Product Safety Legislation

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What product safety legislation is applicable to you?

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission ('the CCPC') is responsible for the enforcement of five European Community Directives on product safety.

 (H = a horizontal/general Directive relating to consumer products in general;

 V = a vertical/specific Directive relating to specific products/product ranges)

Council Directive 92/59/EEC on General Product Safety

H

Council Directive 2009/48EC on the Safety of Toys

V

Council Directive 73/23/EEC on electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits

V

Council Directive 2014/35/EU on the making available on the market of electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits

V

Council Directive 89/686 /EEC on Personal Protective Equipment

V

Council Directive 90/396/EEC on Appliances Burning Gaseous Fuels

V

What are the main requirements of the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)?

The GPSD has been transposed in to Irish legislation in the European Communities (General Product Safety) Regulations 2004.

This legislation imposes a duty on manufacturers to ensure that products placed on the market are safe and do not pose a risk to the health or safety of consumers.

What is a CE mark?

The CE mark looks like this:

The CE mark on a product is an indication that the product meets the essential safety requirements of the relevant directives.

Where must the CE mark appear?

The CE mark should only be affixed to products covered by the vertical directives. Products covered by the GPSD should not be CE marked.

The CE mark should be affixed to the product, to its instruction manual or to packaging in a visible, easily legible and permanent form. The mark must appear on the product unless there are good technical reasons why it cannot appear, and it must be at least 5mm high.

What products are exempt from displaying a CE mark?

Antiques and second-hand products that have been reconditioned or repaired provided that the supplier clearly informs the buyer of this beforehand.

Toy safety

What are the main requirements of the Toy Safety Directive?

The Toy Safety Directive has been transposed in to Irish legislation in the European Communities (Safety of Toy) Regulations 2011 as amended by the European Communities (Safety of Toy) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.

The European Communities (Safety of Toys) Regulations 2011, as amended, regulate and prohibit the placing of toys on the market unless they meet essential safety requirements, including mechanical, chemical and flammability requirements.

How is a toy defined?

Toys are defined as any product or material clearly intended for use in play by a child of less than 14 years.

Must toys have a CE mark?

Yes, all toys must carry a CE mark, and toys or their packaging must contain the name and address of the manufacturer and the importer if different.

The Low Voltage Directive (LVD)

What is the Low Voltage Directive?

The Low Voltage Directive has been transposed in to Irish legislation in the European Union (Making Available on the Market of Electrical Equipment Designed for Use within Certain Voltage Limits) Regulations 2016 [S.I. 345 of 2016].

Low Voltage legislation covers most electrical equipment with voltage:

  • Between 50 Volts and 100 volts for A/C; and

  • Between 75 Volts and 1500 Volts for D/C.

In practice, this accounts for nearly all electrical devices found in the home and office.

Do LVD products have to carry a CE mark?

Since 1994, all such devices have been required to carry a CE mark.

What electrical equipment is NOT covered under the Low Voltage Regulations?

The regulations do not apply to electrical equipment for use in an explosive atmosphere, for radiology and medical purposes, specialised electrical equipment for use on ships, aircraft or railways, electricity meters and electric fence controllers.

Domestic wiring is covered under the wiring rules drawn up by the Electric Technical Council of Ireland. 

The Personal Protective Equipment Directive (PPE)

What are the main requirements of the PPE Directive?

The Personal Protective Equipment Directive has been transposed in to Irish legislation in the European Communities (Personal Protective Equipment) Regulations 1993 as amended by the European Communities (Personal Protective Equipment)) (Amendment) Regulations 1994, the European Communities (Personal Protective Equipment)) (CE Marking) Regulations 1994 and the European Communities (Personal Protective Equipment)) (Amendment) Regulations 1997.

The legislation provides that PPE cannot be placed on the market unless it complies with basic health and safety requirements. All PPE must carry a CE mark.

What is a PPE?

PPE are items like bicycle helmets and life jackets and also components designed to be used in protective equipment, such as filters in masks etc.

N.B.The CCPC’s responsibilities only relate to PPE for recreational use. The use of PPE in the workplace is the responsibility of the Health and Safety Authority.

The Gas Appliance Directive

What are the main requirements of the Appliance Burning Gaseous Fuels Directive?

The Appliance Burning Gaseous Fuels Directive has been transposed in to Irish legislation in the European Communities (Appliance Burning Gaseous Fuels) Regulations 1992 as amended by the European Communities (Appliance Burning Gaseous Fuels) (Amendment) Regulations 1995.

The legislation requires all devices and appliances burning gaseous fuels to carry a CE mark. This applies, for instance, to cookers, gas heaters, patio heaters and gas-fired barbeques.

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