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STANDARDS

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Register an Appeal

UL's Appeals Process provides participants in the consensus process who have continuing objections the right to register an appeal.

Filing an Appeal

Objectors are informed of their right to appeal during the recirculation process, which means they have 2 - 4 weeks to file an appeal depending on the length of the recirculation. A fee of $1000 will be charged for processing an appeal request if an appeals hearing is granted. When notified that an objector wishes to appeal, the STP Project Manager will acknowledge the request generally within 5 working days. If the appellant provides all of the documentation to support the appeal, the STP Chair shall assign someone to develop the response to the appeal. If the appellant does not provide the necessary documentation, the Project Manager will contact the appellant and give three weeks to provide the necessary documentation. When the information is received, the rebuttal will be prepared by the person(s) designated by the STP Chair. The rebuttal from the defendant should be submitted to the STP Chair in three weeks. The STP Chair will send the appellant's and defendant's documentation to the Appeal's Panel Secretary.

Extension

Upon request, the appellant and/or the person(s) preparing the response can be granted a two week extension.

Appeals Panel

A standing Appeals Panel representing a variety of interests exists to hear all appeals, with a majority in attendance to hear an appeal. If neither the Chair of the Appeals Panel nor the Vice Chair of the Appeals Panel is in attendance at a scheduled hearing, then another person from the Appeals Panel will be named as a temporary Appeals Panel Chair. The appellant will be given the opportunity to claim a conflict of interest for any Appeals Panel member. The reason for the appellant's claim of conflict of interest and the involved Appeals Panel member's response will be reviewed by the Appeals Panel Chair for a decision on the merits of the claim. UL and UL Environment staff shall not serve as a member of the Appeals Panel, but a staff member will act as the Appeals Panel Secretary.

Types of Appeals

There are two classifications of Appeals, administrative appeals and special circumstances appeals. Appeals will be heard only on those two types.

  • Administrative Appeals - Administrative appeals require approval of majority of the appeals panel at hearing.  Administrative appeals are the following:

a)  Procedural issues -  these are issues where it is believed the Approved Regulations were not followed.

b)  Membership issues - these are issues where the STP Chair has accepted or denied membership based on interest    category classification of an application.

  • Special Circumstances Appeals - Special circumstances appeals require approval of two-thirds of the appeals panel at the hearing since these deal with overriding the decision of the STP. (Note that the circumstances described in 4.2 and 4.3 are not appealable to UL's Appeals Panel). Special circumstances appeals are the following:

a)  Safety issues - these are issues where there is overriding concern that publication or non-publication of the proposed requirements will result in a serious safety concern.   Technical issues are not appealable.

b)  Code Conflict issues - these are issues where the STP has not approved a proposal causing the standard to be in conflict with an ANSI recognized installation code or the Code of Federal Regulations. Another issue is where the STP has approved a proposal which would cause conflict with an ANSI recognized installation code or the Code of Federal Regulations.

Handling Appeals Request - The Appeals Panel Secretary will forward the documentation to the Appeals Panel Chair for evaluation of the next steps. The appellant and defendant will be copied on the correspondence for the Appeals Panel Secretary. 

  • Options - The Appeals Panel Chair may (1) dismiss the appeal without a hearing, if the appeals request is not based on an administrative violation, (2) send the request to the whole appeals panel to decide if a hearing is warranted, or (3) grant an appeals hearing.

Inappropriate Appeals

 If an objector does not agree with the Appeals Panel Chair's determination to dismiss the appeal without a hearing, the objector may request that the Appeals Panel determine if the appeal shall be dismissed without a hearing. The Appeals Panel decision whether or not to have a hearing will be determined by a majority vote of those who return a ballot.

 

Handling of Inappropriate Appeals

If an objector does not agree with the Appeals Panel Chair's determination to dismiss the appeal without a hearing, the objector may request that the Appeals Panel determine if the appeal shall be dismissed without a hearing. The Appeals Panel decision whether or not to have a hearing will be determined by a majority vote of those who return a ballot.

Conduct of Appeals Hearing

A senior UL standards staff member not involved in the standard in dispute shall serve as recording secretary. A face to face hearing will be scheduled within 90 days of the decision that an appeals hearing is warranted.  If the parties cannot agree upon a date within those 90 days to hold a face to face meeting, then the hearing shall be conducted by teleconference on the scheduled date and if the appellant is not available for a teleconference, the appeal will be handled by correspondence on that date.

Hearing Procedure

At the hearing, each side will be given 30 minutes (including rebuttal time) to present its case. Each side can have up to three speakers. Other observers may attend but will not be permitted to speak. The appellant presents first, followed by the defendant. At the end of the presentation, the appellant side may use whatever time is remaining of their 30 minutes to rebut the defendant's comments. Following that, the defendant may use whatever time is remaining of their 30 minutes to rebut the appellant comments. Following the presentations and rebuttals, the Appeals Panel is free to ask questions of both parties. Both parties shall limit their replies to just answering the questions.

Decision

After the question and answer period, both parties shall be informed that a written decision will be issued, normally within 30 calendar days. The Appeals Panel will then go into executive session. A majority vote of the Appeals Panel is required to accept an administrative appeal and two-thirds vote of the Appeals Panel is required to accept a special circumstances appeal.

The recording secretary will record the decision of the Appeals Panel, including whether to accept the appeal, the reasons for the decision, any corrective actions that need to be taken, etc. The Appeals Panel decision will be reviewed by the Appeals Panel Chair, the Vice President of Standards, and/or Legal Counsel before it is sent to all involved parties. The Appeals Panel decision is binding and there are no further levels of appeal within UL's Accredited Procedures.

Code of Ethics for Appeals Panel Members