UL & CSA

UL and CSA stand for Underwriter Laboratory and Canadian Standards Association respectively. These are third party companies that specialize in product testing and certification services. UL and CSA are private companies not specific to any brand or industry and gives them independence or unbiased view on standardizing. Unlike Europe the North American continent does not have a harmonized set of standards that must be followed by anyone wanting to sell a product in that country. So importers of products are free to follow the standards of any country, so long as they are deemed safe by the importer. Sometimes these standards fall short of the North American bar that is set by UL/CSA, and serve as a risk if not properly certified. UL/CSA is there to guarantee that a product is certified safe and functional under pre-defined circumstances. Using UL/CSA standards then protects both the product manufacturer and the customer, ensuring both parties are satisfied with the standards of their product.

China is the largest exporter to the US, and often than not they fall short of UL/CSA standards. The difference between Chinese electronic standards and UL/CSA standards is that underwriter laboratories was created in 1894 and have since grown to understand the industries it serves. Comparable to the Chinese electronic standard otherwise known as Chinese compulsory certification (CCC) was implemented on May 1, 2002. The Chinese standards in terms of viability and length to which they have been operating are trumped by the North American standards that UL/CSA has been upholding for many more years than CCC. So in turn Chinese electronic standards are tailored for a low cost and high production market. Knowledge and experience that UL/CSA provides trumps that of the CCC by number of years operating. Chinese standards before then were handled by a government agency which proved to be a problem.

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