High risk products are referred to as Declared High Risk Articles. These require a recognised approval or deemed equivalent certification, including individual product marking of approval. Only WorkSafe or a recognised agency can approve a high risk article. Alternatively, equipment registered on the Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme (EESS) online database, supplied by a New Zealand manufacturer or importer that is registered on the EESS as a responsible or affiliated supplier, is deemed to be approved.

Under the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 (Regulation 84(external link)) high risk products are referred to as Declared High Risk Articles. The list of high risk products is set by New Zealand Gazette notice.

A high risk product is assessed as having various hazards associated with the product and use of the product. This means a more intensive regulatory intervention is required to give assurance of safety for the New Zealand market.

All high risk products must be formally approved, or else covered by certification or registration on the Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme (EESS) that is recognised as an approval (under Regulations 86 and 86A(external link)) before being offered for supply, or supplied in New Zealand.

In the majority of cases the recognised certification relates to one of New Zealand’s Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA).

Most high risk products are also “declared articles” in Australia. The Australian approvals systems (and associated certification) were recognised in New Zealand through Gazette notices. Under current regulations, most high risk products that can be lawfully sold in Australia will be registered on the EESS and comply with the requirements of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010, provided the New Zealand manufacturer or importer is also registered on the EESS as a responsible or affiliated supplier on the EESS for that product.

Approvals and recognised certifications are often conditional and normally valid for up to five years, but may be less. An approval can be obtained from WorkSafe for products that are not covered by a valid Australian EESS registration, or certified in accordance with one of New Zealand’s EEE MRAs. An application for approval should be made on the relevant Application for Approval form and should be accompanied by a recognised test report (Regulation 81(external link)) verifying compliance with the applicable Standard listed in Schedule 4(external link) of the Regulations.

It is recommended that New Zealand importers hold copies of the certification required for an approval of their product. This certification should be available at WorkSafe’s request for evidence of safety in relation to an incident or for audit purposes.

Approval process for high risk articles

The approval under Regulation 84 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010(external link) is a formalised technical review of the product and its test documentation. The approvals continued validity is subject to conditions and are normally valid for up to a maximum of five years, although this can be challenged after three years following international convention. There may be other additional conditions applied to each approval.

Once the product has been approved, each product must be marked with the appropriate approval number or Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM). You can continue the use of an approval number or RCM providing that the product has not significantly changed from when it was tested and assessed for approval and that the approval has not expired or been withdrawn.

An approval can be obtained from WorkSafe. To provide clarity to applicants for NZ approvals of high risk Declared Articles under the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010, WorkSafe provides the following guidance on information required to support an application for the approval of a high risk declared article under  Regulation 85(external link).

An application for approval must be made on the applicable form and must be accompanied by:

  1. A single accredited test report, showing full compliance with the relevant Standard(s) cited in Schedule 4 in the Regulations for that declared article;
    • A single accredited test report from an IANZ accredited, or IANZ recognised, testing laboratory, showing full compliance with the relevant Standard(s) cited in Schedule 4 for that declared article. Confirmation that the test report, has been issued by a testing laboratory demonstrably accredited for the particular standards(s) listed in Schedule 4 at the time of approval application in accordance with regulation 81; or
    • For test reports in accordance with the IECEE CB scheme, both a single CB test certificate, and associated single test report, showing full compliance with the relevant Standard(s) cited in Schedule 4 for that declared article at the time of approval application. Noting that Certification & Test reports issued by IECEE CB Testing Laboratories (CBTL's) will only be accepted where an Identical (IDT) IEC Standard is recognised or where the deviation from the IEC Standard is a notified deviation.
    • In respect to applications for RCBOs, formal confirmation that the testing included full fault rating testing of all poles. (Testing circuit diagrams and photos of the testing set-up are likely to be required.)
  1. A sample of the product or for larger products, clearly detailed photographs of internal and external construction;
  2. Detailed technical description;
  3. The prescribed fee $408.89 (GST inclusive) 

Please note: These requirements may be relaxed where the availability and cost of that documentation is offset by suitable alternative documentation.

When a safety standard that is cited in Schedule 4 has been amended or reissued by the Standards process, the amended standard is generally considered to be at least equivalent to the cited standard and is accepted for the purpose of supporting an approval application.

Where a high risk article does not fully comply with a standard cited in Schedule 4, evidence of full compliance with AS/NZS 3820 will be required to support a valid approval application.

For products that are covered by a valid alternative Australian approval or recognised certification, or certified in accordance with one of New Zealand’s EEE MRAs, an additional approval by WorkSafe is not required.

Recognised agencies

WorkSafe may recognise other certification from organisations, agencies, programme or regimes. This recognition is done via individual New Zealand Gazette Notice under Regulation 86 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010(external link).

Such existing recognitions are:

  • The regime for the issuing of a CCC Certificate and the applying of a CCC Mark under the Agreement between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Co-operation in the Field of Conformity Assessment in Relation to Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Components.
  • Electrical Safety Type Examination and Standards Mark Certification Schemes operated by Quality Assurance Services as being programmes of compliance.
  • Approvals that are issued pursuant to the Australian legislation.

High risk product list

Current list of high risk product definitions that require an approval prior to sale or offer for sale in New Zealand.