In the middle of 2019, Amazon implemented new safety requirements that require the sellers of certain electronic products to submit UL testing reports for their listed products. We can see that the UL certification, as a non-mandatory product safety certification, is becoming more and more mandatory-like.
In this article, I’ll introduce the UL testing report required on Amazon and some related facts that Amazon sellers need to pay attention to.
Yes, it is needed for certain products.
The US government published relatively strict product safety requirements for the products manufactured domestically long before now. While there had been a time when products imported to the US overseas, through Amazon – the world’s largest online e-commerce platform, are not so strictly regulated.
In July 2016, a US buyer bought a laptop battery from Amazon. Later in September, when she put the laptop equipped with the battery she bought from Amazon on her daughter’s bed, it suddenly caught in a fire and burn the whole house down.
Since the battery is manufactured outside the US, the manufacturer is out of the jurisdiction, for that reason, the buyer held Amazon liable for this product safety issue. This buyer filed a lawsuit in the High Court of New Jersey on March 8, 2017, and sued Amazon in the Federal Court on April 21, 2017.
In the end, the court decided that Amazon should not be deemed as the seller in this transaction, so it escaped from bearing full responsibility, leaving the losses of the buyer nowhere to claim.
Having experienced enough similar cases, Amazon decided to request the sellers to submit a UL testing report for their listed products.
UL certification is a non-mandatory certification for product safety. UL certification consists of procedures such as product testing, factory audit, and follow-up inspection. The time needed for UL certification is longer than that for UL testing, and the cost would be much higher too.
UL testing report is used on a certain type of product. You’ll have to choose the corresponding UL safety standards that your product has to meets, and get your product tested based on that standards. If your product successfully passed the testing, UL will issue a testing report.
UL testing tends to be the more cost-effective option than UL certification when it comes to Amazon product listing. And under most cases, to complete the testing for a product only takes 1-2 weeks while finishing the UL certification process can take more than a few months.
And the specific procedures for UL certification and UL testing are also different. UL testing reports can be issued by third-party laboratories recognized by ISO17025/ILAC 17025 standards.
UL has published over 500 standards, and nearly 70% of them have been adopted by the US government to be the national standards. Listed below are the UL standards corresponding to some of the hot products on Amazon:
|Attachment plugs and receptacles
|Audio and video apparatus
|Computer cooling fan
|Direct plug-in nightlights
|Electric coffee maker
|Electric heating pad
|Electric motor-operated or magnetically driven tools
|Electrical plugs and connectors
|Energy saving light bulbs
|Grow lights for plants
|Hang ironing machine
|LED strip lights
|Network infrastructure equipment
|Self-balancing electric scooter
|Telecommunication terminal equipment
If you don’t know for sure what UL standards should your product be tested for, you can search the UL Standards Catalog. Just simply input your product name in the blank shown in the screenshot below, and you should see the UL standards applicable to your product.
Not entirely. Although the UL marks are issued only in the US and the Canadian market, they are widely recognized all over the world.
And as you all know, Amazon has many independent online markets for different regions and countries, their requirements for UL certification and UL testing report are mostly the same – meaning with the same testing report you can list your product on different Amazon sites.
The cost for the UL testing report is determined by the product the UL standards applied to it. Different products will be tested by different projects and items, so the specific cost will also be different. But compared with the high cost for UL certification, the cost for getting a UL testing report is much friendlier for small to medium-sized Amazon sellers.
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