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Which NRTL to use for safety approvals? by productapprovals
Posted: 24 Nov 09 (Edited 24 Nov 09)

When developing and launching a new electrical/electronic product for the North American market, the question will arise - which NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) should we use to get our product safety certified?

Probably the most likely answer is to use Underwriters Laboratories and get the UR mark (UL recognized) for a component and the listing mark for end-products. The UL mark is still the most widely known mark and will automatically be accepted by prospective customers.
But it's always worth considering the competitors - including CSA, TUV, Intertek (ETL mark) and MET Labs. These NRTL labs are growing and providing increasing competition to UL.
It's worth considering an alternative to UL but if you have existing key customers or are targetting key prospective customers, be sure to check out whether they will accept the proposed safety marking on your product.
Remember to consider if you want to sell in Canada as well as the US. If covering both markets, you should ask UL for cULus listing mark for end products and cURus mark for components. This means your product will be evaluated to the relevant Canadian and American national standards. Other NRTLs do the same thing e.g. Intertek would apply the cETLus lsiting mark as their version of UL's cULus listing mark.
It's worth getting two or three quotes to compare before giving your order to your chosen NRTL. Prices and timescales can vary widely. Sometimes the NRTLS may advise different standards apply for your product category if your product is in a more unusual area and the category is not obvious.

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