Appliance safety requirements: Australia and New Zealand

Traditionally, electrical equipment safety has been regulated by state and territory governments in Australia, and by the national government in New Zealand. The new Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) is now being introduced to provide greater uniformity. This system, which will be coordinated by the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC), covers low-voltage equipment suitable for household or personal use.

Key aims of this development:

  • to have consistent, performance-based legislation in all jurisdictions
  • to classify equipment as low (Level 1), medium (Level 2) or high (Level 3) risk, with appropriate performance requirements
  • to set up a database of all suppliers and a database of Level 2 and Level 3 equipment
  • to make the first supplier in Australia or New Zealand responsible for compliance.

The scheme will take effect once the state governments have passed appropriate legislation and the relevant AS/NZ standards have been updated. This is likely to be towards the end of 2012 or early in 2013. Equipment produced after this date must carry the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) and the supplier will have to demonstrate that it meets applicable electrical safety standards. Electrical safety approval certificates will need to be provided for Level 3 equipment. Level 2 or 3 equipment must also be registered in the ERAC database. There will be a three-year transition period with respect to the marking requirements. Certain equipment also has to comply with Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) requirements.

In general, the same arrangements apply to electrical equipment for export to New Zealand.

For more information please contact us.

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