Why are Supplier Declarations of Conformity (SDoC) important?
An explanation on responsibilities for the safety of electrical equipment, what fittings and appliances require SDoC, who can issue them and what information they should be contain.
This document is also available in Chinese
Overview for safety certification of installations
When general or high risk prescribed electrical work (PEW) is being completed, on an installation it is required to be certified by a certificate of compliance (CoC).
A CoC certifies that the completed installation or part of installation is safe to connect to a power supply.
By signing the certificate, the electrical worker (EW) accepts responsibility for the safety of both the fittings, including cables, and the installation work itself. However, there are several parties that contribute to the safety of the completed installation, these are：
- the person that prepared the certified design
- the supplier of the fittings
- any other EW who carried out the PEW and testing
Where several EWs are working on and responsible for different areas of the same installation, a CoC must be issued by each EW for the “part installation” they were responsible for.
SDoC issued for electrical equipment
Electrical equipment consists of both fittings and appliances. Similar to the way PEW is divided into three risk categories, fittings and appliances are also divided into three categories.
All electrical equipment that is gazetted as medium or high risk means the New Zealand supplier (generally the seller who you bought the equipment from) is required to provide an SDoC on request. Although an SDoC is required to be supplied by a wholesaler or retailer, the SDoC will generally be issued by the New Zealand importer or New Zealand manufacturer.
An SDoC is a document that contains a description of the article and a test report confirming how it complies with the required standard or AS/NZS 3820.
If an electrical worker supplies declared high or medium risk electrical equipment, then the EW is the supplier and they must ensure that they can supply a valid SDoC. For example, an EW may have purchased extractor fans from an overseas online seller then supplied and installed the fans into clients’ installations. In this case the EW is deemed to be the New Zealand importer and they must issue an SDoC for the extractor fan before the fan was supplied and installed.
Responsibility for the safety of the electrical equipment
If the electrical equipment is not obviously unsafe, an EW can transfer the responsibility for the safety of the electrical equipment that they are installing to the original supplier.
This can be done by attaching or referencing the valid SDoC from the original supplier on the CoC.
If medium and high risk electrical equipment has been registered on the Australian Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) database and its New Zealand supplier is also registered, then the SDoC is not required. The CoC would then reference the EESS entry.
Medium and high risk electrical equipment (fittings and appliances)
Risk rating of electrical equipment
The risk rating of electrical equipment is based on the probability that equipment would not comply with the required standards and the dangers that would present if it was non-compliant.
Most declared medium and high risk products (electrical equipment) are appliances and these are not certified by the CoC as they are not part of an installation, even if they are “fixed wired”. However there is an exception in the case of an appliance that is in a connectable installation. A connectable installation includes caravans, boats, motorhomes and relocatable buildings - in these installations appliances are part of that installation.
Although CoCs are not mandatory for low risk PEW, it is recommended to request an SDoC for any new or not commonly used product you are installing if you are issuing a CoC.
Electrical fittings are part of an installation. Included in the list of high and medium risk fittings are;
- Building wiring cables,
- light fittings,
- wall switches,
- electric vehicle charging or supply equipment (EVSE).
Note: EVSE are classed as a fitting - they are not an appliance.
It is not mandatory to reference, or attach SDoC to a CoC for electrical fittings, however it is recommended to do so where the products are not commonly used or are new products.
It is recommended to always obtain SDoCs for building wiring cable, residual current devices and EVSE and reference these SDoC on the COC.
It is also recommended when deciding whether an SDoC is required to consider factors such confidence in the fitting and how accessible or easy it would be to replace if it were recalled for safety reasons.
What information should be included in SDoC
If an EW has received an SDoC for particular electrical equipment, they should always ensure the product name, type, rating, brand and model for that electrical equipment are all provided in the SDoC. This information must exactly match the markings on that electrical equipment the EW received. If any of the information contained in the SDoC is different from the markings on the electrical equipment, e.g. the brand or the model, it means that the SDoC they received is not for the electrical equipment they have and therefore should not be relied on or referenced on the CoC.
In addition the SDoC must also contain the full legal name and contact details of the New Zealand supplier.