Electrical Safety

Approval of Electrical Equipment : NS Labour and Advanced Education, Building and Equipment Safety

Electrical Bulletin 2003-04

From: David MacLeod, C.E.I, P.Eng., Chief Electrical Inspector
Date: November 17, 2003

Subject: Approval of Electrical Equipment

Per the Nova Scotia Electrical Code Regulations no corporation, company, or person shall sell, have for sale, display, rent, lease, advertise, install or use any electrical device, appliance or equipment unless it is certified as approved equipment, as defined in the Code, by a certification organization acceptable to the Chief Electrical Inspector. ( See note 1 )

The following certification organizations are acceptable to the Chief Electrical Inspector to approve electrical equipment for Nova Scotia.

All products must have the certification mark as shown below directly on the product.

Acceptable Certification Organizations To Approve Electrical Equipment For Nova Scotia And Their Certification Marks

1. Canadian Standards Association ( CSA )
  Telephone: (416) 747-2515
  Web Site: http://www.csa-international.org
2. Entela
  Telephone: (616) 247-0515
  Web Site: http://www.entela.com
3. Intertek Testing Services
  Telephone: (607) 753-6711
  Web Site: http://www.etlsemko.com
Intertek Testing Services Intertek Testing Services Intertek Testing Services
4. Underwriters Laboratories of Canada ( ULC )
  Telephone: (416) 757-3611
  Web Site: http://www.ulc.ca
  Underwriters Laboratories of Canada  
5. Underwriters Laboratories Inc. ( UL )
  Telephone: (847) 272-8800
  Web Site: http://www.ul.com
6. Met Laboratories Inc. ( MET )
  Telephone: (410) 354-3300
  Web Site: http://www.metlabs.com
7. TUV Rheinland of North America
  Telephone: (203) 426-0888
  Web Site: http://www.us.tuv.com
8. Quality Auditing Institute ( QAI )
  Telephone: (604) 461-8378
  Web Site: http://www.qai.org
9. TUV America Inc.
  Telephone: (978) 739-7000
  Web Site: http://www.tuvamerica.com


1.  Non certified electrical equipment or improperly marked electrical equipment may be ordered disconnected by the Chief Electrical Inspector or the electrical inspection department and the Chief Electrical Inspector may order the removal of any electrical item from the shelves of any store or premise and order the store or person to discontinue with the sale of that item.

Failure to comply with an order may result in a summary conviction ( ie. a fine ).

2.  As indicated in many of the certification marks a small " c " is shown at the eight o'clock position, except the CSA mark with NRTL, without the small " c " as shown the item is not acceptable in Nova Scotia. The small " c " indicates that the equipment has been certified to a Canadian Standard.

Some marks may or may not have the US as shown in some instances at the four o'clock position. Only the " c " identifier is required where indicated.

The certification mark must be directly on the product not just the packaging, wrapping or box etc. The mark will generally have other information such as an identification number, date and a verbal description of the item, not just the mark itself.

In some instances the mark is a label, sticker or decal applied to the item, sometimes the mark is moulded, cast or stamped into the item and in many instances items manufactured in China and certified by cUL the certification mark is a holographic type mark.

Certification marks are only valid on products within the subject areas for which the certification organization has been accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to approve.

3.  Special approval of electrical equipment ( Special Inspections / Field Evaluations )

One of a kind, foreign or field modified electrical equipment( USA or overseas) that is intended to be installed and used at a site must bear one of the above certification marks with the small " c " .

Where the equipment does not have the proper certification a special inspection may be allowed in limited quantities and with restrictions to provide proper approval and may be obtained through either CSA or QPS/Entela. In no instance shall a special inspection be permitted where the equipment is to be used in a location as defined in sections 18,20 or 24 of the Canadian Electrical Code, only full certification by one of the listed organizations above is acceptable with the small " c ". The contacts for those who are approved by the Chief Electrical Inspector to perform special inspections on electrical equipment for Nova Scotia are:

  • CSA - Fred Cormier - Dieppe, New Brunswick
    Phone: 1-506-388-3600
  • QPS/Entela - Phil Weeden - Fall River, Nova Scotia
    Phone: 1-902-860-1619
  • QPS/Entela - Mike McGraw- Moncton, New Brunswick
    Phone: 1-506-858-7880

4.  Where existing electrical equipment is modified such as switchboards, motor control centres, panels etc. a special inspection is required and a letter from the manufacturer of the equipment indicating that any proposed changes to the equipment does not affect the safe operation of the equipment, intent or purpose of the equipment and that the withstand or mechanical strength of the equipment has not been effected and that modifications generally comply with the applicable CSA Part 2 design standard for that equipment.

5.  The Chief Electrical Inspector has the final approval, within provincial jurisdiction, as to whether any electrical item is acceptable for use, installation or sale etc. in Nova Scotia.

6.  Any fuel type appliance with associated electrical components that has no acceptable certification requires a special inspection before it can be used and prior approval is required from the NS Chief Inspector of Fuel Safety prior to obtaining that special inspection.

Any questions regarding this bulletin may be forwarded to the Provincial Chief Electrical Inspector, David MacLeod, P.Eng. at 902-424-8018 or email: macleodd@gov.ns.ca