Traders should be aware of their obligations under new Electrical Equipment Regulations
July 29, 2016
New Electrical Equipment Regulations (‘the Regulations’), which were signed into law on 29 June 2016, transpose Directive 2014/35/EU relating to the safety of electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits. The Regulations replace the Low Voltage Regulations. The aim of the Regulations is to ensure that electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits and made available on the market is safe to use.
Electrical equipment within the scope of the Regulations include a wide range of consumer and professional products e.g. mobile phone chargers, cables, power supply units, household switches and LED lamps.
If you are making available any electrical equipment that is designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 volts for alternating current and between 75 and 1500 volts for direct current, you must ensure that you comply with the requirements of these Regulations.
The Regulations define “making available on the market” as any supply of electrical equipment for distribution, consumption or use on the market of the European Economic Area (‘the EEA’) in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge.
The Regulations ensure that only safe electrical equipment can be placed on the Irish market and impose certain obligations on manufacturers, importers, distributors and authorised representatives. The aim of these obligations is to ensure that the electrical equipment is compliant during the supply chain process. The main obligations are placed on manufacturers and importers, but the distributors have some limited obligations as well. In particular:
- Manufacturers must ensure that the electrical equipment meets the safety objectives set out in the Regulations. Importers and distributors must ensure that its storage and transport objectives do not jeopardise the safety objectives.
- Manufacturers must prepare a technical file, follow the relevant conformity assessment procedure, draw up the EU declaration of conformity, affix a CE marking and comply with the marking requirements. Importers must ensure manufacturers comply with these requirements.
- Both importers and manufacturers are required to keep available the technical file and declaration of conformity for 10 years.
- Both manufacturers and importers are required to comply with the monitoring (including sample testing), labelling, and safety information requirements under the Regulations.
- Distributors must verify that the equipment bears the CE mark, is accompanied by the required safety information, marking and labelling requirements.
Market surveillance procedures and additional enforcement powers for the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and other national authorities across Europe have also been included to ensure stricter compliance with the requirements of the Low Voltage Directive.
For more information, please contact our Product Safety Unit.
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