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Misrepresentation of UL certification

What’s causing all the confusion?

| | Jul 11, 2017 | 1:17 pm
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Manufacturers in the GCC region showing a commitment to acquire UL certification for their products often bemoan the rampant practice of misrepresentation of certification by some manufacturers, and how it is affecting them. Speaking to Climate Control Middle East on the issue, Jonathan Gonzalez, Project Engineer for Building and Life Safety Technologies, Laboratories (UL) Middle East, said the confusion was the result of a unique and particular twist on the language.

“UL certifies, but it also develops test standards,” he said. “So, anyone can test [according to] UL standards and say, ‘I can do UL’ – that’s where the confusion lies. Other people can test to meet UL requirements. Even our competition, they can test [according to] UL, but what they cannot do is provide a UL label.”

Gonzalez emphasised that UL makes the products undergo the same type of tests, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they have the official UL certification, and that they have been vetted by the organisation. “We have laboratories across the world that test to UL standards,” he said. “Every lab can test to a UL standard. Nowhere will they say that only UL can test for UL. Here, locally, there is a lab that can test to UL standards.”

It is for this reason, Gonzalez said, that UL, as a third-party certification company, places strong emphasis on the certification scheme, which includes the testing and certification standard development. He added that UL can also test according to different standards but that, at the end of the day, only the organisation is able to give the authentic UL certification. Gonzalez conceded that UL certification does not come cheap, adding that the high cost is owing to the great value UL places in what it does. An important part of the certification scheme, he said, is not just the testing, but the rigorous follow-ups on the samples to ensure their consistency.

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