The CSA group has recently announced the expansion of its ISO/IEC Guide 65 accreditation (General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems) to include three of its European facilities by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to provide certification in the areas of electrical safety for certain product segments.

This accreditation is said to make the CSA Group facilities the first in the UK and globally to be able to issue ATEX, IECEx, and North American Certification from a single office for regional and global clients.

Industrial Compliance spoke to Dana Parmenter, managing director at CSA International/Sira Test and Certification in the UK, to find out what this news might mean for UK manufacturers. He explained: “As part of CSA’s global accreditation we now have qualified staff to certify anything under the scope of CSA, here in the UK. This will particularly impact those requiring certification for products being designed for use in hazardous areas.

“We know that anyone producing products for use in hazardous areas will not generally be aiming their products at any one country or region. The challenge that we have faced in the UK is that while we have a long history in European certification, our UK customers have, traditionally, had to turn to alternative resources to certify their product for other markets. Gaining SCC accreditation allows us to make this a single process for our customers so they are able to gain access to more markets in one single certification process.”

Certification for hazardous area equipment, on average, will take a number of months. “Historically, if you were to certify a product for Europe and then go to North America with the same product you would need to start the whole process again. By having this capability in-house, here in the UK, we are now able to provide manufacturers with, potentially, a 50% reduction in the overall certification time by not having to do the processes separately. This allows products to be launched to a much broader market in a shorter timeframe,” said Parmenter.

In conclusion, he said: “We will continue to expand our access for manufacturers in the UK and Europe to North America under our accreditation, by broadening our scope and taking on more product segments. Additionally, we already have plans underway through our Global Market Access (GMA) group which will start granting access to additional markets such as China, Russia, Brazil.”