When you’re launching a product, navigating the regulatory landscape of new markets is complex and can seem intimidating. When these markets are outside of your country or region, these complexities increase for myriad reasons.
The Americas present tremendous opportunity, but understanding the various certifications, marks, standards, and requirements established by OSHA and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) can be challenging. With over 120 years of experience and expert staff stationed around the globe, UL is prepared to help you access these markets with ease.
Whether you’re pursuing marks in the North or selecting standards in the South, UL can help you better understand what’s required, while also helping to increase speed to market and decrease the risk of compliance issues and customs delays. To make this as easy as possible, we’ll look at North America and Central/South America separately.
When pursuing the United States and/or Canadian markets, a handful or organizations have mandatory marks or certifications. These marks/certifications include the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Mark (US) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada.
However, various UL Marks also exist for both markets. The UL Recognized Component Mark and the UL Listing Mark are available in both countries, but both marks are country specific. The UL NEBS (Network Equipment-Building System) Mark is also available in the US for customers pursuing the telecommunications market.
To ease access into the broader North American market, UL also offers a Combined UL Listing Mark for US and Canada, a Combined UL Recognized Component Mark for US and Canada, and a Combined UL Mark for Europe, Canada and the US.
Markets in Central and South America are more complicated because requirements can vary with every border you cross. For example, Agencia de Regulación y Control de las Telecomunicaciones (ARCOTEL) is a mandatory mark for those pursuing the wireless market in Ecuador, but IFETEL is mandatory for those pursuing the wireless market in Mexico.
Various UL Marks also exist in both regions. The UL NOM Mark covers Mexico, the UL CO Colombia Mark covers Columbia, the UL-BR Mark / UL-BR INMETRO Mark covers Brazil and, finally, the UL-AR S Mark covers Argentina.
The word “voluntary” is a bit misleading. Though some marks are not necessarily required by a government body or AHJ, that does not mean these marks are optional to the customers in that market.
While UL has grown to represent much more, our roots in independent third party testing, established well over a century ago, mean that the UL mark is respected around the world.
When customers see the UL Mark, they understand it to mean that a product or service has been thoroughly tested for safety and meets specific criteria. In short, the UL Mark offers peace of mind and added assurance to manufacturers and customers alike that a product is compliant to existing requirements.
In North America, UL Marks in both markets are considered voluntary, but that’s not always the case in Central and South America.
The UL Mark allows manufacturers to stand out from the competition and demonstrate quality to the market.
Think of the CB Scheme as your passport and the UL Mark as your visa. Regional requirements are often unavoidable, but the CB Scheme can help simplify the process. As one of the largest and most active CB Scheme members, UL can test your product(s) to all harmonized standards and national differences (where applicable) for your desired markets. We will then issue a CB Test Certificate and Test Report that you can use to obtain national certifications in participating countries.
Regulations are one thing, but cultural differences and expectations are something else entirely. Crossing into a new region often means working in a new language, adjusting to specific customs, and embracing differences that spread throughout the larger business environment. With representatives around the world, UL speaks just about every language and can help you understand how to navigate new cultures, unique customs, and otherwise challenging situations. Click here for more details.Ready to learn how to simplify global market entry?