Validity of supplier declaration of conformity
A response to requests from importers and suppliers around the validity of a Supplier Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) if relevant standards are changed or expire. This includes when an SDoC is required, and how long one remains valid.
Importers and suppliers have asked for clarification of the validity of a Supplier Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) made for compliance with Regulation 83 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 when the relevant recognised Standard in Schedule 4 of the Regulations, changes or expires. What effects do changes to cited Standards have on an existing SDoC, particularly for ongoing importation or manufacture, including how long does an SDoC remain valid?
The requirement for an SDoC applies to medium risk declared articles.
An SDoC must reference a Standard listed in Schedule 4 and must be supported by a test report, or other document, showing how the product(s) complies with the referenced Standard. An SDoC may cite compliance with AS/NZS 3820 as alternative, where a product cannot fully comply with the relevant standard cited in Schedule 4. However, in that case evidence of full compliance with AS/NZS 3820 will be required to support the SDoC and such evidence of compliance will need to demonstrate that the product is at least equivalent, if not more stringent than, the relevant safety cited in Schedule 4 at date of declaration.
Most standards have an implementation period, and the Regulations also have transitional provisions applying to amendments that cover products already under order at the time an amendment is made to the relevant standard or its citation in Schedule 4.
The SDoC must be valid at the time a product is first introduced to the New Zealand market through sale by the New Zealand manufacturer of importer. Subsequent sales by retailers etc. may be made on the basis of the first supplier’s SDoCs and documents confirming the date of first sale. Subsequent importation or New Zealand manufacture will require a new SDoC if the cited safety standard has subsequently changed, unless the importation or New Zealand manufacture was the subject of an irrevocable purchase order prior to the published notice of a change to the standard coming into effect.
If the product covered by the SDoC is a Medium Risk or a High Risk declared article that has deemed approval by WorkSafe, a recognised Australian Regulatory Authority, or a certification agency recognised by WorkSafe, then, because the approval itself has a period of validity, this period of validity applies to the SDoC which remains valid after the referenced Standard’s validity expires even though the referenced Standard in Schedule 4 may no longer otherwise be valid.
If the product covered by the SDoC is a Medium Risk or a High Risk declared article that has been certified by an agency other than WorkSafe, a recognised Australian Regulatory Authority, or a certification agency recognised by WorkSafe, the product(s) covered by the SDoC must be compliant with the applicable Standard in Schedule 4 at the time of first sale following each and every importation or manufacture in New Zealand, and the SDoC also needs to reference that Standard. The same rules apply to any subsequent importation or manufacture in New Zealand of that product.
However, where the New Zealand supplier, including an “Affiliated supplier” and the products requiring an SDoC are both compliantly registered on the EESS database, and they comply with the requirements of the harmonised Australian/New Zealand Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS), including being marked with the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM), an SDoC is not required.