The Electricity Act 1992 requires all electrical products to be of a high quality and standard, so that their construction and maintenance meet the safety requirements within the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010.
The Act also requires any person to take all practicable steps to prevent serious harm.
Everyone who manufactures, imports, supplies, retails and trades electrical appliances or fittings in New Zealand must ensure their products comply with New Zealand’s established regulatory framework. This applies whether the appliances or fittings are imported or domestically produced.
The regulations identify certain features within products that are unsafe. However there are other features that products may have that can also cause harm to persons or property that are therefore also unsafe.
All products must comply with essential safety requirements. Recognised evidence of essential safety is through compliance with the relevant safety standard(s). These can be in the form of test reports from recognised testing laboratories.
There are certain identified electrical products that are not compliant with essential safety requirements and are not permitted for sale in New Zealand.
Other alternative evidence of electrical product compliance is where New Zealand has negotiated any necessary controls within a trade agreements with another country. These are the New Zealand's Electrical and Electronic Product Mutual Recognition Agreements.
In addition to essential safety requirements there are special regulatory controls relating to the supply of electrical products listed as being medium risk products and/or high risk products.
The provisions within the Electricity (Safety) Regulations also cover the supply of second hand appliances within New Zealand.
Electrical products once in use, need to meet the requirements of operational safety.
Where instructions are required to safely install and/or use electrical products, these must be in english and provided by the supplier.
Specific electrical products that have been identified as being or that may be unsafe, have been formally prohibited, these generally cannot be imported, sold, or used in New Zealand.
Old electrical products that were first sold in New Zealand and met the regulatory requirements at that time are not considered to be unsafe just because of changes in regulatory safety requirements. If a type of construction was subsequently considered to be unsafe, that specific type of construction would be formally prohibited.