For a product to be listed on the SA Watermark register, evidence must be presented to confirm that the product complies to it’s relevant national standard. This means that products must comply to South African National Standards (SANS)[i].

Evidence of compliance can either be a test report or a valid product certification:

Test Reports: When a product is submitted to a test laboratory, the laboratory will test the product to confirm if it complies with 100% of the requirements of its’ SANS standard. The laboratory will then produce a report confirming compliance.

This report refers only to the sample that was submitted to the laboratory for testing. The report does not imply that the products manufactured would also comply with the requirements.

A test report can therefore be regarded as a confirmation of the product design. It also confirms that it is possible to manufacture a product of that design.

All test reports must carry a valid accreditation, or the test laboratory must be listed as an approved service provider for the SAWatermark. See “Accreditation” for details.

Product Certification: Certification is when a 3rd party verifies that a product complies to its’ relevant SANS[1] standard. In simplified terms, it means that the 3rd party firstly verified the product design by means of a test report (see above) and also does regular audits on the manufacturing process.

For the SA Watermark either a recent test report or a current certification will be accepted as evidence that the product design complies to the relevant national standard. The test report must be produced by a national or International test laboratory for these tests. The test report may also be issued by a test laboratory that is audited by the SA Watermark and appears on the list of SA Watermark approved laboratories. (This allows for a much wider scope of laboratories to be used by the industry, without compromising integrity and is fully aligned with international best practice.

To verify continuous production the SA Watermark will either accept a current certification, or SA Watermark will perform regular audits on the factory. The organisation administering the certification must be accredited nationally or internationally for such certification.

Any product certification scheme must be accredited. See “Accreditation” for details.


[1] Certification can confirm compliance to other standards as well, but for the purposes of the SAWatermark only compliance to SANS standards are considered.


[i] For a small number of products, the South African regulations require that the product must comply to a different international standard. When this document refers to SANS standards it includes these international standards because they are mandated through SANS standards.