CSA International, a leading certification and testing organization for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products, and NSF International, a leading provider of product certification and safety audits for the food and water industries, have announced a new information sharing agreement that will make it easier, faster, and more efficient for plumbing product manufacturers to certify products for market.
The agreement, signed on Jan. 27, 2004, is effective immediately and is scheduled to remain in force for a period of two years.
"CSA is leading the drive to help businesses take products to market efficiently, while maximizing profitability and maintaining safety and quality, and we welcome the opportunity to work closely with organizations such as NSF to help achieve this important goal," said Rob Griffin, president and CEO, CSA Group.
"NSF International is pleased to be working more closely with CSA, facilitating market access for our mutual clients," said Kevan Lawlor, president and CEO of NSF. "Our goal is to reduce trade barriers and duplicity for our clients. While NSF has accepted test data from CSA previously, this agreement formalizes the process for both organizations, enabling us to be more responsive to customer requests."
All CSA- and NSF-certified plumbing products and water treatment units are covered by the new agreement. Manufacturers will be spared duplicate product testing, as the CSA and NSF agreement will now allow for a review of each other's relevant test data for use in product evaluation. The agreement also includes guidelines that will enable CSA and NSF to share customer information while preserving confidentiality. Both CSA and NSF will continue to serve manufacturers independently and issue their own certification marks.
"The agreement is a positive first step in reacting to industry concerns about the unnecessary duplication of product testing, auditing and certification," Barbara Higgens, executive director of the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI) commented. "It attempts to reduce some of the red tape manufacturers must fight through to get their products certified in the U.S. and Canada. Unfortunately, the agreement doesn't solve this problem, and it is hoped that CSA, NSF and the other product certifiers continue to identify opportunities to work together to completely eliminate the costly certification-related redundancies that persist."