What is the KC Certification for South Korea?

KC certification, or Korea Certification, is a product certification which ensures the conformity of products to Korean safety standards – called K Standards. The KC Certification (KC Mark Korea Certification) is a compulsory safety mark which applies to a range of products imported and sold/used in the Korean Market.

KC Marking for Korea

The KC Mark and the corresponding KC Certificate are similar to the European CE mark and are valid for 730 different products such as automotive parts, machines and many electronic products. This test mark confirms that the product meets the relevant Korean Safety Standard.

The KC Mark Certification covers three product groups:

  1. consumer goods,

  2. children’s products and

  3. electronic products

KC Mark Certification: Consumer Goods

Consumer products which might be harmful to the health or safety of the consumer during their use or through their characteristics, or if they pose a pollution risk to the environment need to get a KC Mark certification.

Example of products which need a KC Korea Certificate for South Korea:

  • Household Appliances (e.g. fridge, dish washer)

  • Audio & Video Devices

  • Scales

  • Fire Extinguishers

  • Glasses Frames

  • Fans

  • Tents

  • Motorcycle helmets

  • High-visibility clothing

Other consumer goods that are required to have the KC Marc include automotive spare parts in the following categories

  • Brake Hoses (FMVSS 106)

  • Seatbelts (UNECE Reg. 16)

  • Headlamps (UNECE Reg. 98, 112, 128)

  • Retro-Reflecting Devices (UNECE Reg. 3)

  • Rear Underrun Protective Devices (UNECE Reg. 58)

  • Replacement Brake Parts (UNECE Reg. 90)

  • Replacement Wheels for Passenger Cars (UNECE Reg. 124)

  • Glass Safety Glazing (UNECE Reg 43)

  • Rear Marking Plates for Heavy and Long Vehicles (UNECE Reg. 70)

  • Retro-Reflecting Materials (UNECE Reg. 70)

  • Warning Triangles (UNECE Reg. 27)

  • Rear Marking Plates for Slow-Moving Vehicles (UNECE Reg. 69)

KC Mark Certification: Toys and other children’s products

Many products that are intended for or used by children under the age of 13 fall under this category. Within the framework of a special regulation from 2015, the Special Children’s Product Safety Act, many products require a certification.

This includes the following products:

  • Toys

  • Textiles for children and babies

  • Children’s chairs

  • School supplies

  • Children’s bicycles

Most of the affected products require at least a KC Safety Confirmation (product tests, but no factory audit). However certain products, for which safety is a major design feature, do require a KC Safety certification, which includes an audit. One example would be child restraint systems. Textiles for children on the other hand usually only need a KC supplier confirmation.

Registration of cosmetics products in South Korea

Pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic products must be examined by the MFDS (Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) and must be accredited by it but are not subject to prior certification.

The Cosmetics Law and the Cosmetics Regulations govern Korea's regulations regarding cosmetic products.

To sell cosmetic products, a notification must be sent by the holder of the Marketing Authorization (MA), the importer of the product, to the Korean Pharmaceuticals Traders Association (KPTA).

In South Korea, cosmetic products are grouped into 3 categories:

  1. Cosmetics: cosmetic products for children (up to 3 years old), bath products, body cleaning products, make-up products, fragrances, deodorants, skin care products, etc.

  2. Functional cosmetic which helps whiten the skin, reduce wrinkles, protect from UV rays, change hair color, remove or nourish hair, correct dryness, cracking or peeling skin etc.

  3. Near-drugs mainly include antiperspirants, toothpastes and oral hygiene products.

Registration of cosmetic products

The “Cosmetic Act” in force in Korea differentiates the registration and notification procedures according to the product category:

  • General cosmetics must be notified to KPTA (Korean Pharmaceuticals Traders Association)

  • Functional cosmetic products must be subject to a request for pre-marketing approval

The KC certification procedure consists of four steps:

  1. The application form needs to be filled, affixing the required documents.

  2. After the submission of the documents and form, a product will be tested by the KC accredited laboratory.

  3. Along with product testing, there would be a factory inspection to inspect the production process.

  4. If a product withstands the KC requirements, KC certification will be obtained.

Detailed Steps of the KC Certification:

  1. Preparation of application documents and application

  2. Registration at the Korean certification authority

  3. Factory Inspection (only for Korea Safety Certificate)

  4. Product Tests in an accredited test lab

  5. Checking of all documents and issuance of the KC Mark Certificate

KC Certification application documents:

The following application documents are needed for the KC Mark Certification:

  • Application Form

  • Business License

  • Complete contact details of the Korean importer and the production plant

  • Product descriptions and/or user manuals (in Korean language)

  • List of critical components

  • KC or CB certificates of critical components

  • Circuit diagrams (only electronic products)

  • Example of the marking

  • If available, CB certificate and test report of the products according to IEC standard

The KC certification application documents are reviewed after submitting. To obtain a KC Mark, it is essential that the products are tested for safety by an internationally recognized testing institute. The tests are performed in accordance with national and international standards.

If CB certificates and test reports according to IEC standards are available for the respective products, the certification and testing process can be simplified and shortened. However, an important requirement is that the CB certificate must include the Korean voltage of 220V (AC) / 60 Hz (for equipment).

In addition, manufacturers of safety products (Type 1) must undergo a factory inspection according to Korean specifications.

After receiving the KC certificate, type 1 KC certification continues to have regular follow-up audits and product testing.

Korea Certification – product tests:

Product tests are required in many cases for product certification for the Korean market to show compliance to Korean K Standards. For Type 1 KC certification, for example, product tests are mandatory for initial certification and also for subsequent follow-ups to maintain the certification status. At the end the manufacturer must be able to present the test reports performed on product safety, which are issued by internationally recognized testing laboratories.

There are three major certification bodies that are accredited and permitted to conduct product tests and audits and issue certificates:

  • Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL)

  • Korea Testing and Research Institute (KTR)

  • Korea Testing and Certification (KTC)

KC Mark Certification – Marking:

If the product has been successfully certified for the South Korean market, the KC Mark certification label is required to be displayed on the product. Depending on the type of certification the KC logo should normally be marked in blue or gold together with the certificate number.

Additionally, it is usually required that certain product information, like model name, manufacturer, and rated voltage (for equipment), are marked on the label as well. The information must be in Korean, while English is optional.

Duration of the certification

For a KC certification that only requires product testing, the process can usually be completed within 3-4 months. This includes the preparation of the application documents, assuming that all required information is available.

Product testing itself takes 1-2 months, depending on how much coordination with the test lab for a specific product is required.

Moreover, under certain conditions the duration can be significantly shortened with the help of a CB certification, because in a best case scenario product tests do not have to be performed again.

For product categories that require a factory audit, the organization of the audit and preparations at the factory will take additional time.

How can we help you?

  • Our KC certification consultants will make sure to provide you with complete assistance in obtaining KC certificate.

  • Our KC certification consultants will assist you in the documentation.

  • Our KC certification consultants will coordinate with KC accredited laboratory for appropriate product testing and ensure proper follow-ups.

  • We will also coordinate with KC certification officials to ensure proper follow-ups and acknowledgment.

  • To allow you to complete the KC requirements, we will make sure to train you to understand them.

  • To complete the factory inspection, you can be sure to follow our experts’ advice.

  • Our experts can review the test report for it to be issued correctly.