Canada

NRCan Proposes Decoupling ENERGY STAR Specs from its Energy Efficiency Regulations

by admin on Feb.19, 2013, under Canada, ENERGY STAR

Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) ENERGY STAR Initiative is considering significant changes in how products manufactured and/or sold in Canada are qualified and listed. 

NRCan proposes to de-couple Canada’s ENERGY STAR technical specifications from its Energy Efficiency Regulations.  NRCan intends to use the ENERGY STAR technical specification published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exclusively for ALL product categories (except fenestration products).  A one month commentary period revealed that the harmonization of technical specifications with the EPA was not an issue for the majority of Canadian manufacturers.

This change, however, will result in other changes:  using the EPA’s specification could result in manufacturers using test procedures which, at any given time, may not be identical to those used for Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, for regulated products.  As such, NRCan will not be collecting data from manufacturers’ EERs to auto-qualify their products for ENERGY STAR designation.

Analysis by NRCan reveals that this decision will only impact a small subset of manufacturers who sell regulated products in Canada only – and for the most part, only for those product categories whose ENERGY STAR specification’s test procedure differs significantly from the one required in Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations.  These manufacturers may be required to pay for additional testing, in order to fulfill reporting obligations to both NRCan and the EPA.

Not changing: Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations stipulate that all prescribed energy-using products, imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada, must bear an energy efficiency verification mark authorized by a certification body accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.  (See MET’s energy efficiency verification mark here).  The dealer of the energy-using product must ensure that an energy efficiency report is filed with NRCan for models available for sale or lease in Canada.

At the time that the ENERGY STAR Initiative was introduced into Canada in 2001, NRCan chose to set its own efficiency levels and testing procedures for some products subject to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, in order to harmonize them with those required for the Regulations.  As such, ENERGY STAR qualification was automatically given to products which met the higher efficiency level required by the Canadian ENERGY STAR specification (harmonized with NRCan’s Regulations).  Manufacturers wishing to designate products as ENERGY STAR qualified simply filled out voluntary fields in their EERs, and if their product met the specified level set by a database filter, they were listed as such.

Since that time, the number of product categories eligible for ENERGY STAR recognition has doubled, the frequency of technical specification updates or revisions has doubled, and NRCan has found that the efficiency levels of ENERGY STAR specifications in Canada and the United States are identical, regardless of the units of measure or the test procedures specified.

Products for sale or lease in Canada that are not subject to Energy Efficiency Regulations have always followed the EPA’s certification process in order to achieve ENERGY STAR qualification: 

  • Manufacturers must submit their product for testing to an EPA-approved laboratory
  • Testing results must be validated by an EPA-approved Certification Body (CB)
  • The CB must seek ENERGY STAR designation on behalf of manufacturers whose products they have validated as meeting the EPA’s specifications for ENERGY STAR qualification
  • The product is recognized by the EPA and listed on their Web site

Moving forward, NRCan proposes that the above steps apply to all products which are currently eligible for ENERGY STAR designation in Canada, with the exception of fenestration products and HRVs.  This means that EPA-recognized Certification Bodies must submit data to the EPA on behalf of their clients, for all products that manufacturers wish to be recognized as ENERGY STAR qualified.  It also means that in order to do so, the data must come from an EPA-certified lab.

Comments and questions should be sent to NRCan’s ENERGY STAR Chief Dianna Miller at Dianna.Miller@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca.  Include “ENERGY STAR Canada proposed changes” in your subject line.

MET Labs is an EPA-approved lab and certification bodyGet a quote now.

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For IT Equipment in Canada, ICES-003 Issue 5 Required by August 2013

by admin on Sep.05, 2012, under Canada, EMC

For manufacturers of IT Equipment (ITE) selling in Canada, ICES-003 Issue 5 Information Technology Equipment (ITE) – Limits and Methods of Measurement was published last month by Industry Canada. 

Until August 31, 2013, both Issue 4 and Issue 5 will be accepted.  After that date, only Issue 5 will be accepted.

Existing models in compliance with previous versions of ICES-003 shall remain compliant under requirements of that previous issue, or may adopt the requirements in Issue 5.

There are major changes to the technical requirements in Issue 5.  Following is a summary. 

Reference Standards
Issue 5 references both CISPR22 and ANSI C63.4.  There are different routes of compliance that can be chosen, but once a route is chosen (eg. CISPR22 path or ANSI C63.4 path), that same route must be used to achieve compliance in all requirements. 

Below 1GHz has three routes:

  • Comply with the conducted/radiated emissions limits of CISPR22, while adhering to CISPR22 measurement methods
  • Comply with the conducted/radiated emissions limits listed in ICES-003 Issue 5 while adhering to ANSI C63.4 methods
  • Comply with conducted emissions limits listed in ICES-003 Issue 5, radiated emissions limits of CISPR22, while adhering to ANSI C63.4 methods

Above 1GHz has two routes:

  • Comply with radiated emissions limits of CISPR22 while adhering to CISPR22 measurement methods
  • Comply with radiated emissions limits listed in ICES-003 Issue 5 while adhering to ANSI C63.4 measurement methods

Limits
For AC Power line Conducted Emissions, the limits are harmonized with CISPR22 (Both class A and B).

For Radiated Emissions, the maximum frequency measurement range is harmonized with FCC part 15 subpart B.

For Radiated Emissions <1GHz, the limits are harmonized with FCC part 15 subpart B (Both class A and B).

For Radiated Emissions >1GHz, the limits are harmonized with FCC part 15 subpart B (Both class A and B), but requires measurements with both average and peak detectors.

Labeling
The new ICES-003 compliance label requirement is as follows: CAN ICES-3 (*)/NMB-3(*) where * is A or B

Not all ITE bound for Canada is subject to this standard.  Contact us to determine if ICES-003 is applicable to your equipment. 

Achieve compliance to other EMC standards for markets around the world.

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Health Canada Provides Guidance on IEC 60601-1 3rd Edition Transition

by admin on May.07, 2012, under Canada, Medical, Product Safety

For Medical Electrical Equipment product safety compliance in Canada, Health Canada currently recognizes both the second edition of IEC 60601-1, published in 1988, and the third edition, published in 2005. In October, 2008, Health Canada published a notice indicating that until June 1, 2012, conformity to the second edition of IEC 60601-1 and its related collateral and particular standards would be accepted. After June 1, 2012, conformity to the third edition would be required.

New editions of particular standards (specific to a particular device type and designated as IEC 60601-2-X) harmonized with the third edition of IEC 60601-1 have, in many cases, not yet been published, or have been published only recently, making a full transition to the entire family by the June 1, 2012 deadline impossible.

To address this, on March 22, Health Canada issued Additional Guidance on Transition from the Second to the Third Editions of the IEC 60601 Family of Standards on Health Canada’s List of Recognized Standards.  It states:

  • If there is not a particular standard that is directly applicable to the device as of June 1, 2012, it should conform to IEC 60601-1 3rd edition and its applicable collateral standards (that is, IEC 60601-1-X).
  • If there is a particular standard that is directly applicable to the device and the version that harmonizes with IEC 60601-1 3rd edition was published by IEC before June 1, 2009, then the device should conform to IEC 60601-1 3rd edition and its applicable collateral standards in addition to this particular standard.
  • If there is a particular standard that is directly applicable to the device and the version that harmonizes with IEC 60601-1 3rd edition was published by IEC after June 1, 2009, a three year transition period from the date of publication by IEC will apply. During this transition, Health Canada will accept conformity to both editions and related collateral standards.

These transition rules will not be applied retroactively. If the manufacturer currently holds a license for a device that was tested according to IEC 60601-1 2nd edition, you do not need to submit additional data, unless there is a significant change to the product as defined in the Guidance for the Interpretation of Significant Change of a Medical Device.

Keep in mind that provincial or territorial electrical safety requirements are separate and distinct from the requirements of the Health Canada regulations. For further information regarding these requirements, contact the applicable regulatory authorities. A listing of some of these authorities is available here.

The Health Canada website should be consulted for the most current List of Recognized Standards.

For the 3rd edition implementation schedule for the United States, see this Compliance Today post.

Later this month, MET is hosting a free Medical Equipment Regulatory Compliance Seminar in Texas. It features presentations on 60601-1 for product safety and EMC compliance, as well as CE marking.

For testing and certification to the second or third edition of 60601-1, contact MET Labs.

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CPCA Discusses Intro of a National Certification Mark for Canadian Product Safety

by admin on Oct.22, 2010, under Canada, Product Safety

The Fall General Meeting for the Canadian Process Control Association was held yesterday at Terrace on the Green in Brampton, Ontario. One of the key topics was the forecast for the association. The focus was on Process, Instrumentation, and Automation equipment. The projection for US growth for 2012 is $6.61 Billion. That is a 2.4 percent growth from 2009 which was $6.14 Billion. The projection for the Canadian market was $757 Million for 2012, compared to $711.3 Million for 2009. This reflects a growth of 2.1 percent. Because of the recession in 2008, the market dropped 15% in 2009. By 2012 both the US & Canadian markets are expected to be back to the levels seen in 2005.

The final agenda item was a roundtable discussion with invited Certification Bodies. MET Labs was represented by Kevin Harbarger, V.P. Business Development. Each representative gave a brief presentation about their organization & were then asked to provide helpful hints on how the CPCA members can be better prepared for the submission of product certification. The hot button for the association was the push for a national certification mark for Canadian Product Safety. It was suggested that a Maple Leaf silhouette with the mark of the certification body be the national mark. This received wide approval from the members. It will be very interesting to see if this gains traction.

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