What certifications are required for USB cables?

Apr 06, 2023

What certifications are required for USB cables?
As a common cable, USB cables are usually used to connect computers and peripheral devices to provide power and data transmission for external devices. So what certifications are required for USB cables?

We know that all certifications are a standard or specification, for the safety of products or the environment, the limitation of the impact on specific things, the health of people or animals, or the standardization of processes

For example, for high-voltage AC power cords, because it involves safety, its plugs and power cords require corresponding certification. Basically, every country has its own standards and certification marks, such as UL in the United States, CSA or cUL in Canada, CCC in China, ISI in India, SAA in Australia, KC in Korea, PSE in Japan, CE in Europe, VDE in Germany, BS or ASTA in Britain

The USB cable is a low-voltage cable, usually 5V to 20V. This voltage will not cause electric shock and is not easy to cause a fire. Therefore, no country mandates that the USB cable must obtain a certain safety certification, which means that USB cables do not have an international certification

Does that mean USB cables don't need any certification at all? Of course not, the following are some certifications that USB cables may involve

1. UL

UL certification is mainly aimed at the cable part of the USB cable. We know that UL is the most complete system for defining and collecting cables in the world, covering from the simplest single electronic wire to
data transmission cable, to complex robot cables and more. Others such as VDE and CCC also define some cables, but they are far less comprehensive than UL, especially for low-voltage cables, basically UL standards are used all over the world.

Since UL only lists two materials, PVC and rubber, all test conditions and parameters are based on these two materials. If the USB cable is made of other materials, such as TPE, TPU, PU, it is not applicable to UL standard. UL requires that the UL certification number and cable specifications be expressed on the surface of the cable, but if the material is TPE, the surface of the cable cannot be printed. The jacket of the Apple mobile phone charging cable is made of thermoplastic elastomer TPE/TPU produced by BASF in Germany, and we can see that there is no printing on it.

If the jacket of the USB cable is PVC, then it can be a UL compliant cable, usually UL2725 or UL20276

For USB cable connectors, such as Type A, Type B, Type C, or Mini B, Micro, they do not have corresponding certification requirements

2. CE

CE is an entry-level certification for products entering the European Union, and its requirements are usually not high. Due to the customization of USB cables, there is no standard length or specification, and almost every customer's requirements are different, so CE only defines some items and parameters that need to be tested for USB cables, such as the number of swing
-resistance, EMC, The strength and times of connector insertion and removal, ROHS, etc.

It is easy to obtain CE certification for USB cables. You only need to send the cable samples to a professional testing agency, sign a contract and pay the fee. The fee usually does not exceed 300USD. you will receive a CE certificate after passing the test.

Please note that the CE certificate is only valid for the samples submitted for inspection, not for all USB products of the USB cable manufacturer. Therefore, each CE certificate corresponds to only one fixed specification, that is, the same specification as the sample submitted for inspection.


RoHS is a mandatory standard established by EU legislation. Mainly limit the content of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), hexavalent chromium (Cr6+), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Four substances were added on December 3, 2008, diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), phthalate (2-ethylhexyl ester) (DEHP), butyl benzyl phthalate ( BBP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

Same as CE, ROHS also sends samples to professional testing agencies, and will receive a ROHS certificate after passing the test.

Due to the simple composition of USB materials, it is also acceptable to directly provide the ROHS report of raw materials, including PVC, PE, copper wire, connectors, tin, aluminum foil, etc.

4. EMC & EMS & EMI

The full name of EMC is Electro Magnetic Compatibility, which is a test requirement often mentioned by USB cables.
 The basic definition is "the ability of the equipment to work normally in its electromagnetic environment without causing unacceptable electromagnetic disturbance to anything in the environment". The definition contains two meanings. First, the equipment should be able to operate in a certain electromagnetic environment In order to work normally, that is, the equipment should have a certain electromagnetic immunity (EMS). Secondly, the electromagnetic interference generated by the equipment itself cannot have an excessive impact on other electronic products, that is, electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Please note that this is a test requirement rather than a certification, and this test is usually done when CE certification is obtained. for details please see: https://www.pshinecable.com/article/what-is-emc-emi--ems-.html


USB-IF certification is actually a voluntary mark certification implemented by the USB-IF Association. After obtaining the USB-IF certification, the USB logo can be legally used.

USB cable manufacturers need to pay an annual fee of 4,000 US dollars to apply for a membership of USB-IF. Therefore, not many manufacturers have obtained the USB-IF certification. P-Shine is an official member of USB-IF

6. TID

TID is a Test ID, which is a test number issued by the USB-IF Association. After the product is tested by a third-party laboratory approved by the USB-IF Association, it will be sent to the association for certification, thereby obtaining a Test ID number. The manufacturer can check the test report of the corresponding product on the website of the association through the TID number.

If a USB cable manufacturer wants to obtain a TID number for its USB products, it must first apply to the USB-IF Association to become a member, and only after obtaining the membership can it apply for TID certification.

TID is only valid for samples submitted for inspection, and the test fee is 12000-13000USD per product, so only very commonly used USB cables have a TID. Some of P-Shine's USB cables have TID

If you want one of your custom USB cables to have a TID, it must have a very high volume.

Usually, only some big companies such as Intel and Siemens require that the USB cables they purchase must have a TID. P-Shine is an Intel supplier. Most of the USB cable products on the market do not have TID.

7. FCC & CB & UKCA

If the USB charging cable is sold together with an adapter or other electrical appliances, usually the US will require an FCC certification, and the UK will require a UKCA certification.

FCC and UKCA are mainly aimed at electrical products, that is, relatively complex electronic products that can work alone to achieve certain functions. For electronic components, parts, FCC and UKCA generally do not require their certification. So you'll see an FCC logo on the adapter, but no logo on the USB cable.