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Interpower’s Answers to Commonly Asked Questions Series—Product Safety Approvals for Power System Components

customer-serviceAt the Interpower Group of Companies, we have real people answering the phones. No recorded messages. As a result, we receive a number of interesting product design questions. Usually if a question has been asked by one person, it means that others also have the same question. So to assist you, we will be sharing a few of the commonly asked questions, complete with answers. Be sure to follow our series, “Interpower’s Answers to Commonly Asked Questions.”

Question:
Why can’t product safety agency approvals cross the border from one country to another country?

Key point:
Countries establish their own standards and approval processes.

Answer:
Rob Taylor, VP New Product Development and Quality Assurance, explained why product safety agency approvals cannot cross the border from one country to another country.

There are two types of agencies. The first one is the standards agency. This agency sets the standards and documents construction and performance requirements. The second type of agency is the testing and/or certification agency. This agency takes the written standards and performs tests on products to ensure that they meet the standards that have been written.

Most of the major countries of the world have an approval agency, but each country’s approval document is different. “Many individual countries around the world have their own standard and testing agencies to verify that the electronic products that are brought into their country will work safely and effectively,” explained Taylor. “Because standards and electrical codes vary from country to country, the approvals do not cross borders. Although an agency approval for a given country may be widely accepted by customers in other countries, product safety approvals are based on standards and codes within a given country or region.”

Some countries have inspection authorities who oversee the industry and regulate how products are being used. “The use of the product outside the country it is certified for use in could result in misuse of the product or inability of the regulatory agency to enforce compliance in situations like a recall,” Taylor said.

Because approvals certify that a product is safe for use in the intended application, it is advantageous for suppliers to receive approvals on the products they manufacture.

If you have other questions, Interpower offers free technical support. You can check the website at www.interpower.com, e-mail sales@interpower.com (United States) or uk@interpower.com (United Kingdom) or contact Customer Service in the United States at (800) 662-2290 or in the United Kingdom at +44 (0)1908 295300.

If you have ideas for future InfoPower blogs, please e-mail infopower@interpower.com.