WHAT IS THE KC MARK?
The KC (Korea Certification) mark signifies compliance with Korea’s product safety requirements for electrical and electronic equipment and is issued by Korea-based certification bodies that have been approved by the Korea Standards Association. Manufacturers and distributors of electronic goods may apply a KC mark to their goods once they have completed the standard procedure:
Application – The application process involves the submission of an application form and product description. In addition, the manufacturer must obtain a certificate of registration.
Factory inspection – Production equipment and processes are inspected and audited for compliance with applicable safety criteria.
Product testing – The product is tested consistent with the requirements of the applicable safety standard(s).
EMC testing – The product is tested for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and immunity.
Post-certification surveillance – Regular factory inspections and market surveillance are required to verify continued compliance following certification.
WHY IS THE KC MARK IMPORTANT?
South Korea is one of the world’s leading markets for electrical and electronic equipment and devices. Products that do not have KC certification may be denied entry into the country, and manufacturers of non-certified products found on the market could be subject to penalties. Testing your products for compliance with KC certification requirements ensures legal market access to Korea, as well as acceptance by Korean electronic product buyers.
The Korea Certification - KC Mark for all electronic and electrical products.
Economic policy of Republic of Korea 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.
The Korean authority initiated a new KC scheme in 2009 for all electronic and electrical products. As a general rule, electronic and electrical products for the Korean market must fulfill stipulated safety requirements, electromagnetic compatibility testing, and energy efficiency testing to obtain the ‘KC Mark’, a mandatory mark issued by an accredited body.
Mutual Recognition Agreements
Korea Testing Certification (KTC) began in 1970 as an official professional testing research institute in Korea. Now it is one of the country’s best equipped testing centres dedicated to enhancing safety and quality of electronic and electrical products in the market, while being one of the accredited testing centres that comes with the authority to issue the KC Mark. Currently, KTC has 390 employees working in 9 branch offices in Korea.
Intertek and KTC signed an enhanced partnership agreement in March 2014. The partnership, which began over ten years ago in 2001, has enabled customers to obtain the Korea Certification (KC) Mark, facilitating successful product entry into Korea. The partnership enables Intertek Hong Kong to provide customers with efficient and cost effective services. The agreement covers both safety requirement and electromagnetic compatibility testing for electronic and electrical products. In response to the latest product design trend and the increase in popularity of electronic gadgets, this new agreement will also include a new category, Batteries.
The Intertek Hong Kong and KTC partnership allows overseas suppliers and traders of electronic and electrical products to get the samples tested at Intertek Hong Kong, facilitating product entry processes into the Korea market.
This agreement allows Intertek Hong Kong to conduct Safety testing on behalf of KTC. Through this channel, Intertek can help to facilitate the certification process under the Korean law. You do not need to send the samples to Korea for electrical safety testing. Intertek can help you to test your products locally in Hong Kong.
Application to Mark
Now, Intertek Hong Kong 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 KTC. KTC then reviews and issues the Certificate for you. After that, you are authorized to affix the KC Mark to your product. Under the requirement of the regulation, Intertek Hong Kong will conduct annual follow-up inspections to ensure your product continues to be in compliance to the appropriate standards.
Contents of Mark
When labeling the mark onto your product, information list below should also be applied.
Safety Certification Mark with KTC Certification Number
Mark for double insulation appliances
Rate input time if the input period of products is short
Production date (e.g. year and month of the production date or lot number
Phone number or address of service provider in Korea
EMI or EMI/EMS Mark (It is optional, but is recommended if the product has enough space for the marking)