The New Korea Certification scheme has been enforced on 1 January 2009 for all electronic and electrical products. The new KC mark will replace the old eK mark.
Under the new scheme, products are categorized into Type 1 and Type 2 products. Type 1 products are those that are considered to pose more danger to consumers, runs under the same standards as the old eK scheme which requires a Safety Certification.
For Type 2 products, it is a new self-regulatory safety confirmation scheme which is for products that are considered to pose a less danger to consumers. Safety and EMI/EMC (if applicable) testings are required without factory inspection and certification but Confirmation Letter of Declaration is needed in place of certification and it will be valid for 5 years.
If your products already have acquired the eK mark before 1 January 2009, you will have 30 June 2011 to comply with the new mark. For products that have changed from Type 1 to Type 2 categories, your certification will be valid till 31 December 2013 but the new KC mark will still need to be applied to your product by 30 June 2011. For all other new products into the market, you will have 1 January 2010 to comply with the new schemes.
After the Asian economic crisis, the economic of Republic of Korea recovered rapidly with rising business and consumer confidence. Economic policy in 2002 was aimed at boosting investor confidence through transparent and consistent restructuring. Many manufacturers and traders are longing for the chance to get their products into Korea Market.
Import Regulation in Korea
For the import regulation, the former government-supervised type approval system was replaced by a new safety certification system overseen by private organizations. The Electric Appliance Safety Control Act was amended (Act 6019, proclaimed on September 7, 1999) to enhance safety control regarding the manufacture and use of electrical appliances and to harmonize safety requirements with international standards. This is to protect the consumers from electric hazards by contemplating about the practicality of the safety administration of the electrical products, to deal with the international era effectively by advancing the safety administration system of the electrical products such as the method of safety standards and procedures of the electrical products, and to help with the difficulty of exporting for the small to medium sized companies. This Electric Appliance Safety Control Act also facilitated the implementation of mutual recognition agreements on conformity assessment.
Mutual Recognition Agreements
Established in 1970, the Korea Electric Testing Institute (KETI) is the National Official Professional Testing Research Institute, which is a well-known reputation organization in Korea in performing testing. It is also a Certification Body which can issue KC or EK Mark Certification for products importing into Korea.
Intertek and Korean Electrical Testing Institute (KETI) has signed a collaboration agreement in October 2001. This agreement allows Intertek Hong Kong to conduct Safety and EMC testing on behalf of KETI. Through this channel, Intertek can help to facilitate the certification process under the Korean Electrical Appliance Safety Control Law. You do not need to send the samples to Korea for testing. Intertek can help you to test your products locally in Hong Kong.
Application to Mark
Now, Intertek can help you to conduct product safety testing to the applicable Korean and/or IEC standards, issues test report and submits all relevant documentation to KETI. KETI then reviews and issues the Certificate for you. After that, you are authorized to affix the KC or EK Mark to your product. Under the requirement of the regulation, Intertek will conduct annual follow-up inspections to ensure your product continues to be in compliance to the appropriate standards.
The KC mark is mandatory for certain types of electrical products in Korea.
This purpose of this mark is to protect consumers from the hazardous aspects of electrical appliances (electric shock, energy hazards, fires, mechanical hazards, thermal hazards, radiation hazards, chemical hazards, etc.)
Electrical Products covered under the KC Mark include:
l Electric Wires and Cords
l Switches for Electrical Appliances
l Capacitors and Filters for Power
l Accessories and Connection Parts for Electrical Appliances
l Parts for the Protection of the Electrical Appliances
l Insulated Transformers
l Electric Appliances
l Audio and Video Application Appliances
l Information Technology Equipment
l Lighting Appliances