
However the more paper work you have to document the items suitability for use the better for you legally. You can't idiot proof any item but the more paper work you have to cover your butt the better.(CYAP) Cover Your A with Paper! The more paper you have the more bullet proof your back side will be.

Greg Togtema

Greg Togtema

Points: 2

SunnySkyguy

Each country has the right to deviate from IEC or UL and reject Lithium powered products from importation and all it takes is one fire from shipping or quality failures to cause litigation induced bankrupcy.

Follow best practises used by using mylar or polycarbonate insulator on battery connections or similar isolation.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/lithium_ion_safety_concerns

Greg Togtema

Greg Togtema

Points: 2

Greg Togtema

Newbie level 3
Thank you!

Will take a look at the battery university website in depth.

marce

EMC testing, you have to have your products tested for EMC compatability, big fine and possible jail if they don't in most regions.
Electrical safety, look up creepage and clearance, compliance club, 61010, 60950, SELV.
Look up RoHS, plenty of info out there.
These questions involve a lot of reading and research and cannot be answered in a few sentences....

clearspark

Newbie level 3
Hey mate, joined the forum to answer this. EMC, safety and RoHS requirements vary depending on where you're shipping your product. In north america for instance EMC testing is mandatory (FCC), but safety testing isn't (although your end customer may demand it). In Europe, under the CE Mark directives, EMC (emissions & immunity), safety and RoHS compliance are mandatory.

I made a free tool to help you work out which EMC standards apply to your product under the EMC directive which you can access here. This is a collation of several databases to make your job easier.

I also wrote an eBook to answer your exact question. "Global certifications for Makers and Hardware Startups". Written for 2 target demographics - engineers and insomniacs. Enjoy.

marce

UL! Required if you are selling into the USA, this is a standard on safety, all require testing to make sure your product are safe, even if the testing is done in house.... And getting UL certification was interesting and quite costly.

a reply to a thread just below this that I gave yesterday...
UL is mandatory I believe and its not just a fine you will get a prison sentence...
http://www.reo.co.uk/files/safety_7_..._directive.pdf
UK its law and UI believe the same is in the USA...

ftp://ftp.ni.com/pub/gdc/Safety.pdf

clearspark

Newbie level 3
UL! Required if you are selling into the USA, this is a standard on safety, all require testing to make sure your product are safe, even if the testing is done in house.... And getting UL certification was interesting and quite costly.

a reply to a thread just below this that I gave yesterday...
UL is mandatory I believe and its not just a fine you will get a prison sentence...
http://www.reo.co.uk/files/safety_7_..._directive.pdf
UK its law and UI believe the same is in the USA...

ftp://ftp.ni.com/pub/gdc/Safety.pdf

It's a common misconception that safety testing is mandatory in the US. It's actually only required for OSHA if your product will be sold into a workplace or anywhere covered by OSHA regulations, OR if your end customer demands it, which they're perfectly at liberty to do. Safety test labs strongly hint that it is mandatory, but they are private companies with an incentive for you to believe that. UL, CSA, ETL, TUV can all test to the same standards - you don't have to go with UL. UL lost their monopoly years ago. However, getting safety testing done may just be a good idea for your product if there is any safety risk with it and you want to limit liability.

In Europe, under LVD (low voltage directive) and the GPSD (general product safety directive), safety testing is required.

Hope this helps.

marce

I was under that impression and as you say it is a common misconception, that you have to have UL testing to sell into the USA.

Truedeal

Member level 2
If the item is to be used by the general public and available through "Normal Retail" stores you will need to run the whole battery of test. If sold into industrial settings a good disclaimer works well. In your country most of us can not begin to guess what requirements need to be met. I have designed and built for both markets with relative ease. I used power supplies that were already U.L. approved and cabinets that were approved. For the industrial market did the same thing with no problems.

I would strongly suggest you seek a Lawyer before getting in too deep.

Last edited:

rogerynt

Hi,

- - - Updated - - -

The lab will tell you what tests your product need to do. e.g when apply CE certificate for Dect cordless telephone in Europe, you will need to fulfill following requirement.

1.) Safety
2.) EMC ( rf emission, immunity, esd performance )
3.) TBR6 ( To measure Dect rf performance such as power level and mask, frequency offset etc )
4.) Audio ( e.g mic and receiver frequency response and noise immunity performance )
5.) TBR21 ( Telephone line interface performance )

Otherwise, you are in trouble. So, don't guess, you must make it clear.

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