Effective fall 2022, Primex is transitioning to a different certification process for some products, shifting from UL (tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratories) to ETL (tested and approved by Intertek Testing Services, who were formerly Electrical Testing Laboratories).

Beyond the internal changes, Primex customers will begin seeing an ETL symbol on select products. In particular, some products from the SOHO Pro™ line, which includes some SOHO Pro™ Media Panel, are undergoing the new testing and certification method.

The difference between UL and ETL

Regarding safety standards, there are no significant contrasts between a product being UL Listed and ETL Listed, as both organizations are certified NRTLs (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories) in the US.

Intertek is accredited in Canada by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as a Testing Organization and Certification Body and recognized by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in the US as an NRTL. This is significant for customers to know, as products are approved nationwide as meeting electrical safety standards and are guaranteed operational, reliable, efficient, and, most importantly, safe.

Having been around since Thomas Alva Edison founded ETL in 1896, the ETL certification is prominent in the US and Canada as the mark is recognized in both countries. Ultimately, Edison aspired to ensure customers feel that their products were tested correctly and performed well, and this goal has carried on in Intertek’s work today.

How testing labs acquire (and keep) Safety Certification

To qualify for safety certifications, including UL and ETL, labs must be regulated as NRTL under the regulations of OSHA in the US and the SCC in Canada.

Continual monitoring is done for both products and labs by OSHA and the SCC. This ensures that labs and the products they approve are regularly meeting expectations. Certifications for labs can be withdrawn should they no longer meet safety standards.

Why Primex is making the change

Given the few differences between UL and ETL, this begs the question: why the change?

Ultimately, our goal in this adjustment is to benefit the customer. Using the ETL certification process means that Primex can usher products to market faster while ensuring these products are approved as safe.

As a company, Primex has always prioritized doing what’s best for our customers while reflecting our shared values, including our eco-friendly initiatives. Choosing ETL is another way that we can continue supporting those who support Primex.

This is not to suggest that the ETL Listed certification is less rigorous; it is simply a matter of location.

Primex’s headquarters is located closer to an Intertek testing facility. With this convenience, we can test locally and expedite the certification process rather than incurring additional time to ship products away for testing and certification.

We’ll continue to have a mix of UL Listed and ETL Listed products as we’re confident that these two marks represent Primex manufacturers to the highest standards and that our products meet the strictest safety requirements.