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Electrical safety check: appliances & fittings
Selling electrical items? Find out what you need to know before you sell them, and what goods can't be sold.By Trust and Safety 13 October 2023
Learn more about electrical safety so you don't feel the rush of an electric shock.
Electricity is one of those things many of us can't live without. While it can make our lives easier, it can also pose a significant danger without the correct precautions.
That's why we have SDoCs for electrical goods and appliances and safety standards for electrical plugs.
Nobody wants their light switches to shock them, or an overloaded circuit to start a house fire. Consumers expect the things they buy to be safe.
What is an SDoC?
A Supplier Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) declares that an item complies with safety standards and has passed a safety test. There must be an issued SDoC when selling any brand-new and used high and medium-risk products.
You must have access to this documentation and be able to supply it on request.
If you're an importer, you can request the appropriate test reports from your supplier and then fill in an SDOC.
What appliances and fittings need an SDoC?
Many household items need SDoCs to be sold legally. Most products in New Zealand will have an SDoC available on request – issued by the New Zealand manufacturer or importer.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Toasted sandwich makers
- Waffle irons
- Popcorn machines
- Hair straighteners
- Hair dryers
- Wall switches
- Light fittings
Check out the full list of medium and high-risk items by Worksafe NZ.
When is an SDoC needed?
Any time you list or sell electrical goods.
WorkSafe NZ regularly conducts audits and may request SDoC from Trade Me members for inspection. If asked by Trade Me directly, we expect you to supply the appropriate documentation within 24 hours.
If the required documentation isn't supplied, the listings will be removed. If a member repeatedly lists electrical goods without the required paperwork, we may need to suspend or terminate their membership.
Electrical plugs need two things to be able to be sold in New Zealand:
- It must be an AU/NZ plug type.
- It must have insulated pins.
No other kinds of plugs can be sold – even with a 'for parts' declaration.
Pin insulation is a plastic coating at the base of the pins on electrical plugs. This protects against short circuiting if a metal object falls between the plug and the wall socket.
Inslutated pins are a requirement for all new and used items, for both professional and casual sellers.
(Source: Worksafe NZ)
All items with plugs must be sold with an AU/NZ 'Type I' plug. Items with foreign plugs can't be sold.
If your plug doesn't comply
If the plug on your item doesn't have insulated pins, or is for a different socket type, you can:
- Remove the plug by detaching it (if it's removable) or cutting the plug off (if it's wired in).
- Have the plug replaced and the item tested by a qualified electrician. They'll only do this if the item accepts NZ voltage and is safe to use with our electrical grid.
You'll need to remove the plug from the item you're selling. If it's removable, you can simply detach it and throw it away. You could also buy a compliant NZ power cable.
Edison to Bayonet adaptors
Bayonet lightbulb to Edison (screw) light fitting adaptors can legally be sold. They will need to have recognised approval and an SDoC.
The reverse, Edison to bayonet adaptors, can’t be legally sold as they do not comply with the relevant Energy Safety standard in New Zealand.
If you’re selling an adaptor that converts bayonet fittings to Edison (screw) fittings and has the recognised approval and SDoC to back it up – you’re good to go.