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Argentina Sets New Certification Requirements for Low-Voltage Electrical Equipment

Argentina recently issued a regulation (Resolution 508/2015) requiring low-voltage electrical equipment with a nominal voltage of up to 1,000 volts AC or up to 1,500 volts DC that is sold in the country to be certified for compliance with certain essential safety requirements. These requirements will apply from 21 November 2015, although certain provisions will enter into force on 19 April 2016.

Subject equipment must include a range of information such as the general characteristics of the product, country of origin, product model, producer name or registered commercial brand and producer address, and name and address of the importer and distributor. This information must normally be on the product or, alternately, on its packaging, although the brand and model must necessarily be on the product. Electrical equipment and their components must be made so as to allow a safe and adequate connection and must also be designed and constructed so as to ensure protection against certain hazards, including dangerous temperature, arcing and radiation.

Subject merchandise must be certified in accordance with certification systems 4, 5 or 7. “System 4” is based on type testing and checking of samples taken from the market and/or the production site, “System 5” is based on an evaluation of the manufacturer’s quality management system and the testing of samples taken from the production line, while System 7 requires every imported lot to be tested to ensure regulatory compliance. System 5 certification is compulsory for a number of products, including fluorescent and incandescent lamps, LED lamps, electrical water heating equipment, split air conditioners, automatic clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers, electric metres, refrigerators and freezers, certain skin and hair care devices, power supplies and external chargers, portable luminaires, irons, fuses, outlets, transformers for lamps, lamp holders and electromagnetic ballasts.

Certificates of compliance will be issued by a certification body authorised by the National Directorate of Internal Trade in accordance with Resolution 404/2015. Certified products must bear on their surface or their packaging an indelible seal attesting compliance with all applicable requirements that includes the type of certification performed. Products certified in accordance with System 5 must bear the logo of the certification body, while products certified in accordance with Systems 4 or 7 must bear the name of the certification body. In addition, the products must be commercialised together with a document proving certification.

A number of products are exempt from these requirements, including diagnostic, treatment and preventive medical equipment; equipment and material specifically designed for use in motor vehicles, boats, aircraft, trains and other means of transportation; all lamps with a power higher than 1,000 watts; electrical and electronic materials and apparatus with a nominal operating current higher than 63 amps; and electric and electronic materials and apparatus designed for use with a voltage lower than 50 volts, with the exception of dichroic lamps and lamp holders, LED lamps, portable manual tools, electric fences, muscle stimulators that complement physical activity, and luminaires and power systems for luminaires.

Resolution 508/2015 includes a number of additional provisions of potential interest, including certain specific labelling requirements and a ban on the sale of low-voltage electrical equipment for household use other than equipment designed to operate in a voltage range of 50 to 250 volts that can be plugged into the low-voltage electric grid without the need of an external transformer, with certain exceptions.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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