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Retailers FAQ

  • Who is UL?

    With more than 110 years as one of the world's leading product safety testing and certification organizations, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) continues to be a valuable resource for safety information. Its UL Mark is one of the most recognized symbols of safety in the world.

    UL is an architect of U.S. and Canada safety systems, having developed more than 1,200 safety standards, and actively participating in national and international standards development. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, and 20 billion UL Marks appear in the marketplace each year.

    Consumers and regulatory authorities value UL as a leader on safety issues. With public safety at the heart of UL's mission, UL acts as a safety resource and advocate. UL works closely with customers, regulators, insurers, retailers and consumers on research, technology and safety initiatives. UL also promotes public safety through education and outreach, including through and to the media. In 2008, UL reached more than 447 million consumers in North America, Europe and Asia with its public safety message.

    Working with more than 72,000 customers in 98 countries, UL helps enhance safety and quality on a global scale. See About UL for more information.

  • What does a UL Mark on a product mean?

    The UL Mark on a product means that UL has tested representative samples of that product and determined that they meet UL's rigorous requirements. Once a product receives UL certification, our involvement with a product doesn't end there. Through factory inspections, UL continues to ensure the safety and quality of UL certified products giving you a higher level of assurance in your on-going manufacturing processes.

    As one of the most recognized, accepted and trusted symbols in the world, the UL Mark says something about the products you carry; it says that you care about your customers' safety.

  • What does the UL Mark mean to my customers?

    Consumers today are better informed than ever, and they understand that when it comes to bringing products into their homes, safety cannot be taken for granted. Shoppers are also keenly aware of value these days; and whether they're walking the aisles at a mega-mall or surfing the Internet for goods, they're looking to get the most for their money. The UL Mark can add value to products and peace of mind to purchasing decisions.

  • What do the various UL Marks signify, and which one do I need?

    There are several types of UL Marks; each has its own specific meaning and significance. The UL Marks and Labels portion of our Web site covers everything regarding UL Marks and Labels.

  • My supplier is not familiar with UL and is not sure how to get the UL Mark on my product?

    Manufacturers may learn what goes on during the entire certification process, from start to finish, by clicking here.  For local support across the globe, manufacturers may also contact their local UL office or a member of the Global Retail Services Team who will direct them to their local office.

  • How do I get my product tested and certified by UL?

    The first step is to complete the Request for Quote form. This form will guide you in providing UL with the specific information needed to prepare your quote.

  • If we are using all Recognized Components, does our product automatically become UL Listed?

    The evaluation of an individual component is obviously limited to certain parameters. A UL evaluation of a complete product is needed to determine how these components function as a "system" in your end product. The use of Recognized Components reduces the complexity of the evaluation and can save you time and money.

  • I need to sell my product outside the U.S -- can UL help me identify the appropriate international requirements?

    Most countries have regulations for products entering into their country. UL  has the global resources and expertise to assist you and your suppliers in meeting the regulations for specific countries.

    For general overviews of the regulatory systems in a variety of countries around the world as well as the related services UL has to offer, please click here.

     

  • How can I ensure a product is UL certified?

    To assist you with UL listing verifications, UL has developed a "virtual" catalog of more than 110,000 UL products and components, you can use UL's online certifications directory to:

    • Verify a UL Listing or Classification
    • Verify a UL Listed product use
    • Verify a product safety standard

    You may also contact a UL technical expert to ask about our Listing verification service.

  • What does “UL approved” mean?

    "UL approved" is not a valid term used to refer to a UL Listed, UL Recognized or UL Classified product under any circumstance. There are a number of requirements and guidelines that should be followed to accurately communicate a product's UL certification. To learn more about these guidelines, please go to our Show the UL Mark site.

  • What does UL mean by the terms “applicant,” manufacturer” and “listee”?

    These terms can be defined as follows:

    • Applicant -- The company or individual who applies to UL for the investigation of a component, product or system. This party contractually assumes the financial obligation for the cost of the investigation and Follow-Up Service, and thereby exercises rights to information obtained as a result of the investigation.
    • Manufacturer -- The company or individual who maintains and operates the factory facilities where a UL Listed, Classified or Recognized product is manufactured or assembled, and where the product is normally inspected as part of UL's Follow-Up Service.
    • Listee -- The company or individual whose name is used or in conjunction with a product and appears under a product category in one of UL's published Product Directories. The terms "Classified company" or "Recognized company" are equivalent to Listee and used in relation to the other types of UL services.
  • What do the numbers on the UL label mean?

    Manufacturers promote their products in many different ways. In some cases it is difficult to match the name or number on the product or package to the specific manufacturer. The numbers adjacent to the UL Label are reference numbers that allow UL to identify the actual manufacturer of the product. This information is considered proprietary.

  • How can I get in touch with my local UL office?

    UL has numerous laboratory facilities, Local Engineering Services offices, wholly owned affiliates, international liaison offices and representative offices. For contact information for each office please visit our UL Worldwide pages.

  • Where are your testing labs located?

    UL has labs around the globe.  To find local contact information -- anywhere in the world -- go to Contact UL.

  • What are UL Standards?

    In addition to being a leader in product safety certification and compliance solutions, UL is a world leader in standards development.  Below you will find common questions, for more information you are encouraged go to UL Standards.

  • How and who uses UL Standards for Safety?

    UL's standards for safety are used to evaluate and certify products and systems. These standards are used by retailers to ensure the safety of their customers, by manufacturers to help design products and systems to ensure safe products, by regulatory authorities who reference the standards to help them protect their jurisdictions, by code development organizations that adopt and reference UL standards for safety, and even by other certification organizations that apply UL requirements for product evaluations.

  • How are UL Standards used?

    UL Standards for Safety are developed under a procedure which provides for participation and comment from the affected public as well as industry. The procedure takes into consideration a survey of known existing standards and the needs and opinions of a wide variety of interests concerned with the subject matter of the standard. Manufacturers, consumers, government officials industrial and commercial users, inspection authorities and others provide input to UL.

  • Which UL Standard applies to my product?

    In order to determine which UL Standard applies, it is helpful to obtain UL's Catalog of Standards, which lists UL's Standards for Safety and provides prices and ordering information.

    This catalog, along with the scopes-- brief descriptions of what the Standards cover-- can be viewed through the link above.

     

  • How can I keep up to date on UL Standards that affect my business?

    To help the retail community keep up to date with UL Standards we developed the "what's new" e-notification service for UL Standards. This complementary service provides:

    • Email notifications twice a month with a list of the various Standards documents published during that time frame
    • For each document listed in the email notification, links to:
      • The summary of topics for the document, a brief statement of what the document covers
      • The scope of the involved Standard and/or outline
      • The UL online Standards for Safety sales Web site to purchase the document online.
  • Where can I go for more information?

    Have more questions about UL? To find the answer, you may: 

  • Where can I go to learn more about UL Marks and Labels?

    The UL Marks and Labels portion of our Web site covers everything regarding UL Marks and Labels. As always, contact us if you have any additional questions.

     

  • Why does UL invest in anti-counterfeiting?

    Because consumers, retailers, regulators, manufacturers and distributors rely on the UL Mark of safety, we've invested in building a dedicated team of professionals whose sole responsibility is to oversee the protection of UL's intellectual property. Since 1995, this team has worked with law enforcement and educated customs officials around the world about how to recognize legitimately labeled UL products as well as implementing anti-counterfeiting measures that are integrated as part of UL's labeling format. If consumers suspect a product may have a counterfeit UL Mark, they can contact UL by e-mailing anticounterfeiting@us.ul.com. For general information about counterfeiting and UL's partnership in global anti-counterfeiting efforts, visit ACE.

  • What are the categories that require the new holographic UL Mark?

    On June 25, 2008 we introduced a new holographic UL Mark that will be required in 32 common consumer product areas, including power supply cords, nightlights and ceiling fans. The new holographic label is available for manufacturers as of July 1, 2008. It will be required worldwide on all new production in the 32 hologram categories starting July 1, 2009. For a list of the 32 hologram categories, please visit our Marks and Labels pages.

    Distinct features of the "new" hologram label include:

    • Gold background to help U.S. Customs officers and other law enforcement agencies, distributors, retailers and consumers quickly identify the new label.
    • Color shifting ink similar to that in the new U.S. paper currency.
    • Repeating pattern of floating UL symbols, a distinctive burst pattern around one of the floating UL symbols and wavy lines.
    • Additional covert security features to assist with the authentication of a UL holographic label.
    • Additionally, UL has added another level of security via the UL Authenticator, a special credit card-size device that authorities can use to better identify counterfeit products.

    It is the policy of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) not to consent to the importation, exportation, or manipulation of merchandise that has been seized by U.S. Customs or any other international law enforcement agency for bearing counterfeit UL Certification Marks.

    This policy is uniformly applied and is considered reasonable and necessary in order to protect the integrity of UL's Registered Marks.

    UL does not compromise or negotiate with respect to this policy.

  • How do I spot a fake UL Mark?

    There are four basic elements of a UL certification Mark, which are detailed here.