Save Time: Know Your UL Type R Authorization Documents

When it comes to designing new Type R UL labels here’s a good tip…

…get started on the authorization documents. Why might you ask? Because hands down, the most common reason printing is delayed on a UL label project, is because the approval is not ready in time. And of course if the labels aren’t ready, then neither is the project.

So when it comes to new labels, the key is to engage your inspector sooner rather than later on this subject. Below are the three documents that can be used to authorize printing. You only need one, so you often choose based on the situation:

  • Stamped Artwork. By this I’m referring to artwork that’s been approved and stamped (example below) by UL’s Label Center. The benefit is that this is about as by the book as it gets. Since UL is approving the artwork, you have their explicit permission that everything is ready to print. On the flip side this is usually the slowest process. Currently the Label Center is running at about 2 weeks for approval, so this isn’t the best bet for tight timelines. Once artwork is stamped for Type R labels, hold onto that document as it will serve as authorization for all repeats (as long as there isn’t change).

Stamps for UL Artwork

  • Listing or Certification Mark data page. Usually this is the quickest way to go, as the documentation is contained within your Follow-Up Service Procedure. Of course that’s assuming you know where your procedure is and have easy access (which isn’t always the case). That said, if this is a brand new product with UL, you likely won’t have a Follow-Up Service Procedure from UL yet, which means no data page.

Listing Mark Data Page and Classification Mark Data Page

  • Notice of Authorization to Apply the UL Mark. If you are working on a brand new project with UL that doesn’t have a Follow-Up Service Procedure, then this will probably be the route you end up going. UL usually issues these temporarily at the beginning of a project. They are typically valid for 90 days, at which point you should have received your procedure, allowing you to use the Data Page option listed above. After the 90-day window, you will need to rely on option 1 or 2 for approval of repeat labels going forward.

If you start talking about approvals for the artwork from day one, it usually results in having one of them being ready at the time of printing. At that should usually make for a quick turn-around time going forward.


Photo “Time” courtesy of JD Baskin. Cropped for size.


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