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The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994

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Explanatory Note

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These Regulations re–enact with modifications the provisions of the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1987 (S.I. 1987/603) and make provision for the first time for certain requirements to be satisfied in relation to appliances.

Part I of these Regulations applies to electric plugs, sockets and adaptors ordinarily intended for domestic use at a voltage of not less than 200 volts and to fuse links suitable for use with such plugs and adaptors with the exception of certain electrical devices listed in Schedule 1. Part I does not apply to plugs or sockets constructed internally in equipment where the plug cannot be engaged with or disengaged from the socket without something first being done to the equipment which requires the use of a tool or to the extent that it is not practicable to conform to a British Standard listed in Schedule 2 or a standard or specification recognised for use in a member State of the EC or other State in the European Economic Area which provides a level of safety equivalent to that which would be provided by conformity to the relevant British Standard (regulation 4).

Part II of these Regulations applies to certain appliances ordinarily intended for domestic use which are designed to operate at a voltage of not less than 200 volts and a maximum rated input of not more than 13 amps.

Standard three pin plugs are required to contain or be accompanied by a fuse link conforming to BS 1362 (regulation 6(2)) and to be approved by a notified body (regulation 8). Other electrical devices specified in column 2 of Schedule 2 to these Regulations are required to conform to the appropriate British Standard or to a standard or specification recognised for use in a member State of the EC or other State in the European Economic Area which provides a level of safety equivalent to that which would be provided by conformity to that British Standard (regulation 10).

These Regulations provide that notified bodies are to be those persons notified to the Commission of the European Communities, member States of the EC and other States within the European Economic Area in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 11 of the Low Voltage Directive (Council Directive 73/23/EEC (OJ No. L77, 26.03.73, p. 29) before amendment by Council Directive 93/68/EEC (OJ No. L220, 30.8.93, p.1) for the purposes of Article 10 of that Directive and persons appointed by the Secretary of State. Approvals have to be given subject to a condition requiring the applicant to give notice of any changes to the plugs submitted for approval and may be cancelled. Approvals may be given subject to conditions and conditions may be imposed, varied and withdrawn during the currency of the approval. Provision is made for an applicant for approval to make representations to any United Kingdom notified body before such a body refuses approval, imposes a condition, makes a restrictive variation of a condition or cancels an approval (regulations 8 and 9).

Provision is also made for certain information to be given in relation to standard plugs and conversion plugs (regulation 13).

The Regulations prohibit persons from supplying, offering to supply, agreeing to supply, exposing for supply or possessing for supply any electrical device to which Part I applies but which does not comply with the requirements of that Part (regulation 5).

Part II provides that appliances to which it applies must be correctly fitted with a standard plug which is of a type approved by a notified body and which is fitted with a fuse link conforming to British Standard 1362 and rated in accordance with the appliance manufacturer’s instructions. In the absence of such instructions, the fuse link may be rated in accordance with Table 2 of British Standard 1363: 1984 or rated in accordance with any standard or specification recognised for use in a member State of the EC or other State of the European Economic Area which provides a level of safety equivalent to that which would be provided by conformity to Table 2 of that British Standard (regulation 12).

The requirement to fit a fused standard plug does not apply to appliances which are correctly fitted with a non–UK plug complying with the safety provisions of the International Electrotechnical Commission standard IEC 884–1 (1987) and fitted with a conversion plug of a type approved for use with such a non–UK plug which encloses the fitted non–UK plug and can only be removed by the use of a tool. Requirements similar to those governing the approval of standard plugs apply to the approval of conversion plugs (regulation 12).

Part II prohibits persons from supplying, offering to supply, agreeing to supply, exposing for supply or possessing for supply any appliance to which that Part applies but which does not comply with its requirements. However, it does not prohibit any person from possessing for supply an appliance at any time before it is first supplied, offered for supply or exposed for supply in the UK, or before it is first agreed to supply it in the UK, which has been imported into the UK and which does not comply with the requirements of Part II (regulation 12).

These Regulations revoke the Electrical Appliances (Colour Code) Regulations 1969 (S.I. 1969/310), the Electrical Appliances (Colour Code) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1970 (S.R. 1970 No. 31), the Electrical Appliances (Colour Code) (Amendment) Regulations 1970 (S.I. 1970/811), the Electrical Appliances (Colour Code) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1970 (S.R. 1970 No. 180), the Electrical Appliances (Colour Code) (Amendment) Regulations 1977 (S.I. 1977/931) and the Electrical Appliances (Colour Code) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1977 (S.R. 1977 No. 301).

Copies of the British Standards referred to in the Regulations and of IEC 884–1 (1987) may be obtained from any of the sales outlets operated by the British Standards Institution (BSI) or by post from the BSI at Linford Wood, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LE.

A Compliance Cost Assessment is available, copies of which have been placed in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament. Copies are also available from the Consumer Affairs Division of the Department of Trade and Industry, Room 303, 10—18 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0NN.

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