NRCS ensures the safety and energy efficiency of electrical and electronic apparatus, components and related products offered for sale in South Africa. The safety and environmental requirements are based on internationally accepted standards. It is appointed by the National Department of Labour as the approvals body for electrical products and components of domestic and industrial low voltage electrical installations.
NRCS also administers a compulsory specification for the control of gaming devices and related apparatus. The compulsory specification sets compulsory requirements for safety, fairness, security and reliability of gaming and bookmaking apparatus. It is appointed to perform these functions in terms of the National Gambling Act (Act No 7 of 2004).
Electrotechnical Letter of Authority
LOA’s are required by all manufacturers and importers of commodities that fall under the scope of the above compulsory specifications (VCs) prior, to the importation and sale of the product. This LOA will only be issued after the successful evaluation of the proof of compliance submitted. A memorandum of agreement between SARS (Customs & Excise) and NRCS also ensures stringent import control, such that no importer will be granted market entry into South Africa for commodities that fall under the scope of the relevant compulsory specifications unless they are in possession of an original valid LOA for the specific commodities.
Most electrical products falling within the scope of compulsory specifications must be approved before they can be sold.
• Hand-held and transportable electrical power tools
• Electronic equipment
• Sound and communications equipment
• IT equipment
• Luminaires (lighting equipment), components and lamp control-gear
• Components of appliances such as switches
• Electric cables and flexible cords, including appliance couplers, cord sets and cord extension sets
• Cable for fixed wiring installations
• Medium voltage cables (up to 33 kV)
• Electric plugs, socket-outlets and socket outlet adaptors
• Components of low-voltage fixed-wiring installations, including circuit breakers and earth-leakage protection units.
The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) would like to inform, all captains of industry, the general public and relevant stakeholders that the Letter of Authority (LOA) certificate issued by the NRCS is the only legal document required to access the market for products regulated by the organisation.
The issuing of this certificate follows a rigorous pre-market approval process to confirm products’ conformity to safety requirements that are set by the NRCS. Through this process, an applicant, importer or manufacturer of a regulated products is required to submit a sample of a product and a full test report acquired from an accredited testing facility and not older than 36 months for examination, testing or analysing to determine compliance with the relevant compulsory specifications that are in force before the LOA is issued.
The pre-market approval process is augmented by various other regulatory activities of ensuring on-going compliance of products that are offered for sale to protect consumers. This is done in congruence with the mandate of the organisation of ensuring the protection of public health, safety and the environment and to promote fair trade.
Activities include regular market surveillance inspections carried out by competent Inspectors across the country, border enforcement activities aimed at intercepting products before they have had a chance to reach the market and surprise raids in various business premises working with key stakeholders such as the South African Police Service, the South African Revenue Service Customs Division and the National Consumer Commission, among others.
These activities have proved effective in rooting out non-compliances across the markets.
The organisation would also like to encourage businesses to ensure compliance to avoid being subjected to the sanctioning process where their products are confiscated and destroyed and the necessary penalties imposed.
Industry members remain a key stakeholder for the organisation and as such, the NRCS commits to deliver on their expectation in a number of ways related to its services such as the speedy processing of LOA applications, improving on communication and overall customer experience.