NRCS product test report requirements

Importing products regulated by the National Regulator of Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) requires a Letter of Authority (LOA). Local manufacturers of regulated products also require an LOA to sell the products to the market. LOA applications usually encounter complications if the product test report is non-compliant. This may be expensive and time-consuming to resolve.

Importance of product test reports

The NRCS relies on test reports and certificates from accredited test laboratories to determine product compliance with the relevant South African National Standards (SANS) requirements.

A product test report is a key requirement for an LOA application. It is important to know the basic test report requirements.

This is especially important for importers considering new suppliers. None compliant and fake test reports from some foreign manufacturers do exist and these lead to complications in obtaining an LOA.

Test laboratory accreditation

Accreditation is a means of determining the technical competence of testing and to perform specific types of testing. It ensures laboratories are competent, impartial, independent, and provide reliable product test results.

There are many testing companies or laboratories around the world. However, only test reports from a testing laboratory or company accredited by a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-Operation’s (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Agreement are accepted by NRCS.

Identifying a test report issued by an accredited laboratory

Accredited laboratories typically issue test reports bearing some type of symbol or endorsement indicating their accreditation. For example in the case of China, a test report issued by an accredited laboratory usually bears the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) symbol and the ILAC symbol.

Some test reports do not contain any symbol or endorsement indicating their accreditation. Such cases will need one to ask for the ILAC accreditation certificate.

Test report requirements

The NRCS requires test reports to comply with specific requirements. ILAC accredited laboratories usually comply with the basic NRCS requirements and these are:

  • The heading “test report” should be on the test report.
  • Page numbers and test report number should be on the test report.
  • The name and address of the laboratory and client must be shown.
  • Test and compliance standards used should be in the test report.
  • Test results for each relevant standard should be in the test report.
  • A statement of compliance or non-compliance should be provided.
  • The product being tested must be clearly identified and a statement indicating that the results relate only to the items tested should be provided.
  • Test dates should be indicated and authorization signatures of test laboratory officials should be in the test report.

Checking for the above-mentioned test report requirements early will likely save time and costs when applying for LOA’s. While the above are basic requirements, the test report has to show that the relevant SANS product requirements were tested for.

Need assistance with your LOA application? Contact us on infor@tradesolutions.co.za