Recognition of certifications in Victoria
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) continues to work with the Queensland Electrical Safety Office (ESO) in relation to the progress of a number of RECS applications. ESV’s recognition requirements are stipulated below. These requirements take into account the aims of the EESS being a national scheme where the same criteria for certification are applied by all certifiers.
After 1 April 2020, ESV will keep the status quo in relation to allowing the upload of certifications from REAB certifiers that have made an application to become a RECS with the ESO. This allowance will continue until the ESO shares the outcome of individual RECS applications. During this time ESV expects that only certification that complies with ESV’s initial requirements shall be uploaded to the EESS database. This includes the certifier applying any other requirements the ESO may have put in place while the RECS application process is continued.
This means REAS certifiers who have an application for RECS still open with ESO can continue to upload REAS certificates (subject complying with RECS requirements – and any specific requirements applied by ESO during the application process). It is important to note departures from these requirements will result in the REAS certifier having access to upload certificates to the database removed.
Certificates issued by external certifiers recognised by a declared jurisdiction are recognised in Victoria. Currently this means that certificates issued by certifiers under the Queensland Recognised External Certification Schemes (RECS) are recognised in Victoria.
ESV will administratively recognise certificates issued by Australian regulators who have not yet enacted corresponding law provided their certificate data is uploaded to the national certification database.
From 1 April 2019 to 1 October 2019 private certifiers can continue to upload REAS certificate data to the national certification database. This is not a recognition of REAS certificates but part of a temporary transitional allowance to assist industry with moving to compliance with Victorian law.
ESV will work with private certifiers and the Queensland Electrical Safety Office (QLD) to assist private certifiers who have made an application to become a RECS with QLD, and provided that there is no obvious concern or issue raised by QLD, ESV will not prohibit the certifier from continuing to upload REAS certificates after 1 October 2019. This will only apply if the certifier gives ESV an undertaking to only issue certification in accordance with EESS and RECS requirements, this includes compliance to the Equipment Safety Rules. This is not a recognition of the certifier but a temporary transitional allowance to assist the external certifier and industry. This temporary transition allowance will cease on 1 April 2020.
- After 1 October 2019, QLD RECS external certifiers shall only upload QLD RECS certificates to the national database.
- After 1 October 2019 and up to 1 April 2020, NSW REAS private certifiers who have made an application to become QLD RECS, but have not yet finalised the process, may have additional temporary transitional arrangements apply for uploading REAS certificates that comply with the Equipment Safety Rules.
- After 1 October 2019, NSW REAS private certifiers who have not made application to become a QLD RECS cannot upload any new certificates onto the EESS database.
The temporary transitional arrangements allow for a total of a 12-month period of transition for industry to ensure they have correct certificates on the EESS database to register their equipment on the EESS.
There is no prohibition against an NSW REAS private certifier applying for recognition under Queensland legislation and becoming a RECS.
Any External Certifier that is not accredited or is not in the process of obtaining accreditation under the Queensland legislation by 1 October 2019 will have restricted access to the national certification database and will not be authorised to upload new certificates. See also Key points and Modification of existing NSW Fair Trading accredited REAS certifications uploaded to the national database, below.
After 1 April 2020 all certificates from private certifiers shall be from a RECS accreditation or other accreditation from a jurisdiction that has corresponding law as gazetted by the Victorian minister.
Currently Queensland recognises the following private certifiers for Level 3 Certificates of Conformity and Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates of Suitability:
- Certification Body Australia (CBA)
- EESS Conformity Certification Services (CCS)
- Global-Mark Pty Ltd
- UL International New Zealand Limited
- SAA Approvals Pty Ltd.
- The Victorian EESS laws recognise certifications from State, Territory and New Zealand regulators operating under a law declared to be a corresponding law – defined as a regulatory authority.
- The Victorian EESS laws also recognise certifications from external certifiers approved by a regulatory authority under a corresponding law to issue a certificate of conformity, or a certificate of suitability – defined as an external certifier.
- Queensland law is declared as a corresponding law. No other jurisdiction will be declared until they adopt a corresponding EESS law.
- ESV will administratively recognise certifications issued by a State, Territory or New Zealand regulator not operating under a declared corresponding law, provided the relevant certificate data is uploaded to the national certification database by the regulator.
- From 1 October 2019, ESV will not permit new or renewed certifications to be uploaded to the national certification database from private certifiers that are not declared as external certifiers by a regulator under a corresponding law i.e. REAS certificates cannot be uploaded after 1 October 2019, only RECS certificates.
Note: there exists a temporary transitional allowance until 1 April 2020 for private certifiers that have made application to become a RECS certifier.
- REAS certifications uploaded prior to 1 October 2019 will not be removed and can still be used for EESS registration purposes and amended for the five-year life of the certificate subject to requirements of ‘Modification of existing NSW Fair Trading REAS certifications uploaded to the national database’ (below). If the certificate is not amended then no change to the details is required. Although it is recommended the responsible supplier ask for any certificate that uses only wild card model numbers be amended to include the model numbers of the particular equipment it wants to register on the EESS – to enable the responsible supplier to show it is taking ‘reasonable’ steps to comply with Victorian law.
- REAS certificates that have been uploaded to the national database cannot have their expiry date extended beyond the original listed expiry date.
- The EESS has always looked to ensure consistency. One of the key features of the EESS is compliance to the publicly available Scheme Rules.
- For the purposes of the new offences in sections 55(3) and 67D of the Act, a supplier must hold or produce a certificate of conformity issued by ESV, a regulatory authority or an external certifier. To assist industry, under temporary transitional arrangements, any certificate that has certificate details on the EESS database as of 1 April 2020 will be administratively accepted as being a certificate of conformity.
Note: The Queensland Electrical Safety Office has indicated ESV’s general position to be appropriate.
Modification of existing NSW Fair Trading REAS certifications uploaded to the national database
Prior to 1 October 2019
To enable an orderly and fully compliant transition of certificates on the EESS database, from 1 October 2019, until the REAS certificate reaches it expiry date, the following will apply to private certifier issued certificates that have not been issued under the RECS scheme.
- Any modification to an existing REAS certificate can be made as long as the following is met;
- the modification complies with EESS and RECS requirements, and
- the processes applied by the certifier to process the modification, including additional requirements to update the certificate as a result of changes to standards also complies with EESS and RECS requirements, and
- all model number designations are verified, and if required, updated to comply with EESS and RECS requirements. Wild cards are not prohibited on the certificate; however, the certificate must include full model number designations for all models to be sold in Australia/New Zealand.
- All modifications subject to this process may be added to the existing REAS certificate on the EESS database by either adding an addendum certificate, or by updating/adding a profile to the existing certificate.
- During this modification process, it is NOT expected that the original documentation used for the original certification is assessed to ensure it complies to the EESS and RECS requirements.