Approval of electrical articles

Some electrical articles must be approved by the Commissioner for Fair Trading, or by an authorised external approval scheme, carry the appropriate approval mark and comply with the relevant Australian Standard before being sold in Australia. These electrical articles are known as ‘declared’ articles. Other electrical appliances and equipment, known as ‘non-declared articles’, must comply with the minimum safety requirements contained in Australian Standard AS/NZS 3820:2009.

Declared articles

There are 62 classes of electrical items classified as declared articles which includes dishwashers, hairdryers, room heaters and sewing machines. View or download the explanatory notes relating to the requirements for the sale of electrical articles in NSW (PDF, 718.73 KB) or call 13 32 20 for a copy of the list.

If you are selling declared articles before you receive them, you should:

  • insist that your supplier provides you with a copy of an ‘Australian’ Certificate of Approval
  • confirm that an approval mark appears on the electrical articles and accessories.

Overseas Certificates of Approval and approval marks are not acceptable in Australia. Go to the safe electrical goods - a guide for retailers and importers page for more information.

The majority of Australian Standards applied to electrical articles are based on International (IEC) and European (EN) Standards. Test reports to these standards maybe accepted provided they address Australian deviations.

What do approval marks look like?

Here are examples of legally acceptable ‘electrical safety approval marks’.

Approval Scheme

Approval number or mark

NSW Fair Trading

NSW xxxxx

Other State Government agencies

Q xxxxx,  ESO xxxxx,

V xxxxx, ESV xxxxx,

S xxxxx, T xxxxx

Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM)

 

SAI Global Certification Services Pty Ltd

SAI TE EA xxxxxxx  or

SAI SMK EA xxxxxx   or

SAI-xxxxxx-EA

The Australian Gas Association (AGA)

AGA xxxxxx EA   or

AGA xxxxxx G EA

International Testing and Certification Services Pty Ltd

A/xxxxxx/EA

SGS Systems and Services Certification Pty Ltd

SGSEA xxxxxx   or

SGS-xxxxxx-EA

SAA Approvals Pty Ltd

SAA xxxxxx EA

Testing and Certification Australia

TCA xxxxxx EA

UL International New Zealand Limited

U xxxxxx EA

TUV Rheinland Australia Pty Ltd

TUV xxxxxx EA

BSI Group (Australia and New Zealand) Pty Ltd

BSI-xxxxxx-EA

Global Mark Pty Ltd

GMA-xxxxxx-EA

Market Access (AUS) Pty Ltd trading as Certification Body Australia

CBA xxxxxx   or

CBA-xxxxxx-EA

Australian Safety Approval

ASA-xxxxxx-EA

Conformity Certification Services Pty Ltd

CCS-xxxxxx-EA

What are 'declared articles'?

Below is a list of electrical goods that the law refers to as 'declared articles'.

Accessories
Appliance connectors
Control and conditioning devices
Cord line switches
Fluorescent lamp ballasts and starters
Lampholders – bayonet, edison and adaptors
Miniature overcurrent circuit breakers
Outlet devices
Plugs
Residual current devices (safety switches)
Socket outlets and adaptors
Supply flexible cords
Wall switches

Body appliances
Electric blankets
Flexible heating pads
Hair dryers
Immersion heaters
Massagers
Razors and hairclippers
Waterbed heaters

Household appliances
Bread toasters
Clothes dryers
Dishwashers
Fans
Floor polishers/scrubbers
Heaters
Irons
Jugs
Kitchen machines
Liquid heating appliances (includes rice cookers)
Microwave ovens
Portable cooking appliances (includes blenders and frying pans)
Projectors
Ranges and range hoods
Refrigerators/freezers
Sewing machines
Television receivers
Vacuum cleaners
Washing machines

Outdoor appliances
Fence energisers
Hedge trimmers
Insect electrocutors
Lawn care appliances
Swimming pool and spa equipment

Lighting
Decorative lighting
Inspection headlamps
Portable lamps
Therapeutic lamps
Christmas and festival lights

Power supplies
Battery chargers
Extra low voltage supply

Miscellaneous
Arc welding machines
Power tools
Pressure storage water heaters
Soldering irons

Approval of declared articles

NSW Fair Trading is authorised under the Electrical (Consumer Safety) Act, to certify declared articles for sale in Australia and New Zealand. The Electrical & Gas Unit of NSW Fair Trading Specialist Services completes the work.

The Act also allows a number of private organisations to be recognised under the external approvals scheme. An approval issued by a government or authorised external approval scheme means the declared article can legally be sold in any state of Australia or in New Zealand.

Approval process

Approval is mandatory for declared articles. Approval may be granted for a declared article if it complies with:

  1. the class specification (Australian Standard) associated with the relevant declaring definition, and
  2. any further requirements (eg. product standards) that may be applicable to the model because of its particular design.

An approval application must be made on the appropriate form (EEA1) and include:

  • the application fee
  • evidence of compliance with the relevant requirements
  • comprehensive colour photographs (in some cases a sample of the article may also be sought)
  • a letter of authorisation, when an application is being lodged by an agent on behalf of the approval holder.

Fair Trading can ask for more information. Approvals are usually granted for five years and can be renewed or extended  Approval for hair care articles like hair strengtheners is only for two years.

Modification of model approval

An application for modification must be done if the design, material or construction of a model article is changed.

Application must be made on the appropriate form (EEA1).

Note: The legislation requires that for declared articles, the complete modified article comply with the applicable class standard, including any amendments made since the approval of the original article.

Renewal of approval (including modifications)

Application must be made on the appropriate form (EEA2) and include:

  • the application fee
  • evidence of compliance with the relevant requirements
  • comprehensive colour photographs
  • a letter of authorisation where application is being lodged by an agent on behalf of the approval holder.

The application must be submitted no earlier than two months and no later than one month before the original approval will expire.

Notification of changes in particulars

Written notice should be provided to Fair Trading no later than 21 days if any of the following changes:

  • name of the approval holder
  • model reference code
  • description (including Trade Name marking).

Notification must be made on the appropriate form (EEA3) and include the application fee. A separate form must be completed for each certificate.

Non-declared articles

Voluntary approval can be done for any non-declared electrical articles, which must be safe to use and must comply with minimum safety requirements as set out in the Electricity Safety (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006 and the requirements of selected clauses of Australian and New Zealand standard AS/NZ 3820: 2009 Essential safety requirements for low voltage electrical equipment.

Approval may be granted where it is shown that the article complies with the relevant Australian Standard or product standards as determined by the certifying authority. An approval application must be made on the appropriate form (EEA1), be accompanied by the application fee and the same information as for a declared article.

Investigations

It’s an offence for a person to sell an article that has been declared under the Act as requiring certification if the article has not been approved for sale and marked with that approval.

Fair Trading investigators visit suppliers at regular intervals to inspect electrical goods being sold and can take action to prosecute suppliers selling unapproved, unmarked or non-compliant declared electrical articles. The current maximum penalty under the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 is $825,000 or 2 years imprisonment.

Through the Electrical & Gas Unit of NSW Fair Trading Specialist Services, NSW Fair Trading maintains a proactive investigation, education and enforcement program to detect and prosecute persons who may be selling unapproved declared articles, including the sale of such items online.

 
Next Operating an approval scheme