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<span style="font-family:Arial, Verdana; font-weight:normal; font-size:0.8em; ">Advertorial:</span><br>International markets: You need competent partners if you want to make it
International markets: You need competent partners if you want to make it
© CSA International
Having an amazing product isn’t always enough to make it in the international marketplace. Market know-how is required as well as, for instance, the right certification mark so that the product meets the respective standards of a country. CSA International has specialized in developing such standards and in making this data available as well as supplying test and certification services.
The company was founded in 1919 as the Canadian Engineering Standards Association (CESA). In 1944 the company name was changed to Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and CSA International founded in 1999. The name thus reflects the objective target to be able to also service customers internationally. Hans-Werner Zeller, Engineering Manager Electronic Products, CSA Europe, describes the corporate structure like this: “There are two main pillars of our organization. One is CSA International, our testing and certification pillar, which is responsible for the service we offer our customers as well as for certifying and testing electronic products. Our other main pillar is the Canadian Standards Association. It is in charge of writing and developing national standards. As a third pillar, CSA Group offers consumer product evaluation through OnSpeX, a business founded in 2004.”
Different countries – different standards
In order to successfully establish a product in different marketplaces, different country-specific guidelines have to be complied with. CSA International helps with this. Zeller explains: “There are different approaches. If it is a medical device for example, it depends on where the customer would like to sell his product – either in a global market or in North America, for instance. If he would like to sell his product to North America, we then take a look at the North American standards, that is to say the Canadian and US-American standards as well as the corresponding regulations. If a company wants to sell to a global market, we can offer our customer a so-called CB Scheme, a certification scheme for the simplified entry into the global market.” The standards required by individual countries may differ considerably: “In the past, these differences were quite apparent, since in North America there were mostly just national standards. Europe, on the other hand, has complied with international standards for a long time already, and especially standards for medical products have been taken into consideration and responded to patient and environmental safety at an early stage. In North America, particular attention was paid to fire protection requirements, which are called “UL Standards” in the U.S.A., which originate in fire insurance. Meanwhile, international standards are complied with increasingly in North America, whereas deviations are being reduced as much as possible. “
Special attention is paid to the safety of patients
Hans-Werner Zeller; © CSA
Generally, stricter standards are applied to medical devices than to conventional household appliances, for instance. The expert for electronic products explains: “The basic conditions for the certification of a medical device are in effect the same as those for a household appliance. One distinction however, and this makes the difference, is that people are being treated with medical devices, which is why patient safety is paid increased attention to stated by these standards – special requirements regarding patient safety are covered by the standards, for example concerning accurate initial values, the patient’s situation as well as dangerous situations and risks which are associated with the use of the product. The safety and well-being of patients thus receives increased attention and consideration. “
To ensure that companies planning to globally market a product are on the safe side, CSA International consultants are always in close contact with their customers. If specific standards have perhaps not been integrated in the development process yet, it is pointed out to the customer. “In these cases”, Zeller says: “we assist our customers and tell them what yet needs to be applied or taken into account during the development phase, so that the product can be successfully marketed.“