All products that are required to display the STS logo must be certified by a STS accredited test house. The certification process for certifying products to STS compliance is contained in the document "Process for submitting a system for STS compliance testing" found here. The basic steps in obtaining certification are as follows:
- download the test specifications from the STS website
- test your product for complianace to these test specifications
- apply for certification on the STS website
- pay the certification fees once you receive a quotation
- prepare the samples for certification as specified in the STS531-xx set of documents
- select a test house
- send the completed annexures at the end of the test documents, as well as the product manuals to the test house
- ship the samples to the test house
- specify if the samples must be collected by the manufacturer after the test, or destroyed by the test house
Once the test house has performed the certification testing, a recommendation letter will be sent to the STSA secretariat. The STSA secretariat will then issue a cerificate of compliance to the manufacturer if the test was successful.
Note: the test house will not ship samples back to the manufacturer. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to arrange for return shipping, or instruct the test house to destroy the test samples. One sample may be retained by the test house as a gold sample.
Note: the latest edition of the certificatin documents will always be used for certification testing. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that the latest version of these documents is used for pre-certification testing.
Please visit the STS website at www.sts.org.za for more information.
Why do I need to certify products?
Certification of a product is necessary because -
- it gives the manufacturer assurance that his product complies with the requirements as set out in the current IEC specifications for STS compliance
- it allows the manufacturer to place the STS compliance logo on the product
- it allows the manufacturer to ensure compliance with tender requirements should STS complaint product be required
- it ensures interoperability with other STS compliant products
How often must I certify my product?
Once a product is certified, it remains certified for as long as no changes are made to the product, and as long as the manufacturer is still a member of the STSA. If a manufacturer ceases to be a member of the STSA, then only products manufactured up to the time he ceased to be a member are permitted to display the STS logo - any products manufactured subsequent to his membership termination are no longer considered to be STS compliant, even if no changes have been made to the product. If any changes are made to the product, then the product must be re-certified. The latest edition of the certification tests will then be used to certify the product.
What is self-certification?
Self certification is a process by which a manufacturer can certify his own product provided that:
- the product had previously been certified as STS compliant by the STSA
- the manufacturer has made no changes that could affect the STS functionality at all
- there has been no revision to the STS or IEC specifications affecting STS
- the manufacturer takes full responsibility for the product performance and its compliance to the STS and IEC specifications
- payment meters may not be self-certified
The manufacturer can apply for self certification on the STS website. More information on self certification is contained in the STS2100-3 document.
How long does certification take?
This will depend on the test house doing the certification and the backlog of testing, but should typically take two weeks from receipt of the test samples, provided that all documentation supplied with the samples is present and correct.
What happens if the certification fails?
If a product fails certification, it must be updated and re-submitted for testing. A new testing fee will have to be paid (at the discretion of the test house depending on the nature of the changes and how much of the test was completed).
How much does certification cost?
Please visit the STS website at www.sts.org.za to request a quotation since these prices may vary from time to time.
What happens if I have multiple user interfaces for a product - must I certify them all?
The certification process tests a system - i.e. the payment meter or vending system, as well as the user interface. Certification is therfore done on the entire system. If a manufacturer has multiple user interfaces which require certification, then they must all be certified independently, since the payment meter or vending system responses are given on the user interface when testing and therfore require certification.
Where do I get the certification documents?
All the STS531-x certification documents are available form the STS website at www.sts.org.za under the "Services" tab.