The following information pertains to Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) product certification programs accredited by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
UL operates under its own authority as an independent, not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization.
To establish certification, samples of a product submitted by manufacturers for certification are tested and evaluated. If UL decides the product fulfills all applicable requirements it authorizes the manufacturer to apply a certification mark to production of the samples submitted, or issues a certificate or notification that the product is now certified by UL. A report of the evaluation is provided to the manufacturer. Before the manufacturer releases products with a certification mark, UL must initiate Follow-up Service in which periodic audits of products at the factory are completed by UL Field Representatives (see FUStart for more information about UL Follow-Up Service). These audits are described in a Follow-Up Service Procedure that is created as part of the initial evaluation of the product. For some products, factory samples are selected for retesting at UL. Certification continues until the manufacturer requests termination or fails to fulfill a requirement. UL must evaluate modifications to certified products before the modified product is authorized to bear the Mark or be considered certified.
Testing and evaluation of samples of products submitted for certification can be performed in UL's laboratories or in laboratories qualified by UL assessment and ongoing monitoring (see the Data Acceptance Program web page for more information on testing performed by outside laboratories). Only UL reviews the results of all testing and evaluation and decides if the product is eligible for certification.
UL is financially funded by the fees it charges manufacturers of the products submitted for certification. Fees are charged for the initial evaluation process, as well as ongoing maintenance fees for Follow-Up Service.
The associated rights and responsibilities of UL and manufacturers are detailed in the various contractual agreements that must be executed prior to initiating the certification process. Additional information is available on the Submittal Process page.
A formal Appeals Process is available to applicants to address questions concerning interpretations and decisions made by UL concerning submitted products. An appeal can be initiated by contacting Customer Service or the engineer that was involved with the project. A Field Report system is also available for reporting safety-related problems with certified products. Contact information is available on the Consumer Affairs page. An online Field Report form is also available.
A directory of certified products is available online via the Online Certifications Directory. Other sources of information concerning certified products and their suppliers include the UL Directories and the UL Listing Card Service.