Aftermarket Power Cables - Does Yours Comply?

Posted on 2nd April, 2020

Aftermarket Power Cables - Does Yours Comply?

Power cords, particularly those considered to be aftermarket 'audiophile' upgrades and their compliance with Australian regulations has long been a confusing issue. Here's the facts, according to NSW Fair Trading (2014) who are both the electrical and consumer regulator in NSW. StereoNET understands similar legislation exists across Australia, however more stringent requirements are said to exist in QLD. If in doubt, contact your state's regulatory body for clarification.

In the eyes of NSW Fair Trading, a 'power cord' consists of three components being the plug, the flexible cord and the socket. The power cord is considered to be a 'non-declared electrical article', however, each of the components is considered a 'declared electrical article'.

Declared electrical articles must be manufactured and tested to mandatory Australian/New Zealand Standards, and are issued with certification and marked accordingly.

According to NSW Fair Trading, they now require production of relevant Certificates of Approval/Conformity which relate to each of the declared electrical articles and proof of marking.

The guide for retailers and the importers of electrical goods says:

If you sell, import or hire electrical goods, you must ensure they are safe and will not cause harm during normal use.

The approval of `declared articles´ must be done by NSW Fair Trading, its equivalent in another Australian State or by an independent certifier.

Approved electrical goods will have an `electrical safety approval mark´. This mark will often include a capital letter followed by a certificate number. Some small electrical goods may use other approval marks such as the trade name.

The grey area previously has been the stamping on such electrical articles representing overseas certificates of approval, or specifically, the CE mark. According to NSW Fair Trading, these are not acceptable in Australia.

So while an aftermarket power cord 'assembly' may be considered a 'non-declared electrical article', clarification has now been given that each of the components is 'declared electrical articles' and therefore must be tested, meet testing requirements, be given approval for sale in Australia, and be marked with the relevant approval mark.

According to the NSW Fair Trading Retailer Guide:

The maximum penalty for selling, importing, hiring or exchanging `declared articles´ without `electrical safety approval marks´ and an Australian Certificate of Approval is $82,500 and/or 2 years jail for individuals or $825,000 for corporations.

For more information contact the NSW Fair Trading Energy & Utilities Unit.

Further discussion: Power Cable Compliance Discussion Thread

    Marc Rushton's avatar

    Marc Rushton

    StereoNET’s Founder and Publisher, born in UK and raised on British Hi-Fi before moving to Australia where he worked as an Engineer in both the audio and mechanical fields.

    Posted in:Hi-Fi Industry


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