Factsheet 4 - The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 & 2016

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The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations

and Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
(Consumer Protection Act 1987)

Commencement:

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 came into force on 9th January 1995 and were amended in 2016 by the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016.  The 2016 regulations came into force on 8th December 2016 and apply to all electrical equipment placed on the market after this date.  For electrical equipment placed on the market prior to this date the 1994 regulations will continue to apply.

Scope:

Both sets of regulations relate to the supply of electrical equipment designed with a working voltage of between 50 & 1000 volts a.c. (or between 75 & 1500 d.c.), acting as secondary legislation under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (the 'Act'). Because the 1994 Regulations operate with the same definition of 'supplier' as the Act, then letting agents and landlords letting in the 'course of business' are liable as suppliers. The 2016 Regulations apply to landlords and agents who are known as the ‘distributor’ and the duties arise when electrical equipment is ‘made available on the market’ which means ‘any supply of electrical equipment for distribution, consumption or use on the EU market in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge…’ Both sets of regulations impose the obligation on the supplier or distributor of such goods to ensure that they are 'safe' so that there is no risk of injury or death to humans or pets, or risk of damage to property.

Both sets of regulations cover all mains voltage household electric goods including cookers, kettles, toasters, electric blankets, washing machines, immersion heaters, etc. BUT under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, s.11 the regulations do not apply to items attached to land. This is generally considered to exclude the fixed electrical wiring and built-in appliances (eg. central heating systems) from the Regulations.

Second-hand appliances do not need to have the CE mark if purchased prior to 8th December 2016 but equipment supplied must be safe. Under the 2016 regulations a CE mark is required for appliances first purchased after 8th December 2016 even if the appliance is second-hand.

The 1994 Regulations (for appliances purchased before 8th December 2016) require:

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