Good Day All,


I have come across a large amount of rumour/misinformation about the upcoming regulation implementations and how they are being interpreted. Please see below breakdown of the upcoming PFD regulation change.


CSA Bylaws Regarding PFDs


PFDs must meet ALL of the bylaws in order for them to be used at CSA sanctioned events

  • The PFD must conform to EN ISO 12402-5 ({Level 50})
  • It must be able to float a weight of 6.15kgs.
  • It must carry the appropriate labelling.
  • It must be in sound condition.
  • It must not be loose fitting
  • Shape and design of the jacket must allow freedom to twist and lean the torso.


Minimum ISO Approved Standard:

  • As at the 26th January 2020 the minimum standard for all PFDs worn at CSA Sanctioned events is the ISO 12402-5 ({Level 50}) standard.
  • There is a SANS equivalent, SANS 12402-5, that is recognised as equal to the ISO standard by SAMSA
  • Any locally manufactured PFDs that bear this SANS 12402-5 code on their label will also be allowed at the above mentioned events.


The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS)

  • They control the regulation of fair trade in South Africa for the the use of items like PFDs
  • There has been mention in the past that the PFDs need to be NRCS registered too.
  • You might notice that some locally manufactured PFDs will display this number while those that are manufactured internationally don’t.
  • It is a requirement that companies manufacturing and retailing products that fall within the specified areas stated above are registered with the NRCS and conform to Fair Trade Regulations
  • It is currently NOT a CSA requirement that PFDs display a NRCS registration code in order to use at CSA Sanctioned events


Code Explained:


The code is broken up into 3 key sections. All three sections must be displayed on the PFD label.

  1. Prefix – Testing Standard
    1. ISO – International Organization for Standardization
    2. SANS – South African National Standard
  2. Main Number – Category of item
    1. What is the items intended use
  1. Suffix – Grading within that specific category
    1. The lower the number the higher the grading within the category.
    2. If someone uses a PFD rated 12402-4 they will still be permitted. If the rating is 12402-6 they will not be permitted to use it.


CSA’s Application of these regulations:

  • CSA and the respective event organisers have the responsibility to ensure that these regulations are upheld at all CSA sanctioned events.
  • The only way that this can be done is to ensure that all PFDs used have the correct standard displayed on the label of each PFD used irrespective of brand.
  • Below are examples of what the label should look like and the key aspects to note:
    • Mocke PFD Label – Note NRCS Number displayed:
    • PEAK UK PFD Label: Note no NRCS Number



  • CSA promotes fair trade within the South African Paddling community, however, CSA does not endorse any single brand.
  • CSA is NOT the authorising body of the regulations.
  • CSA can not and will not police the legalities of what makes a PFD conform to the ISO/SANS specifications.
  • Should anyone have concerns about the legalities of the standard or sale of a PFD, they need to report this to the applicable authority directly and not through CSA.
  • We recommend you contact your local suppliers to find out what approved PFDs are available.
  • Please don’t leave this to the last minute as stocks will surely be in demand over the next couple of months.


Kind Regards

Clive Whitton

CSA Safety Officer