Every Responsible Supplier, be it a person, company or business, that manufactures or imports in scope electrical equipment in Australia and New Zealand must ensure that the equipment satisfies the established regulatory framework. This places the obligation of complying with the EESS and liability for any damages caused by non-compliant product on you, the wholesaler or supplier/importer.
Importers and manufacturers must also ensure that their appliances meet all safety obligations. For example, a gas water heater that needs an electrical supply would need to meet the requirements of the EESS and gas safety requirements (www.gtrc.gov.au). Failure to comply could result in significant penalties.
The relevant state body determine non-compliance and the appropriate action required based on evidence and circumstance. A variety of factors are considered including:
A warning or improvement notice will outline:
This may be accompanied with advice to cease sale and a follow up audit may be made to monitor compliance and any remedial action required. If remedial action is not taken enforcement may be escalated to ensure protection of the public and their property.
An infringement notice will outline:
The relevant state body may take prosecution action rather than issue an infringement notice. The maximum penalty for non-compliance or the breach of electrical safety duty regulation is $4000 for an individual or $8000 for a corporation. If this breach results in death the maximum penalty is $300 000 for an individual or 1.5m for a corporation. The maximum penalty for a breach that results in multiple deaths is $600 000 or 5 years imprisonment for an individual or $3m for a corporation.
If it is determined that a serious safety risk is occurring, or could occur, then a prohibition notice may be issued.
A prohibition notice may:
The aim of recalls is to protect the community from equipment posing electrical safety risks. Recalls are coordinated between ERAC and the Australia Consumer and Competition Commission and the New Zealand Ministry of Consumer Affairs who also have the power to recall any unsafe product.
Who to contact with questions or concerns
For more information on product compliance, or to report a suspected non-compliant or counterfeit product, visit the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) website
For more information on the Australian Standards visit the Standards Australia website