OSHA Raising Testing Labs' Fees Significantly

The final rule taking effect March 28 affects 15 Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs). After the full increase is phased in over three years, OSHA's base rate will have risen by almost 132 percent.

The fees OSHA charges Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) are going up, effective March 28. A final rule published by the agency takes effect on that date, affecting 15 NRTLs that operate 49 sites in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Far East. Fees are rising steeply: After the full increase is phased in over three years, OSHA's base rate will have risen by almost 132 percent, from $63.80 (in effect since Feb. 15, 2007) to $147.90.

At that time, OSHA's estimated total annual fee collections will be $1,096,000, according to the rule.

OSHA began charging fees in 2000 and has revised the fee schedule twice, in 2002 and 2007. OSHA's rule said the fee structure in place before these changes "only allowed recovery of about half of the allowable reimbursable costs of the NRTL Program. For example, the prior approach did not recover the costs of the ancillary activities that are necessary to the program's functioning."

The services for which fees are charged include processing of applications for initial recognition as an NRTL and annual audits.

The new fees are being phased in because OSHA's revised approach results in such a large increase for existing NRTLs and pending NRTL applicants, the rule states. OSHA is revising language in 29 CFR 1910.7(f) -- the rule implementing the NRTL fee structure -- to clarify the cost basis for the fees, and it will now require advance payment of all NRTL fees.

The 15 NRTLs and their number of sites are:

  • Canadian Standards Association -- 6
  • Communication Certification Laboratory, Inc. -- 1
  • Curtis-Straus LLC -- 1
  • FM Global Technologies LLC -- 2
  • Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. -- 13
  • MET Laboratories, Inc. -- 1
  • National Technical Systems, Inc. -- 1
  • NSF International -- 1
  • SGS U.S. Testing Co., Inc. -- 1
  • Southwest Research Institute -- 1
  • TUV America, Inc. -- 3
  • TUV Product Services GmbH -- 1
  • TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc. -- 1
  • Underwriters Laboratories Inc. -- 15
  • Wyle Laboratories, Inc. -- 1

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