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Marking and Labeling Systems FAQs

Frequently asked questions for Marking and Labeling Systems highlighting display safety and warning-related information on products.

Label ribbon wrapped around spool

How does the Marking and Labeling Systems program differ from the Authorized Label Supplier program?

The Marking and Labeling Systems program covers labels and label materials that have been submitted and found to meet our permanence of marking requirements for displaying safety-related information on end products. The Authorized Label Suppliers program specifically addresses the printing format and distribution of the UL Certification Mark.

When the UL Certification Mark and required safety-related information are printed on the same label, referred to as a combination or custom label, the label supplier must be an Authorized Label Supplier. The label must also meet the performance requirements covered by the Marking and Labeling Systems program for that UL Certified end product. To determine if a label supplier has coverage in both programs, search by company name on the Product iQ Database.

Who is responsible for verifying information printed on a UL label or package?

The Label Center reviews the UL Certification Marks according to the process documented in the Printing UL Marks guide (see below). The UL engineer handling the end-product submittal reviews engineering and cautionary Marks and informs you of label performance requirements. Promotional and advertising materials are required to follow UL’s Promotion and Advertising Guidelines.

What Conditions of Acceptability must a Marking and Labeling System meet?

The Conditions of Acceptability, typically application surfaces and use, that labels are required to meet are governed by the end-product Standard and determined by the UL engineer who investigated the end product. End-product manufacturers should reference the specific requirements written in the UL Report for their product or in the applicable UL Standard. They may also contact the project engineer who handled the engineering investigation of their product for additional guidance. Label suppliers interested in determining a customer’s label requirements should request that information directly from their customer.

How can I find and verify that a label printer can supply Recognized Marking and Labeling Systems? Where can I find the Conditions of Acceptability for the printer’s labels?

You can find a database of Marking and Labeling System suppliers and the associated Conditions of Acceptability by visiting the Product iQ Database. However, we don’t divulge information about the specific construction of Recognized labels or recommend specific label suppliers.

I am a label printer. How do I know if the labels I offer to customers are required to be Recognized under the Marking and Labeling Systems program?

Customers should specify that the label must be a Recognized Marking and Labeling System. They should also indicate the Conditions of Acceptability, e.g., application surfaces, indoor or outdoor use, temperature ratings and additional exposures, for which the label must be suitable.

I am a manufacturer of UL Certified end products. My Follow-Up Service (FUS) Procedure specifies the use of a Recognized (Category Code Number PGDQ2) Marking and Labeling System. Can I use a Recognized (Category Code Number PGJI2) Printing Material instea

When printed with ink specified in the Recognition, a Recognized (Category Code Number PGJI2) Printing Material is considered equivalent to a Recognized (Category Code Number PGDQ2) Marking and Labeling System, because both are compliant with UL 969, Marking and Labeling Systems. Similarly for cUL Listed or Classified end products, a Recognized (Category Code Number PGJI8) Printing Material certified for Canada is considered equivalent to a Recognized (Category Code Number PGDQ8) Marking and Labeling System when printed with one of the inks mentioned in its Recognition, because both are compliant with CSA C22.2 No. 0.15, Adhesive Labels.

As with Recognized (Category Code Number PGDQ2/8) Marking and Labeling Systems, acceptance of a Recognized (Category Code Number PGJI2/8) Printing Material and ink combination in a particular end-product application involves verifying that the Recognition covers the end-product requirements, including application surfaces, temperature ratings and other use conditions.

I am a manufacturer of UL Certified end products. What if I choose to use a label that is not UL Recognized or a label that is Recognized but does not meet the Conditions of Acceptability required for my product?

If the label you select for your end product is not UL Recognized or is Recognized, but its Conditions of Acceptability do not cover your particular end-product application, an Unlisted Component evaluation is provided to the end-product manufacturer, rather than the component supplier, to determine the acceptability of the label.

What samples are needed for Marking and Labeling Systems evaluations?

We selectively test labels of similar construction to represent a range of label constructions when certain commonalities exist. This process helps reduce cost and time to market for label suppliers. During the early stages of the project, one of our engineers will provide a list of the required representative samples and quantities of each.

Is there a basic Marking and Labeling Systems test program? Are there specific label materials requirements?

The most basic, minimum, label test program involves testing a single application surface for Indoor or Indoor Dry Use. Larger test programs include multiple application surfaces and/or additional uses, such as Outdoor Use or exposure to lubricating oil. The Marking and Labeling Systems standard only specifies performance requirements for adhesive attached labels, not specific label material requirements.

How are direct surface-applied markings evaluated?

For direct surface-applied markings, e.g., etched, ink-stamped, die-stamped, painted, etc., the requirements for durability and legibility are specified in the UL Standard covering the particular end product being investigated.

Are Marking and Labeling Systems evaluated for electrical ratings, flammability ratings or structural strength?

In the Marking and Labeling Systems program, we evaluate labels only with respect to permanence of marking requirements. Flammability ratings, electrical ratings and structural performance are not evaluated. If a label will be used in an application where an electrical rating or flammability rating is required, or is used to bond structural parts together, these issues are addressed during the end-product evaluation with the complete equipment.

Adhesives intended for use in bonding structural parts or components are covered under the Polymeric Adhesive Systems, Electrical Equipment-Component program (Category Code Number QOQW2). Electrical and flammability ratings for polymeric materials are covered under the Plastics-Component program (Category Code Number QMFZ2).

Are membrane switches covered under the Marking and Labeling Systems program?

No. Adhesive-attached membrane switches that control appliances and electrical equipment are covered under the Membrane Switches program (Category Code Number WHSM2).

What printing equipment can an end-product manufacturer use to add information to a Recognized Marking and Labeling Systems Printing Material?

For thermal transfer ribbons, laser toners and hot stamping foils, any printing equipment is considered compatible if it is capable of producing legible printing with good initial adhesion of ink to the label material. Other types of printing processes may require the end-product manufacturer to use a specific printer and ink combination that is referenced in the Recognition. The Marking and Labeling Systems program does not cover additional printing using hand implements, such as pen, marker or pencil.

Do unprinted Marking and Labeling Systems Materials require further evaluation before being used with an end product?

Printed labels made from Recognized label materials, such as blank label stocks, laminating adhesives and overlaminations, are not automatically considered Recognized printed labels. To be considered suitable for use on an end product, the complete printed label must be submitted to us for evaluation. Depending on several factors, such as the Conditions of Acceptability desired for the label and the label materials used, testing of representative samples is usually necessary.

Are application surface blends, e.g., polycarbonite (PC)/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) blend, for Marking and Labeling Systems investigated?

Labels suitable for application to two or more plastic, painted or powder-painted surfaces are automatically considered suitable for application to blends of those surfaces in any ratio with Conditions of Acceptability common to the components of the blend.

For example, a printed label is found suitable for the following two surfaces:  PC for Indoor use at a 80 degrees Celsius maximum rating and ABS for Indoor and Outdoor use at 60 degrees Celsius maximum rating. With this suitability established, the printed label is considered acceptable for PC/ABS blends for the common Conditions of Acceptability: Indoor Use at 60 degrees Celsius maximum rating.

If a unique blended application surface is investigated, the specific blend and blend ratio is published as the application surface.

Are label converters allowed to repackage and distribute Recognized unprinted materials?

Companies who repackage Recognized unprinted label materials and wish to remark the products with the appropriate UL Mark to maintain traceability can be authorized to do so under UL’s Repackaged Recognized Component program. This program does not allow label repackagers/converters to print on the repacked materials, add additional layers, change layers, manipulate the properties, or make other modifications to the label materials that are repackaged.

Do you certify labels to the Canadian Standard?

We test products to the Canadian standard, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) C22.2 No. 0.15, Adhesive Labels. However, the CSA standard includes test methods that differ from UL 969 and additional testing is necessary to grant Canadian Recognition. Products found to be in compliance with the Canadian Standard are marked with the Canadian UL Recognition Mark.

Do you test labels to other standards or requirements?

UL Verification Services can provide customized performance and Verification testing of labels based on a buyer’s defined parameters or customer-accepted specifications. These tests provide retailers and buyers, original design manufacturers, and original equipment manufacturers confidence in the quality and reliability of the labels they manufacture or source from suppliers.

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