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UL, CSA Expand Memorandum of Understanding, Complete Second Phase of Agreement on Acceptance of Components


Northbrook, IL, and Toronto, ON, July 8, 2004 -- Underwriters Laboratories Inc (UL) and CSA International (CSA) announced today the further expansion of a 1996 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) allowing the free exchange and acceptance of data between the two product testing organizations.

UL and CSA also implemented the second phase of a three-phase, 18-month pilot agreement allowing the mutual acceptance of certain components used in low voltage distribution equipment and industrial control equipment. As part of the second round of negotiations, both parties agreed that a total of at least four follow-up inspections of manufacturers'' facilities are necessary for acceptance of components under this agreement.

The agreements, which are designed to assist manufacturers in getting their products to the Canadian and U.S. markets more quickly, are the result of several months of negotiation between UL and CSA, with support from National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Electro-Federation Canada (EFC), and major electrical manufacturers.

Expanded MoU

Based upon a request from NEMA, UL and CSA have expanded the scope of the MoU to include Transfer Type Switches. Further work is currently under way to expand the MoU to include the acceptance of high-current-capacity short-circuit follow-up test (re-testing) reports conducted on Circuit Breakers and Series-Rated Circuit Breakers. The target date for the completion of this work, including the necessary validation, is Aug. 30, 2004.

Phase Two, Agreement on Acceptance of Components

Phase two of the Agreement on Acceptance of Components now includes the end products and components from phase one, which have been certified in accordance with Canadian requirements. Phase one previously included component and end products certified in accordance with U.S. requirements. Phase two also includes the addition of Transfer Switches and Power Conversion Equipment certified in accordance with Canadian and/or U.S. requirements. The expansion of the agreement now allows the use of these components in products being evaluated for both the Canadian and U.S. marketplaces.

"We are pleased with CSA''s cooperation during these negotiations," said Gus Schaefer, UL''s senior vice president for the United States. "CSA is demonstrating its willingness to uphold industry''s desire to maintain the highest level of existing follow-up of our two organizations."

With the completion of the second phase of the component agreement, UL and CSA now accept numerous component categories for use in low voltage distribution equipment and industrial control equipment certified in accordance with U.S. and Canadian safety requirements.

Grant Carter, CSA group vice president of Marketing and Communications, said, "The successful implementation of phase two reflects our continuing commitment to work with our industry partners to deliver product certification efficiencies while ensuring certification process integrity is not diminished. Implementing phase two has been particularly demanding and the CSA and UL staff members who steered this agreement through some difficult challenges are to be commended for their unwavering focus."

"The communication fostered during negotiations over the Memorandum of Understanding has been of great benefit to the industry," says NEMA president Malcolm O''Hagan. "The expansion of the categories of equipment covered by the MoU is a logical extension of the initial agreement. Resolution of the inspection frequency issue for components in this phase will lead to significant benefits for industry and the public."

A complete listing of components and end products covered by the expanded MoU and the component acceptance agreement is available on the UL website, below.

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