S.I. No. 428/1992 - European Communities (Low Voltage Electrical Equipment) Regulations, 1992.
S.I. No. 428 of 1992.
EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES (LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT) REGULATIONS, 1992.
I, PADRAIG FLYNN, Minister for Industry and Commerce, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act, 1972 (No. 27 of 1972) and for the purpose of giving effect to Council Directive 73/23/EEC of 19 February, 1973 on the harmonization of the laws of Member States relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits, hereby make the following regulations:
1 Short Title
1. These Regulations may be cited as the European Communities (Low Voltage Electrical Equipment) Regulations, 1992, and shall come into operation on the 31st day of December, 1992.
2. (1) In these Regulations—
"authorised officer" means a person appointed under Regulation 12;
"the Council Directive" means Council Directive 73/23/EEC of 19 February, 1973;*
*OJ No. L77/29,26.3.73.
"the Director" means the Director of Consumer Affairs;
"electrical equipment" means any equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 volts and 1000 volts for alternating current and between 75 volts and 1500 volts for direct current but does not include any electrical equipment which is specified in the Second Schedule to these Regulations;
"Eolas" means Eolas — The Irish Science and Technology Agency;
"harmonised standards" means standards of safety—
( a ) which have been drawn up by common agreement between the electrotechnical harmonising bodies notified by the Member States,
( b ) which have been published in accordance with the Industrial Research and Standards Act, 1961 (No. 20 of 1961), and revised from time to time, or have been filed with Eolas, and
( c ) notice of the existence of which has been published by the Minister in Iris Oifigiúil;
"International Standards Body" means the International Commission on the Rules for the Approval of Electrical Equipment (CEE) or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC);
"the Minister" means the Minister for Industry and Commerce;
"National Standards Organisation" means, in relation to the State, Eolas and, in relation to any other Member State, the organisation within that State which is authorised to publish safety standards for electrical equipment;
"placing on the market" has the meaning assigned to it by Regulation 3;
"standard" means a technical specification available to the public and published by an International Standards Body or a National Standards Organisation.
(2) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to a Regulation is to a Regulation of these Regulations and a reference to a paragraph is to a paragraph of the Regulation in which the reference occurs.
3 Placing on the market
3. In these Regulations "placing on the market" means—
( a ) import,
( b ) sell (whether by wholesale or retail),
( c ) offer or expose for such sale,
( d ) distribute free of charge, or
( e ) supply by a manufacturer for any of those purposes,
and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.
4 Prohibition on marketing of unsafe electrical equipment
4. (1) No person shall place on the market any electrical equipment unless, having been constructed in accordance with the principles of good engineering practice in safety matters, it does not endanger the safety of persons, domestic animals or property.
(2) In deciding whether electrical equipment complies with the requirements of paragraph (1) due regard shall be had to—
( a ) the safety objectives referred to in the First Schedule to these Regulations,
( b ) the method of installation and maintenance intended for the equipment as indicated on the equipment or on a separate notice accompanying the equipment,
( c ) the uses for which such equipment is stated to be suitable as indicated on the equipment or on a separate notice accompanying the equipment.
(3) In deciding whether electrical equipment complies with the requirements of paragraph (1) regard shall not be had to the radio-interference characteristics of the equipment.
(4) Where the Minister or the Director is of opinion that a person is placing electrical equipment on the market in contravention of this Regulation, he may by direction in writing given to that person prohibit him from placing the equipment on the market and he may, if he thinks fit, cause a notice to be published in at least one national daily newspaper notifying the public of the prohibition.
(5) Where the Minister or the Director is of opinion that electrical equipment has been placed on the market by any person in contravention of these Regulations he may by direction in writing given to that person require him to recover the equipment from any person in whose possession it may be and he may, if he thinks fit, cause a notice to be published in at least one national newspaper notifying the public of the requirement.
(6) The Minister or the Director may, as he thinks fit, withdraw a direction given by him under paragraph (4) or (5).
(7) Any person who is affected by a direction given under paragraph (4) or (5) may appeal to the High Court against the direction and the Court, as it thinks proper, may annul or confirm the direction.
(8) A document purporting to be a direction given by the Minister or the Director under paragraph (4) or (5) and to be signed by the Minister or the Director (as the case may be) shall be received in evidence and deemed to be such a direction without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.
5 Harmonised standards
5. Electrical equipment which complies with the provisions of harmonised standards shall be deemed to comply with the requirements specified in Regulation 4.
6 Provision in the absence of harmonised standards
6. (1) Where there are no relevant harmonised standards, electrical equipment which complies with the safety provisions of standards which have been published by the International Commission on the Rules for the approval of Electrical Equipment (CEE) or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, shall be regarded as complying with the provisions of Regulation 4.
( a ) there are no relevant harmonised standards, and
( b ) no relevant standard of an international standards
body has been published,
electrical equipment which is manufactured in accordance with the safety standards which are applied in a Member State shall be regarded as complying with the provisions of Regulation 4 provided that such standards ensure a safety level equivalent to that which is applied in the State.
7 Electrical Equipment not complying with harmonised standards
7. (1) Nothing in these Regulations shall operate to prevent the placing on the market of electrical equipment which does not comply with the provisions of Regulation 5 or 6 if such electrical equipment complies with the provisions of Regulation 4.
(2) In the event of a dispute as to whether electrical equipment does or does not comply with Regulation 4 any person concerned may submit as evidence that the electrical equipment complies with that Regulation a report relating to such electrical equipment prepared by a body in any of the Member States which has been notified to the Commission and the Member States in accordance with the procedure set out in Article 11 of the Directive. The Minister or the Director may if called upon to arbitrate on any dispute have regard to any such report.
8 Procedure when placing of electrical equipment on the market is prohibited
8. If, for reasons of safety, the placing on the market of electrical equipment is prohibited, the Minister or the Director shall forthwith notify the Member States and the Commission of the decision and any such notice shall indicate the reason for the decision and shall state in particular whether the nonconformity of the electrical equipment with Regulation 4 is due to—
( a ) a defect in
(i) harmonised standards,
(ii) the safety provisions of published standards of an International Standards Body, or
(iii) the safety standards of the State in which the electrical equipment was manufactured,
( b ) the faulty application of a standard, or
( c ) failure to comply with the principles of good engineering practice.
9 Conformity marks
9. (1) Whenever a mark has been placed on electrical equipment indicating conformity with the provisions of Regulation 5 or 6 or whenever a certificate of conformity, or a manufacturer's declaration of conformity is produced, such electrical equipment shall be deemed, until the contrary is proved, to comply with the requirements of these Regulations.
(2) The Minister or the Director shall accept marks of conformity and forms of certificate specimens of which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities
10 Non-application of Regulations
10. These Regulations shall not apply to electrical equipment intended for export to states outside the European Economic Community.
11 Provision relating to supply of electricity
11. No person or body shall impose on any person stricter safety requirements than those required by these Regulations as a condition of the connection or supply of electricity to users of electrical equipment.
12 Authorised officers
12. (1) The Minister or the Director may appoint such and so many officers of the Minister as the Minister or the Director thinks fit to be authorised officers for the purposes of these Regulations to ensure that sample checks are carried out on electrical equipment which is placed on the market, so as to verify conformity with these Regulations and with the Council Directive.
(2) An authorised officer shall be furnished with a warrant of his appointment as an authorised officer and, when exercising any power conferred on an authorised officer by these Regulations, shall, if requested by any person affected, produce the warrant to that person.
(3) An authorised officer may, for the purpose of obtaining any information which the Minister or the Director may require for enabling him to exercise his functions under these Regulations, do any one or more of the following things:
( a ) at all reasonable times enter premises at which any activity in connection with the placing on the market of electrical equipment is carried on and inspect the premises,
( b ) require the person who carries on such activity and any person employed in connection therewith to produce to him any books, documents or records relating to such activity which are in that person's power or control and to give him such information as he may reasonably require in regard to any entries in such books, documents or records,
( c ) inspect and copy or take extracts from such books, documents or records,
( d ) require such person to give to him any information he may reasonably require in regard to the persons carrying on such activity (including, in particular, in the case of an unincorporated body of persons, information in regard to the membership thereof and of its committee of management or other controlling authority) or employed in connection therewith,
( e ) require such person to give to him any other information which he may reasonably require in regard to such activity.
13. A person who contravenes any provision of these Regulations, who obstructs or impedes any person in the exercise of a power conferred by these Regulations or fails to comply with a direction under Regulation 4 (4) or, without reasonable excuse, with a direction under Regulation 4 (5) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months or, at the discretion of the Court, to both such fine and imprisonment.
14 Prosecution of Offences
14. A prosecution for an offence under these Regulations may be brought by the Minister or the Director.
15. The following Regulations are hereby revoked:
European Communities (Low Voltage Electrical Equipment) Regulation, 1975 ( S.I. No. 62 of 1975 ).
European Communities (Low Voltage Electrical Equipment) (No. 2) Regulations, 1976 ( S.I. No. 11 of 1976 ).
European Communities (Low Voltage Electrical Equipment) Regulations, 1979 ( S.I. No. 123 of 1979 ).
Principal elements of the safety objectives for electrical equipment designed for use within the voltage limits specified in these Regulations.
1. General Conditions
( a ) The essential characteristics, the recognition and observance of which will ensure that electrical equipment will be used safely and in applications for which it was made, shall be marked on the equipment, or, if this is not possible, on an accompanying notice.
( b ) The manufacturer's or brand name or trade mark should be clearly printed on the electrical equipment or, where that is not possible, on the packaging.
( c ) The electrical equipment, together with its component parts should be made in such a way as to ensure that it can be safely and properly assembled and connected.
( d ) The electrical equipment should be so designed and manufactured as to ensure that protection against the hazards set out in points 2 and 3 of this Schedule is assured providing that the equipment is used in applications for which it was made and is adequately maintained.
2. Protection against hazards arising from the electrical equipment.
In complying with condition 1 (d), measures of a technical nature should be taken in order to ensure:
( a ) that persons and domestic animals are adequately protected against danger of physical injury or other harm which might be caused by electrical contact direct or indirect;
( b ) that temperatures, arcs or radiation which would cause a danger, are not produced;
( c ) that persons, domestic animals and property are adequately protected against non-electrical dangers caused by the electrical equipment which experience has shown may occur;
( d ) that the insulation must be suitable for foreseeable conditions.
3. Protection against hazards which may be caused by external influences on the electrical equipment.
In complying with conditions 1 (d), technical measures are to be taken in order to ensure:
( a ) that the electrical equipment meets the expected mechanical requirements in such a way that persons, domestic animals and property are not endangered;
( b ) that the electrical equipment shall be resistant to non-mechanical influences in expected environmental conditions, in such a way that persons, domestic animals and property are not endangered;
( c ) that the electrical equipment shall not endanger persons, domestic animals and property in foreseeable conditions of overload.
Equipment to which regulations do not apply.
Electrical equipment for use in an explosive atmosphere.
Electrical equipment for radiology and medical purposes.
Electrical parts for goods and passenger lifts.
Plugs and socket outlets for domestic use.
Electric fence controllers.
Specialised electrical equipment for use on ships, aircraft or railways, which complies with the safety provisions drawn up by international bodies in which the Member States participate.
GIVEN under my Official Seal, this 23rd day of December, 1992.
Minister for Industry and Commerce.
These Regulations revoke and replace the European Communities (Low Voltage Electrical Equipment) Regulations 1975; the European Communities (Low Voltage Electrical Equipment) (No. 2) Regulations, 1976 ( S.I. No. 11 of 1976 ) and the European Communities (Low Voltage Electrical Equipment) Regulations, 1979 ( S.I. No. 123 of 1979 ).
The Regulations give effect to the European Communities Council Directive (73/23 EEC) of 19th February, 1973 on the harmonisation of the laws of Member States relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (OJ No. L77/29-26.3.1973), which came into force in this country on 1st August 1975.
They apply to equipment with voltage ratings of between 50 volts and 1,000 volts for alternating current and between 75 and 1,500 volts for direct current and are designed to ensure that such equipment will be placed on the market only if, having been constructed in accordance with good engineering practice in matters of safety in force in the Community, it does not endanger the safety of persons, domestic animals or property.
The Regulations provide the Director of Consumer Affairs with powers of enforcement, allow for the appointment of Authorised Officers and set out their functions and powers.