Certification Standards for All

September 16, 2013

Adoption of standards in Abu Dhabi & around the world

nsf_middle east_product certification
NSF President and CEO Kevan P. Lawlor presents a gift to Dr. Sulaiman Al Jassim, vice president of Zayed University

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region of the globe ranks among the lowest worldwide in terms of availability of renewable freshwater resources per capita. Protecting the limited supply of this vital resource is critical to public health, the environment and the economies of countries in this region. This article will explore the regulatory requirements for Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the adoption and recognition of NSF/ANSI Standard 61 in other markets.

Leading the Way

The expansive building and economic growth in the MENA region requires innovation and protection of the water supply from products that come in contact with or treat drinking water. Abu Dhabi, the area’s leader in water quality and treatment innovation, has established a certification scheme for plumbing fixtures. Incorporated into the certification scheme are standards used by other major economies, including NSF/ANSI 61.

The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) was established by law and is a government entity consisting of a council of regulators that ensures the quality of Abu Dhabi infrastructure through certification and compliance with international standards and local requirements. The QCC provides information to regulators, stakeholders and consumers to ensure products in the Abu Dhabi marketplace are safe and meet its requirements.

A New Certification Scheme

The QCC requires products to undergo testing by the appropriate accredited laboratory, as well as maintain certification to its standard by an accredited certification body. NSF Intl.’s newest regional office, located in Abu Dhabi, is able to assist manufacturers in meeting their testing, auditing and certification needs.

NSF Middle East will provide auditing and product certification services for the water and food industries, as well as quality and environmental management systems certification.
The QCC worked closely with NSF to adopt Standard 61. The scheme requires testing and certification to NSF/ANSI 61 for:

  • Kitchen faucets;
  • Residential bathroom faucets; and
  • Public/commercial bathroom faucets.

These products must maintain certification to NSF/ANSI 61, demonstrating conformance to the scheme requirements to be registered with the QCC.  

Certification Around the World

The QCC’s adoption of NSF/ANSI 61 increases the number of countries that have either adopted or recognized the NSF standards. Adoption and recognition of NSF/ANSI 61 allows manufacturers to comply with local regulations without retesting a certified product.

Some countries require that products sold in the country register with the local ministry of health or equivalent regulatory authority. Product registration with the appropriate country authority is critical to ensuring product acceptance and proof of compliance.  

Markets where the standard is recognized rather than adopted indicate that the local governing authority may have additional requirements beyond NSF/ANSI 61, or that there is a national standard or requirement, but that NSF/ANSI 61 can be accepted as proof of compliance to the national standard/regulation.

These approvals are a welcome addition to help protect the planet’s most precious resource. Staying up to date with the evolving requirements and standards is an ever-present and growing challenge for all manufacturers with products that come into contact with or treat drinking water. NSF recognizes this challenge and can offer manufacturers assistance with this undertaking. The NSF Passport program offers many approvals for economies outside of North America and can help manufacturers understand the specific regulatory requirements for their products, as well as how to obtain and maintain compliance.

Laura Moorman is business unit manager for the NSF Passport Program. Moorman can be reached at moorman@nsf.org.

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