Are you an importer or a manufacturer looking to have your product UL Listed? UL Listed products are products that have been tested for safety by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), or by third-party labs accepted by UL.
In this article, we cover UL listing services for consumer products, including their general requirements for UL Listed products, how it differentiates between other UL marks and more.
What does UL Listed mean?
When a consumer product is said to be UL Listed, it means that UL has received product samples from the manufacturer, has tested the product, and has determined that the product meets relevant safety requirements.
These requirements come from UL’s published safety standards that are nationally recognized, and some product categories may necessitate additional requirements, including those that relate to:
- Energy efficiency
- Functional safety
- use in gas-fired equipment and marine environments
- use in plumbing, security, and signaling applications
This determination ultimately results in the placement of the UL Listed Mark on the finished consumer product.
UL Listing Status
Additionally, if the product has the UL Listed Mark affixed on it, references to the UL listing status of the product for marketing purposes can be printed on the packaging of the consumer product.
With regards to referencing the UL listed status of the product for marketing purposes, UL provides marketing guidelines that contain general and specific promotional requirements and guidelines.
For instance, when referencing the UL listed status of your consumer product, the guidelines provide both correct and incorrect examples of UL listing referencing:
a. “UL Listed.” as opposed to “UL Approved.”
b. “This product is Listed to applicable standards and requirements by UL.” as opposed to “UL certification pending.”
c. “This product is Listed by UL. Representative samples of this product have been evaluated by UL and meet applicable safety standards.” as opposed to “UL tested.”
d. “This product has earned the UL Listed Mark.” as opposed to “Meets UL requirements.”
Which products can be UL listed?
There exists a large array of products that can be UL Listed, including:
- Alarm units
- Batteries chargers
- Audio/video, information, and communication technology equipment
- Computer equipment
Importers and manufacturers may search for products to get an idea of what UL marks are typically assigned to such product categories by using UL’s product search platform (i.e. Product IQ). More information about the platform and its uses are provided in subsequent sections below.
Is the UL Listed Mark mandatory in the United States?
The UL Listed Mark is not a mandatory requirement. There isn’t a legal requirement to receive approval from UL.
However, despite its voluntary nature, there is often an expectation from end-users and retailers that consumer products are safe for use. As a result, suppliers may be compelled to acquire the UL Listed Mark if they want to sell their products on Amazon or other marketplaces or by commercial building and electrical codes.
For instance, the National Electrical Code may require the use of available UL Listed electrical products.
Generally, for importers and manufacturers to have their product UL Listed, they are required to:
a. Have their product fall within the categories that can be UL listed
b. Submit product samples to UL labs or third-party labs accepted by UL for testing purposes
c. Ensure that product samples submitted pass the required tests
d. Affix the UL Listed Mark on their product (or change it to the UL Certified Mark).
e. Agree to UL’s Follow-Up Services program
For applicants to get their product UL listed, they should begin by starting the UL’s product submittal process.
1. Product submission
Applicants must submit product samples to UL for an initial assessment.
2. Product category determination
UL determines the appropriate product category and identifies relevant standards for testing purposes.
3. Product testing
The product is tested by a UL lab or a UL accepted third-party lab against specific safety standards.
4. Product marking
Once compliance with the standards is determined, the applicant is authorized to use the UL Listed Mark at pre-determined manufacturing locations as per the signed agreement.
5. Follow-Up Services program
Before product testing is done, the applicant must sign an agreement with UL which requires the applicant to agree to Field Engineering Services inspections.
Throughout the UL Listed Products’ lifetime, such products should undergo regular inspections at the manufacturing facility to ensure continued compliance with safety requirements.
Lab testing requirements
For a product to be UL listed, lab testing is required. UL receives product samples and tests them against specific requirements relevant to the applicable standards.
UL has lab testing facilities that can be employed for this purpose. However, UL also works with third-party labs through its third-party test data program to further expand its testing capabilities against relevant standards.
Beyond safety testing services, UL testing services include:
- EMC Testing
- Energy Efficiency Testing
- Environmental Testing
- Indoor Air Quality Testing
- Interoperability Testing
- Performance and Quality Testing
- Reliability and Durability Testing
- Wireless Testing
UL Listed Mark
The UL Listed Mark communicates that the product has gone through UL’s evaluation process and that UL has determined that the product meets specific safety requirements. Only UL Listed products can bear the UL Listed Mark.
The UL Listed Mark should be placed on the UL Listed product. Such a product should be a standalone product intended for the end-user. It should not be a component or a part that makes up a finished product as that warrants a different certification process.
Variations of the mark may appear on the packaging of the product given that it has the complete UL Listed Mark affixed to it.
How much does the UL listing cost?
The cost to get your product UL listed depends on the product type and applicable standards against which the product should be evaluated, and what additional services you would require from UL.
UL provides services that include:
- Advisory services
- Auditing and inspection
- Digital applications (e.g. Product IQ, etc)
Services required and the price quote that follows are dependent on the manufacturer’s situation such as:
- Availability of product samples
- Project timelines
- The scope of testing needed for the product
How can I verify if a product is UL Listed?
To verify whether a product is a UL Listed product, interested seekers may look for the UL Listed Mark which should be placed on the product. Note, however, that it is possible for the UL Certified Mark to communicate compliance to safety requirements and standards, and for it to substitute the UL Listed Mark.
To correctly identify a valid UL Listed Mark, the mark’s design and content should be observed. UL is particular about how its mark should be displayed. The UL Listed Mark should clearly display the following:
a. The UL Trademark
b. The word “LISTED” in capital letters
c. Product identifying information (note that this is optional for molded marks)
d. Control or issue number
However, products containing counterfeit UL marks do exist. To curb this, UL provides a free, public platform (I.e. Product IQ) in which interested users may confirm that the product is indeed a UL Listed Mark and a valid one at that.
As an example, interested users may use Product IQ and enter the file number (example: E106436) to verify the authenticity of a product’s UL Listed Mark. You will then see the company name, product model, and other information related to the searched product (if the file number exists).
A premium version of the platform does exist for UL registered members and subscribers, and more information about its additional functions is provided in the subsequent section.
How can I find UL Listed products?
As previously mentioned, UL has a platform (i.e. UL Product IQ) for users seeking product information (e.g. UL’s safety certifications, and so on). Users may use the platform in the capacity of a registered member or a paid subscriber or use the free version of the platform for non-registrants.
Interested users of the platform may search for product information by:
- File number
- Or other keywords, including design number, system number, assembly number, or construction number
Refining your search results is also possible. For instance, users may refine their search to look for products and components that meet their specifications, search for certification information, and so on.
You can simply enter a product name (e.g. battery) and you will find a list of certified products, which includes listed products.
For paid members, the paid version of the platform allows such users to access UL confirmation letters, save regular and complex search queries, tag and group searched content to save time, and give users access to additional search tools.
What is the difference between UL Listed and UL Certified?
The UL Certified Mark combines multiple certifications into a single mark. Thus, unlike the UL Listed Mark, the UL Certified Mark can communicate that the product has been tested against multiple types of requirements, such as:
- Functional Safety
- Health Effects
The UL Certified Mark is a part of the “Enhanced and Smart UL Certification Mark and badge system”. Under this system, manufacturers with UL Listed Marks and UL Classified Marks can opt for the UL Certified Mark instead at no cost.
The mark has four components (five for the Smart UL Certification Mark):
a. Basic UL Certification Mark
c. Country codes
d. Unique ID
e. QR Code (for the Smart UL Certification Mark)
Additionally, the enhanced and smart marks come with a promotional badge that can be affixed on the products’ front side, their packaging, and on other marketing channels to promote the UL-certified products.
Products with the UL Listed Mark, on the other hand, have limited circumstances in which they can use promotional badge(s).
What is the difference between UL Listed and UL Classified?
UL Classification means that the product(s) sent to UL has been tested and evaluated according to certain properties of the product(s). UL product classification follows applicable UL requirements and standards from other organizations.
The UL Listed Mark may communicate safety, quality, or security in general for the product. In contrast, the UL Classified Mark means that the product has been evaluated for specific properties as it was tested under specific conditions or tested for a limited range of hazards.
What is the difference between UL Listed and UL Recognized?
The UL Listed Mark is used for stand-alone consumer products. In contrast, the UL Recognized Component Mark is used for components or parts of a finished consumer product and communicates that UL has evaluated such items.
Thus, it is more common for end-users to be exposed to the affixed UL Listed Mark than the UL Recognized Mark.
Additionally, the two marks substantially differ in visual design.
What is the difference between UL Listed and UL Performance Verified?
Unlike UL Listing, UL Performance Verification entails having the product testing against specific performance standards.
UL can verify the product’s performance to the following standards and requirements:
- National or international industry performance standards
- Manufacturer’s proprietary standards
- UL requirements