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What is KC Certification (Korea Certification) for South Korea

    1. 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) focuses on prevention and reduction of risks regarding safety, health or impact on the environment. Before 2009 there were 13 different certification systems by different government organizations and some even partially overlapped. In 2009 the government of South Korea decided to introduce the KC Mark Certification and to replace the previous 140 different test marks.

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.

K Standard requirements are often similar to the respective IEC Standards (Standard of International Electrotechnical Commission). Although the IEC Standard is similar, it is important to confirm that the Korean requirements are also met before importing or selling to South Korea.

The KC certification is a so-called manufacturer-based certification, meaning that there is no differentiation between the manufacturer and the applicant. Once the certification process has been completed, it will be the actual manufacturer and factory that appears on the certificate.


KC Certification Label

South Korea is one of the most important and innovative industrial nations in the world. In order to get market access many products that enter the South Korean market are required to be tested and certified.


Here is a brief Video about the KC Mark Certification for product exports to Korea

Presented by Julian Busch, director of Korea Certification – MPR International:

You can also watch this video on our Video Channel.


    1. KC Mark Certification authorities

The “Korean Agency for Technology and Standards” (KATS) is responsible for the KC Certification in South Korea. It is part of the “Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy” (MOTIE). KATS is establishing the regulatory framework for the market launch of different consumer goods to ensure the consumers’ safety. Additionally, they are also responsible for drafting standards and international coordination efforts around standardization.

Products which require a KC Label are required to be checked in accordance with the “Quality Management and Safety Control of Industrial Products Act” and the “Electric Appliances Safety Act”.

There are three main bodies that are accredited as certification bodies and permitted to conduct product tests, factory audits and issue certificates. These are the „Korea Testing and Research Institute“ (KTR), the „Korea Testing Laboratory“ (KTL) and „Korea Testing Certification“ (KTC).


  1. How to get Korea KC Certification for your product – Certification Process:

The process of KC Certification for Korea has several steps.



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


3.1 KC Certification application documents:

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

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.

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.

3.2 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 passed test reports on product safety, which must have been 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:


3.3 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 and together with the certificate number.

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


3.4 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.


  1. KC Mark Certification – FAQ

How do I determine if my product is eligible for Korea Certification?
Please check the list for KC certification mandatory products.
For reliable results, the certification requirement for the product can be checked directly with the Korean authority with technical specifications and other such information.

Do I need to travel to Korea during the KC Certification process?
There is no mandatory need to do so. However, there are advantages to coordinating with the local Korean testing laboratory, as this can optimize product testing procedures, the number of tests necessary, and in the best case, minimize testing costs.

Does the quality manager or anyone else in the company need special training?
There is usually no need for special training if the plant has already been certified according to ISO or similar quality guidelines. If it is not, then the quality manager and his team may need to undergo training.

Further Information:

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