Certification Marks - What do they mean?



Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (www.ul.com) is an organization that writes safety standards, tests products and certifies them. UL has developed over a thousand safety standards, and millions of products and their components are listed to these standards.


ETL is a mark provided by Intertek Testing Services. Intertek (www.intertek.com) is a global leader in testing inspection and certification services. They are a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory and tests products to UL, CSA, IEC and CE standards.

A product bearing the ETL Listed Mark is determined to have met the requirements of prescribed product safety standards. Moreover, the mark indicates that the manufacturer's production site conforms to a range of compliance measures and is subject to periodic follow-up inspections to verify continued conformance.

A Listed mark with both "us" and "c" identifiers signifies that the product bearing the mark complies with both US and Canada product safety standards. If it bears just the "us" identifier, it has been tested and deemed compliant to the United States. A Listed mark with a "c" identifier means the product bearing it complies with Canada product safety standards only.


The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a nonprofit association serving business, industry, government and consumers in Canada and the global marketplace. Among many other activities, CSA (www.csa.ca) develops standards that enhance public safety. A Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, CSA is very familiar with U.S. requirements.


FCC stands for Federal Communication Commission. It’s an agency in the U.S. Federal Government that is structured under Chapter 1 Telecommunication Code of Federal Regulations known as 47 CFR. Its main responsibility is to manage the radio spectrum and to protect against radio and broadcast noise by enforcing standards and regulating the amount of radiated electromagnetic interference.

Electronic products interfere by causing noise. This occurs when you have electric current moving inside of a product that automatically produces electrical waves in the space around it. These “radio waves” are unwanted interference and can cause other nearby components and products to be adversely effected.

The FCC requires that an unintentional radiator (device which creates radio waves energy within itself, which is then unintentionally radiated from the device) need to be tested and operate under the FCC standards and guidelines. The FCC has the ability to impose penalties on manufacturers, importers, retailers and even end users for non-compliant product.

An unintentional radiator is classified into two classes, A and B. Class A is a device that is marketed for use in a commercial or industrial type environment. The class B device is a device that is marketed for use in a residential environment but could be used in a commercial, industrial or business environment. Class B devices have tougher testing parameters to meet.


The CE Mark is a requirement for products sold to the European Market. The CE Mark identifies a product as complying with the health and safety requirements spelled out in European legislation (Directives) and is mandatory for equipment operating in the European Union (EU). Once the product has received the CE Mark it can circulate freely throughout the European Union countries.