A Guide to Gaining SABS Approval for EMC Emissions and Immunity

By Engaged Expert Greg Kiemel

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Businesses seeking to import or sell products with South African consumers must first gain SABS Approval. This requirement applies to any product that includes components that emit electrical noise, such as electronic circuit boards, motors, drivers, or oscillator clocks.

Below, we explore SABS what you need to know to gain SABS Approval for your products.

What is SABS?

The South African Bureau of Standards, or SABS, is a certification body accredited by South African National Standards, or SANS. The SABS Certification Mark acts as a third-party guarantee of a product’s quality, safety, and reliability, assuring consumers that the product conforms to specifications based on ISO / IEC 17065. 

SABS Certification gives assurance to the purchaser that the product meets the following:

  • Safety (complies with all statutory requirements)
  • Quality and fitness for purpose (meets an appropriate standard)
  • Redress (SABS intervention on behalf of customers)

SABS A-Lab Program

Test laboratories that gain accreditation to perform EMC testing for products targeted at the South African market are part of the SABS A-Lab Program. This program allows test facilities to conduct testing and certify that commercial electrical devices meet requirements for a diverse range of products, including:

  • Household products (including appliances and electric tools)
  • Information technology equipment (ITE)
  • Medical devices (excluding telecommunications equipment operating in the ISM bands mandated by ITU-R)

Element’s EMC laboratories in Brooklyn Park, MN, Irvine, CA, and Hillsboro, OR have successfully completed the program requirements to become part of the A-Lab Program. These labs hold a range of accreditations and approvals including ISO/IEC 17025:2005 from NVLAP, A2LA, approval to ISO 9001:2008, and are a Notified Body against the RED & EMC Directives. 

How to gain SABS approval for EMC emissions and immunity

To earn SABS Approval, a product must be tested against the South African National Standards (SANS). Additionally, the manufacturing facility where the product is produced must also be inspected to determine if it has an adequate quality assurance system. It is important to note each individual product will require its own SABS Approval. If the product meets the specifications of the SANS specific to that category of product, it is awarded the SABS Mark.

SANS specific to each product category

Household products

  • Emissions: SANS 214-1 (CISPR 14-1); 
  • Immunity SANS 14-2 (CISPR 14-2)

Information technology equipment (ITE)

  • Emissions SANS 222 / SANS 2332 (CISPR 22 / CISPR 32)
  • Immunity SANS 224 / SANS 2335 (CISPR 24 / CISPR 35)

Medical devices (excluding telecommunications equipment operating in the ISM bands mandated by ITU-R)

  • Emissions SANS 211 (CISPR 11)
  • Immunity SANS 224 (CISPR 24)

Getting started with SABS approval for your products

To ensure successful SABS testing and approval, start with a consultation with one of Element’s Engaged Experts to help determine which standards are applicable to your product. Our team has over 30 years of experience helping companies meet the EMC standards and regulations of nearly 200 countries around the world. We offer expertise to get your products to market faster—contact us today. 

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