If you are manufacturing, importing or selling any electrical equipment that is designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1,000 volts for alternating current and between 75 and 1,500 volts for direct current you should be aware of the new Electrical Equipment Regulations. The purpose of the Regulations is to ensure that electrical items such as mobile phone or laptop chargers, electrical appliances, household switches and power supply units are safe and do not pose a risk to the consumers who use them. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) are the market surveillance authority responsible for the safety of certain electrical goods in Ireland. To help you comply the CCPC has provided some of the main requirements;
A ‘manufacturer’ under the Regulations is any individual or business established in the European Economic Area (EEA) that either manufactures electrical equipment, or who has electrical equipment designed or manufactured, and markets the resulting product under their name or trademark.
Manufacturers must ensure that electrical equipment they place on the market has been designed and manufactured in accordance with the safety objectives referred to in the Regulations,
They must ensure that a conformity assessment is carried out and draw up the technical documentation,
Manufacturers are responsible for affixing a CE mark to the product in accordance with the Regulations,
Ensure that products are accompanied by instructions, safety information and labelling that is in clear and intelligible language.
A ‘distributor’ is any person or business, other than the manufacturer or the importer, who makes electrical equipment available on the market.
The distributor must ensure that the electrical equipment bears a CE marking and that it is accompanied by the required documents, instructions and safety information, and that the manufacturer and importer has provided the correct traceability information,
If requested by the CCPC, distributors must provide all documentation and information necessary to demonstrate the conformity of electrical equipment to the Regulations,
In addition, distributors must co-operate with the CCPC on any action required to remove risks posed by non-compliant electrical equipment.
An ‘importer’ is any individual or business established within the EEA who imports electrical equipment from another country to place on the market.
Importers must ensure that the products they place on the market comply with the Regulations and that the manufacturer has complied with their duties,
The importer must be certain that electrical equipment they supply is stored and transported in conditions that do not jeopardise its compliance with the safety objectives of the Regulations,
The importer may also be required to carry out sample testing of the electrical equipment to ensure that the products do conform to the standards of the Regulations.
Most importantly, if a manufacturer, distributor or importer has reason to believe that products they have placed on the market are not compliant, they must take immediate corrective measures to bring it into conformity, withdraw or recall it and immediately advise the CCPC.
The consequences of breaching the Electrical Equipment Regulations
Where a product is found not to comply with the Regulations and could pose a serious risk to consumers, the CCPC has a number of enforcement powers it can use to address the breach. These include the power to remove and detain electrical equipment, issue a Contravention Notice or a Prohibition Notice and if a trader refuses to cooperate, the CCPC can bring criminal proceedings through the courts. More information about the Regulations can be found on the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s website: ccpc.ie.
The preceding information is not a substitute for legal advice and the CCPC strongly recommends that any trader seek independent legal advice if they are unsure of their obligations.