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OUTLINE OF ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS (SAFETY) REGULATION
The Electrical Products (Safety) Regulation (the "Regulation"), made under the Electricity Ordinance, Cap. 406, provides statutory control over the safety of all household electrical products supplied in Hong Kong with the objective to enhance public safety in the use of these products. Apart from those provisions in relation to the requirement of "certificate of safety compliance" for electrical products, individual provisions of the Regulation have come into operation since 24 October 1997 and 29 May 1998 respectively. The effective date when the provisions in relation to the "certificate of safety compliance" and the amendments made to the Regulation by the Electrical Products (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation 2000 come into operation is 1 December 2000.
The Regulation applies to all electrical products that are:
- designed for household use; and
- supplied in Hong Kong (including those imported, manufactured locally or intended for use outside Hong Kong).
Note : "Supply" means
- to sell or hire out the electrical product;
- to offer, keep, or exhibit the electrical product for sale or for hiring out;
- to exchange or dispose of the electrical product for any consideration;
- to transmit, convey or deliver the electrical product in pursuance of (i) a sale, (ii) a hiring out, or (iii) an exchange or disposal for any consideration; or
- for commercial purposes, to give the electrical product as a prize or to make a gift of such a product.
The Regulation does not apply to an electrical product which is:
- under transhipment or in transit through Hong Kong;
- manufactured in Hong Kong for export;
- supplied for reconditioning;
- supplied as scrap;
- a travel adaptor;
- supplied in a place other than Hong Kong under a sale agreement entered into in Hong Kong; or
- supplied as part of or in connection with a disposition of any premises unless the disposition is the first disposition made prior to the first occupation of the premises. "Disposition" includes a sale, lease, licence and permission to occupy.
In addition, the Regulation does not apply to electrical products which are operated at extra low voltage, i.e. not exceeding 50V a.c. or 120V d.c..
Compliance with Safety Requirements
The Regulation requires that all household electrical products shall comply with the "essential safety requirements" to protect users from hazards arising from the electrical products and hazards which may be caused by external influences on the electrical products.
Under the Regulation, certain types of household electrical products which are of special nature and more liable to cause hazards are classified as "prescribed products". These types of products shall comply with the "specific safety requirements" in addition to the "essential safety requirements". Prescribed products include plugs, adaptors, lampholders, flexible cords, extension units and unvented thermal storage type electric water heaters. Household electrical products other than these 6 types of prescribed products are considered to be "non-prescribed products". For some particular types of electrical products, certain additional safety requirements are stipulated in the Regulation. For instance, a 110V a.c. electrical product shall carry a warning label.
The applicable safety requirements of the Regulation are shown in Appendix 1.
Certificate of Safety Compliance
The Regulation requires suppliers to ensure that a "certificate of safety compliance" has been issued in respect of an electrical product designed for household use before it can be supplied in the market.
For a non-prescribed product, the following will be accepted as a certificate of safety compliance:
- a declaration of conformity issued by the product manufacturer; or
- a declaration of conformity issued by a "recognized manufacturer"; or
- a certificate or test report issued by a "recognized certification body".
For a prescribed product, only the document as stated in either (b) or (c) above will be accepted as a certificate of safety compliance.
For the criteria for applying as a recognized certification body/recognized manufacturer or for their registers, please visit EMSD's webpages on "How to Apply" and "Registers".
The Regulation empowers the Director of Electrical & Mechanical Services (DEMS) to require the supplier of any electrical product, which is found not complying with the applicable safety requirements, to notify those to whom he has supplied the product of the hazardous defects in the product, to accept a return of the product, to refund the purchasers, and to notify the public of the matter through television, newspapers and other effective means.
For voluntary recall by suppliers, please refer to the "Guidelines on Voluntary Recall of Electrical Products Not Complying with the Safety Requirements".
The "Guidance Notes for the Electrical Products (Safety) Regulation" is published to provide a guide for suppliers of electrical products to understand the requirements of the Regulation. Lists of international/ national standards that are deemed to satisfy the applicable safety requirements of the Regulation are included in the Guidance Notes. Household electrical products that are manufactured and tested to these safety standards, or other compatible standards that fulfil the applicable safety requirements of the Regulation, will be accepted.
A person who contravenes the Regulation or supplies an electrical product that is prohibited to be supplied by DEMS is liable to a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for 1 year on first conviction; and a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for 2 years on subsequent conviction.
A person who supplies an electrical product for which no certificate of safety compliance has been issued is liable to a fine of $10,000.
Enquiries about the Regulation should be addressed to:
Electricity Legislation Division
Electrical & Mechanical Services Department (EMSD)
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
3 Kai Shing Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 1823 Citizen's Easy Link (Enquiries hotline)
Fax:(852) 2895 4929
August 2000 Edition
Note : This is NOT a legal document and is prepared for general information only.
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The applicable safety requirements under the Electrical Products (Safety) Regulation can generally be classified into three main types. They are summarised as follows:
Essential Safety Requirements
All electrical products shall be:
- properly marked, assembled, connected and insulated;
- designed and constructed to prevent electrical and non-electrical danger;
- designed and constructed to prevent danger arising from temperatures, arcs, radiation and hazardous materials; and
- designed and constructed to meet the expected mechanical requirements, to resist non-mechanical influences in expected environmental conditions, to cater for foreseeable conditions of overload and to have such stability that it can be maintained in a specific position.
Specific Safety Requirements
For prescribed products (which include plugs, adaptors, lampholders, flexible cords, extension units and unvented thermal storage type electric water heaters), in addition to the "essential safety requirements", they have to comply with the "specific safety requirements", which are generally summarised as follows:
- Plugs shall generally be 3-rectangular-pin 13A plugs to BS1363 or 3-round-pin 5A or 15A plugs to BS546, in order to match with the socket systems in Hong Kong. For electrical products designed for connecting to shaver supply units, such as electric tooth brushes, the plugs shall be 2-pin reversible type to BS4573 or EN50075.
- Adaptors shall generally be 15A, 13A or 5A type to BS1363 or BS546, in order to match with the socket systems in Hong Kong.
- Regarding lampholders, which include the Bayonet lampholders and Edison screw lampholders, they shall be provided with suitable marking, complying with relevant standards and of appropriate materials. For examples, the construction and dimensions of the lampholders shall comply with IEC60061-2, etc.
- The requirements for flexible cords include mainly the marking requirements on the outer sheath, the requirements on colour identification, conductors and insulation, and complying with the relevant standards. For example, the thickness of the insulation shall not be less than the figures given in IEC60227 and IEC60245, etc.
- The requirements for extension units consist of those for plugs, flexible cords and sockets as mentioned above.
- Regarding unvented thermal storage type electric water heaters, besides the requirements for marking and installation instruction, they shall be provided with adequate protective devices and shall have a guaranteed test pressure.
Applicable Safety Requirements for Particular Types of Electrical Products
"Applicable Safety Requirements for Particular Types of Electrical Products" mainly include the following:
- All electrical appliances shall be class I or class II products.
- For an electrical product which is designed to receive power from a mains socket, the plug shall conform to the "Specific Safety Requirements".
- For a class II product provided with an IEC 2-pin plug, the plug shall either be changed to an appropriate 3-pin type or be fitted with a suitable adaptor, before it can be supplied in Hong Kong.
- For a direct plug-in type electrical product, the plug-pin shall be of 3-pin design complying with the prescribed requirements.
- For an electrical product which is designed to receive power from a shaver supply unit to BS3535 Part 1, the plug pins shall conform to BS4573 or EN50075.
- For an electrical product which is designed solely for use at a voltage of less than 200V a.c., for example a 110V product, as it is not suitable for direct connection to the 220V domestic supply system in Hong Kong, it shall carry a warning label as shown below, when it is supplied in Hong Kong:
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