We often talk on our blog about CSA/UL labels, put together according to very demanding specifications which aim to “certify” a product.
Very often, these are labels that are resistant to certain uses and extreme conditions. But what are the differences between a CSA and UL certification?
CSA: Canadian Standards Association
The CSA labels are certified by CSA International, a Canadian group that offers certification for electrical products, mechanical products, or ‘at risk’ ones in general. CSA is recognized around the world. The CSA logo, found on many products, indicates that the product, process and service have been tested according to Canadian or U.S. standards and that they comply with the requirements of this standard.
UL : Underwriter Laboratories
UL is based in Northbrook, Illinois. It is an independent organization which issues certificates of security for many products. To do this, UL develops standards and testing procedures to make sure of the safety of products or materials.
Unlike CSA, a UL certification applies only to the United States. The organization can perform the tests to the international standards (ISO) or Canada (C – UL), but only the UL logo indicates that the product has been certified to the United States only.
This is the main difference between the two organizations. In this case, if you need to certify your product, what standard should you choose? CSA has the advantage of being recognized internationally. If your product is destined for export, CSA is a good solution. If your product is sold only in North America, UL certification (with its Canadian branch C – UL) is the option to consider.
As the labels are also certified by these organizations, because they must remain legible under specified conditions, it is important to choose labels certified by the same organization as the product. In other words, a CSA certified product should have a label approved by CSA, and a UL product with a UL label.
For more information on these rather complex and technical certifications, please feel free to contact our experts at IMS.