FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will the new system commence?

A: The new Electrical Equipment Safety System commenced in Queensland on 1 March 2013 and is also in place in Tasmania and Western Australia.  All State and Territory Electrical Regulators (excluding New South Wales) have signed the regulatory impact statement to participate in the new system. All jurisdictions are collectively working through implementation issues to obtain nationally consistent harmonized electrical equipment safety. 

 Responsible Suppliers

 

Q: Who is a Responsible Supplier?

A: A Responsible Supplier is a person, company or business who is an importer or onshore manufacturer of in-scope electrical equipment into the Australian and New Zealand supply chain (first supplier). By law this Responsible Supplier must be an Australian or New Zealand legal entity.  For information on Responsible Suppliers please visit the ERAC website:
http://www.erac.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=102&Itemid=551

 

Q: Where do I go to register as a Responsible Supplier?

A: Registration is available via the links to the Registration Database on the ERAC website. Go to www.erac.gov.au and look for the login or “ First time user? Register here.” You may need to click on the “+” symbol to show all the fields.

  

Q: When will I be able to register as a Responsible Supplier?

A: The registration facility will be available on the ERAC website from 1 March 2013.

 

Q: How do I register as a Responsible Supplier?

A: Registration is conducted via the national registration database.  The registration process is a self declared, user pays system. ERAC has created a user guide for the registration database to help with the process (link).  Once registered, you will be emailed login details which are used to access the system.  From here you can register level 2 and level 3 equipment and voluntarily register details of level 1 equipment you sell.

 

Q: What is a Consultants role?

A: A consultant can become an authorised representative on behalf of a responsible supplier.  The authorised representative can register the level 2 and level 3 equipment (and voluntary detail of level 1 equipment) on behalf of the responsible supplier. It should be noted, a consultant/authorised representative can not register as a responsible supplier on behalf of a company. The user guide contains assistance with this process.

 

Fees for the new Electrical Equipment Safety System

 

Q: What are the fees for a Responsible Supplier?

A: The Annual fee - Registration as Responsible Supplier - $200.00

 

Q: What are the fees for levels of in scope electrical equipment?

A: Registration of type of level 2 or 3 in-scope electrical equipment
- 1 year registration - $75.00
- 2 year registration - $150.00
- 5 year registration - $375.00

 

It is free to list the details of any level 1 in-scope electrical equipment on the database

 

Q: If I am registering with the Australian Communications and Media Authority will there be a fee?

A: There will be no fee to register with the Australian Communications and Media Authority in the new scheme however as an ACMA only user you will not be a registered responsible supplier for compliance to electrical safety legislation and will not have the ability to register any equipment under the Electrical Equipment Safety System.

 

Levels of Equipment and Eligibility

 

Q: What is in-scope electrical equipment?

A: In-scope electrical equipment is low voltage electrical equipment that is rated at:
- Greater than 50 V AC RMS or 120V ripple-free DC (Extra-low voltage); and
- Less than 1000V AC RMS or 1500V ripple-free DC (high voltage); and
- Is designed, or marketed as suitable for household, personal or similar use.

 In other words, in-scope covers electrical equipment found in the domestic environment, and for example, it does not cover heavy industrial machinery, commercial equipment or the like.

For more information please go to the ERAC website: http://www.erac.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=132&Itemid=583

 

Q: What are my requirements for electrical equipment that is not in-scope?

A: Electrical equipment that is not in-scope (i.e. outside the scope of the definition - for example equipment that is not for household, personal or similar use) under the EESS is not required to have a responsible supplier and not required to be registered. However, there is still an obligation that all electrical equipment manufactured, imported and sold must be electrically safe, and generally would be required to show compliance with “AS/NZS3820 Essential safety requirements for electrical equipment.”

Additionally, equipment might still need to meet requirements other than electrical safety requirements set out by other jurisdictions such as the Australian Communications and Media Authority (see www.acma.gov.au).

 

Q: In the Electrical Equipment Safety System, what is different from the previous prescribed/declared and non prescribed /non declared system?

A: there will be three levels of equipment (level 3, level 2, level 1) instead of the previous two levels (declared/prescribed and non-declared/non-prescribed). There will be a system to review classifications and re-classify to the appropriate level for verification of compliance requirements proportional to the risk of the product type.
- Certificates of conformity will be issued for level 3 in-scope electrical equipment; and
- Certificates of suitability may be issued for level 2 or level 1 in-scope electrical equipment.

There will be a requirement to register as a responsible supplier if you manufacture in Australia or import in-scope electrical equipment

There will be a requirement to register level 2 and level 3 in-scope electrical equipment

In-scope electrical equipment will be required to be linked to a responsible supplier and (if level 2 or level 3 equipment) the equipment will be required to be registered.

At the start of the EESS all current prescribed/declared equipment will become level 3 equipment, all non prescribed equipment (which is in-scope) will become level 1 equipment.  There will not be any level 2 equipment for at least the first 12 months of the system.

 

Q: How do I determine which types of electrical equipment are levels 2 and levels 3?

A: level 3 and level 2 equipment are be listed in AS/NZS 4417.2:2012

 

Q: If I distribute for commercial purposes do I have to register?

A: Generally not. For electrical safety, the Electrical Equipment Safety System will apply to what is classified as 'in-scope' equipment (see www.erac.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=132&Itemid=583 for the definition of in-scope electrical equipment).

If a general member of the public can purchase the electrical equipment and use it in a domestic environment (including equipment that is part of a domestic installation), then it would be classified as in-scope.

The legislation includes: “If the regulator claims that the item is in-scope electrical equipment it will be taken that way unless the Responsible Supplier or the manufacturer can prove the contrary as true.”

However, commercial equipment may require registration by the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) which is unrelated to electrical safety requirements.  For more information on ACMA's requirements, it is recommended you contact the ACMA: www.acma.gov.au to confirm what, if any, requirements ACMA have for your equipment.

 

Q: When is a Compliance Folder mandatory?

A: Compliance Folders are only mandatory for level 2 equipment.  There will be no level 2 equipment for at least 12 months from 1 March 2013. The Equipment Safety Rules has specific requirements as to what information is placed into a Compliance Folder (for a copy of the rules, see http://www.erac.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=131&Itemid=582)

 

New and Transition Marking Requirements

 

Q: In the Electrical Equipment Safety System, what is the transitional period for markings and requirements?

A:  There is generally a 6 month transition from 1 March 2013 for responsible suppliers to register themselves.
- There is generally a 6 month period from 1 March 2013 for responsible supplier to register level 3 in-scope electrical equipment.
- There is generally up to a 3 year period from 1 March 2013 for in-scope electrical equipment to be manufactured in Australia / imported before it must have the RCM placed on the equipment by the responsible supplier.
- There is generally up to a 5 year period from 1 March 2013 for in-scope electrical equipment that can be sold at retail level before the RCM must be placed on the equipment.

However there are some specific variations to the general rules, more detail is available on the ERAC website: http://www.erac.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=135&Itemid=586

 

Q: Is my current RCM still valid until expiry?

A: the certificate used to allow the use of the RCM as the approval mark under the old RCM rules will remain valid until the term of the certificate expires.

To continue to have the RCM marked on the equipment you will need to meet the new rules for use of the RCM as listed in AS/NZS 4417.1:2012.

The RCM will be accepted as the approval mark for any certificate issued so long as the requirements of AS/NZS 4417.1:2012 are met (i.e. there is a registered responsible supplier and for level 2 and level 3 in-scope electrical equipment, the equipment is registered).

On 1 March 2013, the new version of Australian Standard/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4417.1:2012 will supersede the previous version of AS/NZS4417.1:2009.  This will have new requirements for the use of the RCM and so the old rules for use of the RCM will be invalid.

The new edition of the standard states that to use the RCM you will need to register on the ERAC database as a responsible supplier, this includes meeting the requirements of a responsible supplier.   There is a transition period of up to 31 August 2013 for anyone registered under the previous rules for use of the RCM to register as a responsible supplier to be able to continue to use the RCM. For more information please visit the ERAC website: http://www.erac.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=128&Itemid=576

 

Q: Once the compliance is reached, will a single display of the new RCM mark replace all current labelling requirements: supplier name, wattage, voltage, approval number etc?

A: There will still be requirements to display trade names, model number, input/output etc on the product as per marking requirements of the relevant Australian Standards.  The RCM can replace the need for an approval number for all certificates issued except those specifically issued by New South Wales Fair Trading and sold in New South Wales.

For an electrical product sold in New South Wales with a New South Wales Fair Trading issued certificate, the certification mark requirements of the certificate must be followed.

 

Q: In order to place an RCM label on our products will we be required to register each individual product/product series separately?

A: Once you are registered as a Responsible Supplier (and have registered any level 2 or level 3 equipment you manufacture in Australia or import) you can mark the equipment with the RCM.

Each model of a level 2 or level 3 equipment must be registered, however if the models form part of a family (as defined in legislation and explained in the Equipment Safety Rules) you can register the models in a family registration to reduce the cost of registration.

Level 1 equipment does not need to be registered, however you can register details of level 1 equipment on the responsible supplier database for free (and this would then be able to be searched by the public)

For the first period of registration, if the certificate for the level 3 equipment was issued as a ‘series’ approval rather than listing individual model numbers you can register the models you sell by linking to the ‘series model designation’ as the model number.

 

Q: If my Certificate of Conformity is registered with the New South Wales Regulator will I have to register with the new Electrical Equipment Safety System Database?

A: Under the EESS, there will need to be a responsible supplier registered for the equipment and if level 2 or level 3 equipment the equipment will need to be registered as well. This is a registration requirement for sale and is separate to the certification requirement for level 3 equipment.

If the NSW certificate for particular equipment is listed on the national certification database it can be used by the responsible supplier to register the level 3 equipment. If the NSW certificate details are not listed on the national certificate database, contact the Queensland Electrical Safety Office via email, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If the certificate holder or responsible supplier provide appropriate information, the certificate detail may be able to be added to the national certification database.

 

Q: Will the Electrical Equipment Safety System recognise Certificates from other than the jurisdictions that have implemented the EESS (i.e. third party organisations, non EESS jurisdictions)?

A: yes, third party organisations would be recognised subject to the organisation being accepted as a Recognised External Certification System (RECS) in accordance with requirements of the EESS (and listed on the ERAC website).

In the interim transitional measures will allow that certificates issued by private certifiers (certificates as recognised by NSW government scheme)  can be placed onto the national certification database by that certifier so that responsible suppliers can use that certificate to register level 3 equipment.

In addition all State and Territory regulators that issue certificates will be able to add their certificates to the national certification database for responsible suppliers to use to register level 3 equipment.