In Europe they use IEC and EN standards and you can self declare and apply a CE mark. Obviously you have to have something to back up your declaration.
In the US market Underwriters Labroatories is usually the most widely accepted certification agency. ETL is a competitor of UL but they use UL Standards to evaluate products and grant the use of their mark.
I am very familiar with UL and somewhat familiar with ETL. I am not to up on European requirements. If you can give some basic information on your product I might be able to steer you in the right direction and/or give you some contacts at UL or ETL.
Basically I am considering importing some products that already have CE and ISO 9001 approval but have not been tested by UL or ETL. I am just wondering if I can resell these products in the USA legally. They are electronic HVAC and sensor products.
Third party certification is pretty much optional but can effect sales. From a Liability standpoint you might want it.
ETL is faster than UL but sometimes UL is cheaper. There are a lot of costs associated with maintaining the certification but ETL follow-up services tends to be cheaper but more expensive for the actual test program.
UL has offices in Long Island, Chicago, RTP North Carolina, Santa Clara CA. ETL is all over but I only know teh Totowa NJ office.
If the products are in "Power Limited Circuits" such as powered by a Class 2 transformer or Class 2 power supply the risk of fire and shock is low.
BTW I worked for UL for 12 years but I am not an expert on the types of products you mentioned. I think they might fall under "TIRE" Temperature Indication and Regulation Equipment or just HVAC.
The safety standards are different in addition as to what you mentioned. I forgot who you worked for. I actually just submitted a project to your NY office (actually my boss did since I am busy on other projects).
I used to be an ISO auditor, that has to do with total quality rather then functional product certification. Basically if you like the ISO sample product the real product will more then likely be acceptable too. This also extends into the office and now into human resources. It basically just means they have a plan and they stick to it and an ISO certification company agrees and audits it to ensure the plan is valid and that they do stick to it.
Unfortunately until these newest standards a company didn't technically have to evaulate the customers opinions of the products or services. Basically if the plan had a poor target design they didn't have to change it, obviously outside influences eventually would (sales).