Exploring the Common Certification Requirements for Electronics Design

By: Dan Cooper

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Electronics Design

Creating a new electronics product involves various stages such as market research, preparing specifications, development, testing, manufacturing, and launching. Besides, there is one more phase that is a vital and challenging one – obtaining certification requirements for electronics design. This phase influences every activity of the development process.

There are different types of regulatory certification requirements. Which of them should your electronics product comply with? It depends on the country and industry where you plan to market your product and the peculiarities of the electronics design.

Every country has its own requirements for electronics products, however, they have common characteristics that don’t vary much. 

Let’s explore 5 types of certification standards and learn in which cases you will need them.

Federal Communications Commission – FCC

This certification standard applies to electronics products that work at the frequency of 9kHz or higher and is required in the USA. Therefore, all the devices that emit and transmit RF energy must comply with the federal regulation FCC part 15, FCC.

This regulation ensures that the devices produced or manufactured in the USA may not cause a harmful amount of electromagnetic interference.

In so doing, you need to fulfil this certification if you plan to sell your electronics product in the USA and your electronics design is based on the frequency of 9 kHz or higher.

UL (Underwriters Laboratory) certification

This certification ensures that your electronics design provides users with electrical safety and that your product is not flammable. UL is required in the USA and Canada. It applies only to devices that plug into an AC outlet.

UL certification includes several standards, and the most common of them are:

  • UL60950 applies to information technology hardware;
  • UL60601 is required if you are developing and marketing a medical device or equipment;
  • UL94-V0 applies to electronics product’s enclosure;
  • UL1642 is needed when your electronics design contains Li-Ion batteries.

CSA (Canadian Standards Association) can be a substitute of UL certification and CSA is also used in the USA and Canada.

CE (Conformité Européenne) Marking

CE certification is necessary if you are going to market your electronics product in Europe. It combines requirements of UL and FCC certifications and ensures that your electronics design is developed according to the environmental, safety, and health standards in Europe.

RoHS certification

RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances and is known as Directive 2002/95/EC. It is valid in the European Union and the state of California. If an electronics product is marked with RoHS, it means that it doesn’t include lead, Cadmium, Mercury, or other dangerous elements.

This is one of the most cost-effective certifications, and it is easy to comply with. Here is a useful piece of advice: you can select pre-certified and/or lead-free components and materials for your electronics design to make sure your product is harmless.


This is a list of the common certifications that apply to most of electronics products. It is of extreme importance that you plan for certification and country to market your product in advance. However, you’d better not to certify your electronics design too early since you may have to retest your product, and it will cause additional costs.

Besides, make sure you have all the necessary documentation ready. Some certifications require a full package of documents, including manuals and sales materials. Check out more case studies and electronic design services for enterprise companies, research centers, and innovative startups.

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