Frankfurt – The Toronto-based CSA Group, a global organization in standards development, testing and certification services, is offering a unique service in Europe that provides on-site and one-time verification of up to 500 units of equipment.
The service was developed specifically to address the needs of European companies that want to market electrical equipment to the North American market and either have single or low-quantity volumes of products or prototypes, or have developed specialized made-to-order products for which no specific certification requirements exist.
The service is called either ‘Field Evaluation’ for US market entry or ‘Special Inspection’ program for Canada.
“We soft launched the service in 2013 in the UK and Germany and have seen great demand from our customers. It’s a fast and cost effective way to obtain the approval to help ship products faster to North America and ensure conformity to local market requirements,” says Magali Depras, chief operating officer, CSA Group. “Global market access is one of our core competencies, and I am pleased that we can add value for our customers in Europe through the new programs.”
The Special Inspection and Field Evaluation programs are an evaluation according to the safety requirements in Canada (Model code SPE-1000-13) and in the US (NFPA791) and can be conducted in less than one week. CSA Group’s engineers collect the necessary information, prepare the inspection, conduct it on site and – if passed – immediately certify and label each product on site.
Special Inspection and Field Evaluation programs can be applied whether or not there are existing standards for the product. In cases where there are established standards, the companies now have the option (based on their needs and market requirements) to undertake the comprehensive process of a full certification or receive a faster approval through a special inspection or field evaluation.
Companies can also request the CSA Group’s Technical Information Service, which aims to inform them about the requirements for North America and identify any technical issues to be cleared before the products can be finally field evaluated.
“The services are suitable to any industry. We see demand from industrial equipment, food processing, packaging or even heater bands, but it could be any electrical product, aside from products used in hazardous environments or medical devices, which would require the typical certification process,” says Depras.