CSA Group’s UK location gains IECEE CBTL Status, further assisting global market access

When it comes to placing product on the global marketplace, reducing time, cost and complexity of gaining safety compliance is a key consideration for every manufacturer. The IEC (International Electro Technical Commission) movement is one such way in which this can be achieved. Its main aim is to provide an international program for the mutual recognition of product safety test results among participating laboratories and certification organizations around the world.

It enables manufacturers to obtain multiple national safety certifications for their product through harmonization of technical requirements across nations, reducing the need for multiple test plans in different countries.

CSA Group plays an active role in both the harmonization of standards movement, whilst also ensuring we offer a wide range of testing options and recognitions for our customers.

These options have now increased further – in July CSA Group’s UK laboratory became the latest CBTL (CB Testing Laboratory) for Electrical Industrial Process Controls, Laboratory, Test & Measurement Equipment, Power Supplies, Information Technology and Audio-Video products under the CSA Scope.

IECEE Explained

IECEE, the IEC System for Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electro-technical Equipment and Components, is a multilateral certification system based on IEC International Standards.

The CB-Scheme under the IECEE is an international program for the mutual recognition of product safety test results among participating laboratories and certification organizations around the world. It enables manufacturers to obtain multiple national safety certifications for their product through harmonization of technical requirements across nations. It was established by the in order to facilitate international trade.

Covering 23 categories of electrical equipment (including equipment found in homes and offices, workshops, laboratories and health facilities) the Scheme is designed to assure the safety of equipment with respect to quality, efficiency and overall performance of components.

The test data derived from an assessment can be used to support compliance with national regulations in over 50 countries around the world, thanks to a network of mutual recognition agreements.

This reduces the need for multiple test programs with various test houses, removes trade barriers by addressing ‘national deviations’ and enables manufacturers to gain a faster route to the global marketplace.

Benefits of Standards Harmonization

Harmonization of standards helps to promote ease of access around the globe, reduces complexity and saves time and money for the manufacturer. It also increases quality and safety since harmonized standards are jointly developed by standards organizations across the globe.

CSA Group’s white paper – “The Importance of Harmonized standards in a Global Marketplace” – details the benefits, process and some of the key markets that gain from harmonization of standards.

CSA Group’s UK office becomes latest CBTL

The IEC accepted the UK laboratory of CSA Group (CSA Group Testing UK Ltd) as a CBTL in July 2017. The UK facility can now offer testing to IEC 61010-1, IEC 60950-1 (including Parts 21 & 22), IEC 62368-1 and IEC 60065 standards (see full scope here).

The UK acceptance into the IECEE CB Scheme compliments CSA Group’s existing scope of CBTL locations, ensuring CSA Group can provide one of the widest levels of testing options to customers seeking international export (see CSA Group’s full scope here).

IEC 61010-1

This standard covers measuring, control, laboratory and process control equipment. Everything from centrifuges, shakers, transmitters, valve actuators, data loggers, gas detectors to signal generators falls under this scope (and more besides).

In January 2018, 61010 will replace CSA standard C22.2 142. Manufacturers looking for Canadian access for new product ranges should therefore utilise 61010-1, and should speak to the experts at CSA Group to understand how to achieve this.

IEC 60950-1, IEC 60065 and IEC 62368-1

IEC 60950-1 covers Information Technology equipment (PCs, modems, laptops, tablets, power supplies) whilst IEC 60065 covers Audio/Video equipment. However, in 2019, both of these standards will be superseded by IEC 62368-1, to better meet technological advancements that show a blurring of the lines between IT and A/V products. Tablets, for example, have many A/V-capabilities, and therefore in an effort of further harmonization, IEC 62368-1 provides a hazard-based approach that will cover this spectrum of products. CSA Group’s infographic on IEC 62368 explains how this will work in practice.

How having a CB Certificate assists in global export

Having a CB test report and certificate (issued by an accepted CBTL under the IECEE scheme) will allow your product to gain greater market acceptance with one test plan. Here’s how:
If, for example, Europe, North America and Asia are your target markets for your product, then gaining a CB test report from one of CSA’s CBTL accepted labs will enable you to sell to these 3 regions – CSA’s experts will provide a test plan that incorporates any declared national deviations for all 3 regions – making it acceptable in each region. One test plan – multiple access.

The time and cost savings for the manufacturer can be significant and so if global export if a priority for your products, speak to our experts at CSA Group and we’ll explain how we can assist you.