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New approval mark for the Korean market

 

Effective from January 24, 2011, the Korean KCC Mark has been replaced by the new KC Mark as part of the efforts to unify the Korean approval marks. The changes to the Korean regulations will have a significant impact on businesses targeting the Korean market.

Below are the latest updates of the key changes:

1.  KC Mark Replaces KCC Mark

  • For products certified before January 24, 2011, there was a 6-month transition period wherein manufacturers could use either the KCC or KC Mark until June 30, 2011. From July 1, 2011 all KCC (Former MIC) logos must be changed to the KC logo.
  • For products certified on or after January 24, 2011, all certified products should use the KC Mark only.
  • The certification number system has been changed to a new number system from January 24, 2011. For products certified before January 24, 2011, their existing certification numbers have not changed and manufacturers can continue to use their existing number with the KC mark.
  • If a manufacturer wants to change the certification number according to the new numbering system, the manufacturer would have to cancel its existing certification first and then apply for a NEW/BASIC KC certification with testing.

2.  Specific Products

a. Broadcasting and Communications Equipment

The broadcasting and communication conformity assessment system has been implemented according to Article 58-2 of Radio Waves Act No. 10393 (enacted on July 23, 2010). It is divided into (1) Certification of Conformity, (2) Registration of Compatibility and (3) Interim of Conformity.

A party intending to manufacture, sell or import broadcasting and communication equipment to Korea must have one of the above three certifications.

b. Wireless Equipment/IT equipment

Wireless equipment will have to comply with the EMC requirements from July 1, 2011 and wireless/IT equipment will have to comply with the relevant safety requirements from January 1, 2012. Accordingly, EMC testing for wireless equipment will be required from July 1, 2011 and safety testing for wireless/IT equipment will be required from January 1, 2012.

Remarks:

  • For products certified before the effective date, re-testing and re-certification are not required according to the new regulation. However, if there is any change to the product, it will have to be tested and certified based on the new requirement.
  • For products already KC (eK) certified by other safety certification bodies such as KTL, KTC and KTR, recognition by the Korean Radio Research Agency (RRA) of the test reports has not been confirmed yet.
  • For products certified under applicable IEC standards (CB certification), CB certification is acceptable for products under "Registration of compatibility - In-house testing". However, CB certification is not acceptable for products under "Certification of Conformity" and "Registration of Compatibility - Testing by a designated testing agency".

3.  Declaration of Conformity (DoC) - Testing at Manufacturer's Lab

Currently, there are two types of KC certification under Electrical Safety Appliance Law (Act No. 6019, enacted September 7, 1999), i.e., Type 1 - Safety Certification of KC, and Type 2 - Self-regulatory Safety Confirmation. From January 1, 2012, a third type, Declaration of Conformity (DoC), will be added.

Products applying for a DoC can be tested by manufacturers who have been successfully registered at a recognized certification body as a "Manufacturing Testing Lab". The certification body will review the documentations related to the accreditation status of the laboratory as required by authorities such as the Korea Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (KOLAS) and IECEE. It will also audit the laboratory's testing capability based on applicable Korean Standards.

Although KATS (Korean Agency for Technology and Standards) has released this new scheme, a detailed process and the requirements for the accreditation of manufacturing testing laboratory are still in development.

In view of the many recent changes in the accreditation process, UL's Global Market Access experts are uniquely positioned to help manufacturers understand the latest conformity requirements in Korea. UL also offers a full range of services from developing compliance strategies, identifying all necessary testing/evaluations, preparing and submitting certificate-ready documentation to applicable certification organizations, and facilitating sample management and invoice payments.

For further information, please contact Asli Solmaz-Kaiser, Global Market Access Lead for High-Tech Division.