A responsible supplier is a person, company or business that manufactures in-scope electrical equipment (see below) in Australia or New Zealand, or imports in scope electrical equipment into Australia or New Zealand. A responsible supplier must be a legally identifiable Australian or New Zealand entity (i.e. hold an ABN)
The legislation requires all responsible suppliers selling goods into participating jurisdictions to be registered on a national database and must be renewed annually with an annual registration fee payable by responsible suppliers when they register.
Responsible suppliers are to ensure that the details contained on the database are current, and must update their details (i.e. contact person, address, etc) within 30 days of those details changing. Penalties apply if a responsible supplier's details are not up to on the national database.
The legislation requires responsible suppliers to ensure that the electrical equipment they sell meets relevant standards and is electrically safe. Failure to do so could result in significant penalties.
A responsible supplier must make a Responsible Suppliers Declaration when they register on the national database. This is a generic declaration all responsible suppliers make that all electrical equipment they supply is electrically safe and will continue to meet relevant standards and comply with the EESS.
This Declaration will apply to all electrical equipment they sell, but responsible suppliers must also make specific equipment declarations for level 2 and level 3 electrical equipment.
The national database is a key feature of the electrical equipment safety system (EESS). It records the registration details of responsible suppliers of electrical equipment in Australia and New Zealand. This will allow electrical equipment to be easily traced to the supplier and its legal supply in Australia and New Zealand to be verified.
There are three levels of in-scope electrical equipment, with level 3 representing what are presently called prescribed articles.
Suppliers of in-scope electrical equipment who are the second or subsequent supplier of electrical equipment in the participating jurisdictions in the Australian and New Zealand supply chain must source their electrical equipment from a responsible supplier by law.
In-scope electrical equipment
In-scope electrical equipment is low voltage electrical equipment that is:
It is immaterial whether the equipment is also designed or marketed for commercial or industrial purposes.
Prior to sale (in Queensland only at present), in-scope equipment must meet certain requirements. There are proportionate requirements based on the identified risk level of the equipment.
In-scope equipment is broken into three categories, these are:
For further information regarding risk classifications of electrical equipment, please review the Equipment Safety Rules on the ERAC website (http://www.erac.gov.au/).
This list shows level 3 electrical equipment using commonly recognised names. There will be no equipment classified as level 2 until 2014.
Any equipment that is in-scope electrical equipment that is not classified as level 3 or level 2 equipment is level 1 equipment.
Equipment safety rules
The equipment safety rules cover the pre-market component of the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) and apply to the sale of new electrical equipment including sales via the internet. The rules do not cover the sale of second hand goods.
The rules have been developed to ensure a uniform understanding of the EESS including its processes and requirements. The rules give guidance to industry on how to comply with the EESS and ensure electrical equipment is certified in a consistent way.
The rules will be regularly reviewed by the ERAC Equipment Working Group, in consultation with stakeholders, and will be updated as required. Participation in the EESS requires acceptance of these equipment safety rules.
A transparent approval process, including stakeholder input, to review and recommend particular equipment type risk classifications (allowing risk based proportional compliance requirements to reduce the regulatory burden on industry while not reducing safety outcomes).
View the equipment safety rules at the ERAC website.
Thank you to ERAC and the Electrical Safety Office, Queensland for providing this information.