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Buying electrical appliances

Faulty electrical appliances, misusing electrical appliances and incorrect electrical installations cause many fires, electric shocks and injuries to people every year.

You can reduce the risk of this happening to you by buying appliances that have been safety tested and approved for use in Australia. Also, if any damage is caused to your property by a non-certified electrical appliance, your insurance company may not cover you.

Electrical safety testing and certification

Electrical appliances that could pose a safety risk if something goes wrong are known as proclaimed products. By law, they must be safety tested before they can be sold, installed or offered for hire in South Australia.

Look for a safety approval mark from a recognised Australian regulator or certifier. The only way to ensure an electrical appliance is safe.

Electrical safety marks – what to look for

Type of approval mark Approval mark Example
Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) ""
When used in conjunction with requirements of AS/NZS 4417.1 and supplier equipment is registered with the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council.
South Australian approval number S number S 1234
NSW approval number N number
NSW number
N 1234
NSW 1234
VIC approval numbers V number
ESV number
V 1234
ESV 1234
QLD approval numbers Q number
ESO number
Q 1234
ESO 1234
TAS approval numbers T number T 1234
International Testing and Certification Services Pty Ltd (ACN 098 886 563) A/number/EA A/1234/EA
The Australian Gas Association (ACN 004 206 044) AGA number EA AGA 1234 EA
Australian Safety Approval (ABN 126 000 234) ASA-number-EA ASA-123456-EA
BSI Group (Australia and New Zealand) Pty Ltd BSI number EA BSI 1234 EA
Conformity Certification Services Pty Ltd CCS number EA CCS 1234 EA
Global Mark Pty Ltd GMA number EA GMA 1234 EA
Market Access (AUS) Pty Ltd trading as Certification Body Australia CBA number
CBA number EA
CBA 1234
CBA 1234 EA
SAA Approvals Pty Ltd (ACN 125 451 327) SAA number EA SAA 1234 EA
SAI Global Certification Services Pty Ltd (ACN 108 716 669) SAI TE EA number
SAI SMK EA number
SAI TE EA 1234
SGS Systems and Services Certification Pty Ltd (ACN 060 156 014) SGS EA number SGS EA 1234
Testing and Certification Australia TCA number EA TCA 1234 EA
TÜV Rheinland Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 124 175 953) TÜV number EA TÜV 1234 EA
UL International New Zealand Ltd
(NZ Incorporation Number 1983441)
U number EA U 1234 EA

Note: A, ASA, SAI TE, SAI SMK, SGS, AGA, TCA, BSI, GMA, CBA, CCA, U, TÜV and SAA identify the independent certifier. EA denotes the approval of a proclaimed electrical article.

Buying appliances online or from overseas

Unless you have experience assessing electrical product safety conformance, it can be difficult to ensure the safety and certification of an electrical product you want to buy online.

If you are going to buy an electrical appliance online, shop with a reputable Australian-based seller. Some sellers claiming to be located in Australia may be based overseas, so check their details carefully before buying anything. Just because a seller has good online feedback, it doesn’t mean their products are safe.

Before buying, ask the seller for details of the electrical product’s Australian safety approval – request a copy of the Australian certificate of approval, and check that the certificate details match the product’s markings and specifications.

Buying or using electrical appliances from overseas is not recommended, even if they are safety certified by an overseas organisation, as they may not be safe for use in Australian conditions. Electrical appliances used in Australia should be tested and certified by a recognised Australian organisation because:

  • overseas products may not be suitable for or tested to our voltage and frequency tolerances
  • overseas product documentation (eg certification, test reports or declarations) may be fake or incomplete
  • you may not be protected by Australian consumer protection and warranty laws if something goes wrong with the product.

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Page last updated 4 April 2017

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Department for Energy and Mining
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