SOURCE: Underwriters Laboratories

April 03, 2007 17:01 ET

UL Announces Agreement With INTECO to Promote National Product Safety Testing and Certification Standards in Costa Rica

NORTHBROOK, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 3, 2007 -- Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Instituto de Normas Tecnicas de Costa Rica (INTECO) announced today an agreement to promote the use of UL Standards for Safety in Costa Rica including development of national standards for product safety testing and certification.

Both parties signed an agreement in a ceremony attended by members of UL and INTECO management as well as Costa Rican government officials. This is the first such agreement announced by UL in support of its global brand and public safety mission. UL expects to announce similar agreements with other national standards bodies that enhance safety standards systems in their respective jurisdictions, supported by formal communication and information exchange criteria.

"Underwriters Laboratories is pleased to join INTECO in advancing our global public safety mission by making UL Standards for Safety more accessible in Costa Rica," said Bob Williams, UL Vice President, Global Standards. "As the national standardization organization in Costa Rica, INTECO officials should be commended for emphasizing the importance of product safety evaluation to UL Standards and adopting protocols to determine which requirements might be best applied within their infrastructure."

Costa Rica's numerous trade agreements have fostered rapid growth of an import-export market for consumer products including electronic components and small appliances which are subject to safety testing and certification. As multinational firms such as Intel, Procter & Gamble, Abbott Laboratories and Baxter Healthcare continue to expand their presence in Costa Rica, it is economically beneficial that the country's national safety standards be globally harmonized by working in conjunction with an international safety testing and certification leader to achieve this important goal.

Additionally, Costa Rica has attained a high standard of living among its Central American neighbors and possesses significant resources including a well-educated consumer base, substantial network of hydroelectric power plants, and a key trade location that offers easy access to North and South American markets with direct ocean routes to the European and Asian continents. Manufacturing and industry's contribution to GDP now exceed agriculture, led by foreign investment in Costa Rica's free trade zone with over half that investment coming from the U.S.

For business inquiries contact: Sonya Bird, International Harmonization Coordinator, UL Global Standards, +1 919-549-1685 or Sonya.M.Bird@us.ul.com.

Details of the UL / INTECO Agreement

The UL-INTECO Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sets forth business practices for both organizations and defines the level of cooperation as follows:

--  Promotes communication between the two organizations;
--  Reduces duplication of work efforts where possible;
--  Increases knowledge of each other's standards development activities;
--  Utilizes the resources of UL to strengthen the Costa Rican national
    standards system; and
--  Promotes the acceptance and use of UL Standards in Costa Rica.
    
In addition, UL has agreed to:
--  Provide INTECO with electronic access to UL's Standards Library for
    internal use;
--  Negotiate terms that will allow INTECO to adopt and distribute UL
    Standards in Costa Rica; and
--  Encourage Costa Rican designees to apply for membership on relevant UL
    standards technical panels (STPs) so they may contribute to the development
    of UL Standards.
    
Further, INTECO has agreed to:
--  Identify specific industry leaders, stakeholders, and technical
    experts to apply for membership on UL STPs;
--  Adopt specific UL standards as the basis of Costa Rican national
    standards and reference UL standards where possible; and
--  Send an annual report to UL on its involvement in UL standards
    development activities.
    
About UL

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for over a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 21 billion UL Marks appearing on 71,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 66 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 104 countries. For more information, visit: www.UL.com.

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