Shaping the Landscape of International Standards

The international landscape of regulatory requirements for POE and POU systems can be very confusing to navigate. It is also one that evolves continuously. Because of the confusion and constant evolution, many manufacturers are interested in clarifying requirements and procedures. I have heard manufacturers wish for a world in which one set of product requirements was accepted globally, as this would significantly minimize confusion, time to market and compliance costs. The results would include improvement to manufacturers’ bottom lines and greater options for consumers worldwide.

FIGURE 1: Global Acceptance of NSF/ANSI Water Standards (as understood by NSF)
Canada 11 of 13 provinces in Canada require accredited certification to NSF/ANSI 61 for products falling under its scope.
Israel SII will accept NSF certification to NSF/ANSI 61.
Norway Has accepted NSF certification to NSF/ANSI 61 in the past for faucets and plumbing products.
Saudi Arabia Has accepted NSF certification documents.
UAE Has accepted NSF certification documents.
Australia NSF certification data accepted by SAI for issuance of its Water Mark.
Brazil Adopted very similar standards to NSF/ANSI Standard 42.
Canada Quebec has adopted the NSF/ANSI standards. A Canadian standard is in draft with the NSF/ANSI standards as the requirement for all performance testing. Certifications from accredited certifiers, including NSF, are accepted by all provinces that have requirements for such products.
China Existing China standards based in part on NSF/ANSI Standard 58. All standards under review with potential for broader harmonization with NSF/ANSI standards. NSF certification accepted as demonstration of foreign approval, a requirement to begin the local approval process. NSF has a Joint Venture in China for product certification and a formal agreement with a local product approval management company.
India Meetings and seminars have taken place several times in India to drive adoption of the NSF/ANSI standards as Indian National Standards. These initiatives continue, as supported both by NSF and by our local clients and their distributors.
Israel Used the NSF/ANSI standards 42, 53, 55 and 58 as the basis for Israel standards.
Korea NSF is the only non-Korean organization whose data is directly accepted by the Korea Water Purifier Industry Cooperative for issuance of their local mark of approval for Korea. NSF and the Korean Ministry of Environment have met many times for review of the NSF standards for their local use and adoption.
Philippines NSF standards being reviewed for adoption as Philippine National Standards through a joint agreement with NSF. Adoption of the NSF standards in the Philippines is expected to influence and potentially lead to similar adoption in many surrounding Southeast Asian countries.
Taiwan NSF standards being adopted through a joint agreement with NSF. Standard 42 is already adopted. Standard 53 is expected to follow NSF/ANSI Standard 58, which is now in draft. NSF has established a lab in Taiwan for performance testing to standards 42, 53 and 58. This lab will principally serve Taiwan, but also China and the Southeast Asian countries.

Recognizing these benefits, NSF Intl. actively pursues the shaping of this landscape by attempting to drive acceptance of the NSF/ANSI standards internationally. In the case of drinking water treatment units, we have been very successful, although certainly not in every country. This effort helps to form the framework around which we can demonstrate acceptance of product performance through common methods of testing.

Figure 1 provides an update regarding acceptance of the NSF/ANSI standards in various countries around the world, as NSF understands it today.

Acceptance of the NSF/ANSI standards is the first step toward acceptance of test data internationally. Acceptance of existing data is the second tier of added value and increased simplification of obtaining international product approvals (see Figure 2).

One way to achieve acceptance of data is through laboratory and certification accreditations that are internationally recognized. Testing and certification organizations accredited by bodies that are signatories to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) facilities can have success with international acceptance of their data. To learn more about ILAC, visit

Other Countries

Despite NSF’s efforts to secure acceptance of the NSF standards internationally, there are obviously many countries in which the NSF/ANSI standards are not accepted. In these cases, NSF strives to assist manufacturers with international approvals on several levels, as can be seen in Figure 3.

Some examples of implementation of these tactics in various countries are identified in Figure 4.

There are many individual contacts that NSF has established over the years, both in the U.S. and worldwide. We draw on these contacts as clients seek our assistance, but we do not currently have formal agreements in place. If activity increases in a specific location, we often will form such relationships to ensure the best customer service and timeliness for manufacturers with these needs.

I would be happy to provide further details regarding product approval requirements or processes in any of the countries referenced in this article, or for any countries I didn’t mention. For those markets in which my own knowledge is limited, NSF would be pleased to do some research using its various contacts. Much of NSF’s success over the years has come from the insight, information, or requests for information by clients and the industry at large regarding global product approvals. We appreciate this flow of information, and believe that together we can help keep each other informed and best positioned to be able to achieve the most cost-effective and timely approvals in markets around the world.

Figure 3: NSF’s Assistance to Manufacturers Seeking Global Approvals
France NSF test data is accepted by CSTB under an exclusive agreement for issuance of the NF Mark to the new CEN standards for POU and POE systems. This is supported by an NSF relationship in France able to issue the ACS approval. Because the CEN standards are European standards, we anticipate the NF Mark and associated testing will find acceptance throughout the European Union.
Germany NSF has local relationships that can deliver material approvals, including the LMBG evaluation.
Japan NSF testing to the Japanese Industrial Standards is accepted as the only foreign data allowed for issuance of the Japan Water Mark. NSF and the Japanese Water Purifier Association are working to develop new, harmonized standards for POU and POE products in Japan.
United Kingdom NSF has a joint venture with WRc-NSF, the organization responsible for issuance of the local water regulatory advisory scheme. NSF manages this approval for clients directly.

Figure 3: NSF’s Assistance to Manufacturers Seeking Global Approvals
  • Track international standards and approval processes to provide information to manufacturers.
  • Facilitate acceptance of the NSF/ANSI standards internationally.
  • Seek acceptance of test data internationally.
  • Provide testing and certification to international standards.
  • Provide “brokering” services to manage global product approvals on behalf of manufacturers.

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About the author

Rick Andrew is the operations manager of the NSF Drinking Water Treatment Units Program. Andrew is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Water Quality Products. He can be reached at 800.NSF.MARK, or by e-mail at [email protected].