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Electronic Gadget Government Regulations

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Rene, Jan 26, 2004.

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  1. Rene

    Rene Guest

    I am building an electronic device that I intent to use in my own business.
    The device will be used by our customers when stopping by the business. The
    gadget is really no big deal, it basically consist of nothing more than a
    bunch of computer parts (e.g.: motherboard, 8.4" LCD screen, etc) all inside
    a custom case. There will be around 10 of these units throughout the store.



    My question is, do I have to get some type of approval by the government to
    be able to use the device? Someone told me that all electronic equipment
    must have the government seal of approval to make sure is safe so that
    people with, say hart pacers, don't die if they touch it or get to close!



    Is this true? If it is, does anyone have any links that explain the process
    to get my device approved by the government?



    Thank you
     
  2. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Guest

    Let's just say that your liability would be greatly decreased by
    getting a product certified by a safety organization. Particularly if
    it is human contact.

    Without it, one would most certainly be liable for damages claimed
    by someone in an injury incurred. Even a sharp edge or burr, much
    less electronic induced injuries.
     
  3. Rene

    Rene Guest

    Let's just say that your liability would be greatly decreased by
    Do you have the names of such organizations?

    Thanks.
     
  4. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Guest

    Underwriter's Laboratories.

    CSA

    CE

    DVE

    Depends on the country, really.

    UL and CE are the most recognized.

    CSA is canada, but they rec UL and CE, and DVE is Germany.
    CE is Europe.

    There are several others for other nations and regions.

    Do a google search on "safety organizations"

    The cost of the certification would almost make it cheaper to buy
    products that already exist for such purposes. Also such a product
    would have to be quite thoroughly documented before they would even
    take it on, yet another huge cost item if you didn't fully develop it.
     
  5. Rene

    Rene Guest

    Thanks, this helps, but I am still not sure if I *have to have* some kind of
    certificate to make my product available to the public or if this is not
    government regulated in the USA.
     
  6. Its pretty much irrelevant whether it is "certified" for some
    organisation as to injury liability. If you injure someone, your libel.
    You may or may not have insurance to pay for your liability.

    For example, you mention UL. UL is a private company, unrelated to any
    government agency and only really has relevance to insurance companies.
    I agree, that a minor number of government agencies have decided to
    include a UL spec in their legal codes, but this is beside the point.


    Kevin Aylward

    http://www.anasoft.co.uk
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.

    "That which is mostly observed, is that which replicates the most"
    http://www.anasoft.co.uk/replicators/index.html

    "quotes with no meaning, are meaningless" - Kevin Aylward.
     
  7. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Guest

    The point was that if a safety org certs it, it is VERY unlikely to
    exhibit hazardous behavior.

    Do catch up.
     
  8. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Guest

    She asked about governments, but I know of none that have
    "government approved" programs for products. Many have government
    requisites which require either private organizations or government
    sponsored programs for product safety eval and cert.

    In Europe, for example, all electronic products and devices sold
    there must have CE certs, and typically can only be Mfgd by ISO9000
    companies.

    As far as law goes, I believe that any AC powered device must be UL
    approved to be sold in the US to consumers. A business can buy any
    product I make, If they wish. Custom racks for instrumentation are a
    perfect example, but you'd have a hard time funding an AC powered
    device here for consumer mass market use that does not have the UL
    mark for recognition or an actual listing number for the product.
    They also must state "risk of electric shock" on them IIRC.

    DC powered devices may or may not. I don't think they do.

    Not sure how a taser device would have to be marked.

    One doesn't see anyone suing S&W successfully, because some guy
    murdered someone with one of their products. The person commits the
    act, not the tool with which he commits it.
     
  9. Governments can and do require many products to meet certain specs.
    Goverments makes the laws.
    CE standards are set by Goverments.
    Nope. This is not true. As I stated UL is a private company. I mentioned
    some jurisdictions because when I was last looking at this issue, LA
    city had it written into their code that products must be UL certified.
    This is not in general. You can generally sell products pretty much
    anywhere in the US without UL.

    A business can buy any
    I agree. This is because UL is a formation that resulted directly from
    insurance companies. They require it, not the government. If you don't
    have UL, you cant get insurance. Without insurance you don't have a
    business.



    Kevin Aylward

    http://www.anasoft.co.uk
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.

    "That which is mostly observed, is that which replicates the most"
    http://www.anasoft.co.uk/replicators/index.html

    "quotes with no meaning, are meaningless" - Kevin Aylward.
     
  10. Not at all. This is the real world.
    I cought up with the real world, many years ago.

    Kevin Aylward

    http://www.anasoft.co.uk
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.

    "That which is mostly observed, is that which replicates the most"
    http://www.anasoft.co.uk/replicators/index.html

    "quotes with no meaning, are meaningless" - Kevin Aylward.
     
  11. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Guest

    The government does have standards for electronic devices in the US.
    It is called the FCC.
     
  12. Bob Myers

    Bob Myers Guest

    The FCC is not involved in the same sorts of standards as UL and
    similar safety/environmental regulatory groups or agencies. It is
    concerned primarily with RF emission and susceptibility limits, which UL
    in turn doesn't address at all. UL compliance is technically NOT
    a legal requirement for selling products in the U.S., but it is a de-facto
    one for the exact reason that Kevin mentioned - UL certification or
    recognition goes a long way toward reducing potential liability. UL
    recognition also often becomes, effectively, a legal requirement with
    respect to sales to the government or military itself, and as such it is
    generally simplest/best simply to get any US-bound product blessed
    by UL.

    There are some other US government agencies that get involved with
    electronic product standards as well, specifically the DHHS (X-ray
    standards, for example) or the EPA (the "Energy Star" program), but
    again these really don't overlap with the work of UL.

    Bob M.
     
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