The Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) is the peak body of electrical safety regulators in Australia and New Zealand. ERAC acts to ensure electrical safety regulatory systems are contemporary and harmonised wherever possible.
A number of emerging challenges and problems with the electrical equipment safety systems across Australia and New Zealand led ERAC to commission an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive review in 2007. As a result of the review, a number of recommendations were made to improve and harmonise electrical equipment safety. This has resulted in the electrical equipment safety system (EESS).
The EESS has now have been implemented by several ERAC member jurisdictions and all ERAC member jurisdictions are currently, and collectively, working through implementation issues to create national harmonised electrical equipment safety requirements. This is occurring through an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) process, where each member jurisdiction has representation.
The EESS has the following features in relation to “in-scope” electrical equipment:
- Nationally consistent, electrical equipment safety legislation throughout Australia and New Zealand that will greatly increase consumer safety.
- A National Database where all suppliers and certain types of equipment must be registered prior to being offered for sale. This will allow equipment to be easily traced to its supplier and act as a gateway to the legal supply of electrical equipment in Australia and New Zealand.
- Risk based classification of equipment into 3 levels (Level 3, Level 2 and Level 1) with different requirements for each level.
- A self-funding, user-pays system where registration fees fund improved compliance, surveillance and post-market enforcement activities.
- Registration of a ‘Responsible Supplier’, who is a manufacturer or importer of in-scope electrical equipment and who is a legal entity in Australia or New Zealand, has the onus of responsibility for ensuring the safety of the electrical equipment they sell.
- Technical safety requirements have not changed under the EESS, but tighter evidence of conformity is required for some items.
The EESS National Registration Database has recently been updated to improve system functions as well as to address known issues.
The updated includes the following features:
1) Shopping cart will no longer clear when a payment fails.
Based on feedback from users processing multiple equipment registrations, in situation where the database timed out, or a failed payment occurred, when users returned to their shopping cart it was cleared. This error has now been addressed and the shopping cart will not automatically clear.
2) Notifications sent via the system will be stored and viewable
The notification section of the database has been re-designed so that emails to users sent via the database are stored and viewable. This includes the initial registration email for responsible suppliers.
3) Improved payment process
In situations where the database times out during the payment process, or another error occurs which results in a payment error, the database administrator has the ability to manually push forward applications for responsible supplier and for equipment registration.
Once an application is manually processed, the user will receive an email alerting them of the successful registration, including user names and passwords for the responsible supplier registration. For more information regarding the push forward function, please contact the ERAC Secretariat via the contact us page.
4) Equipment Registration Extension
The equipment registration period will not commence until the transitional phase of the EESS has ended. However, equipment registrations can still expire if:
- The linked Responsible Supplier expires; or
- The linked equipment certificate expires.
Users may start to receive emails advising that their equipment registrations have expired, or are about to expire. In most cases this is due to the equipment certificate expiring. The Equipment Registration Extension allows for equipment registrations to be transferred to a renewed certificate number. The database will automatically allocate any remaining equipment registration time without a new registration fee.
It should be noted, if the responsible supplier is not the certificate holder, the responsible supplier is advised to contact the certificate holder to obtain information for the certificate renewal. Initial rollout will have emails sent to all responsible suppliers if their registration has expired (or is within 90 days of certificate expiry). After that, responsible suppliers will receive a notification email 90 days before the certificates will expire.