Proposal for new appliances to be registered with safety authority

Hair straighteners and LED standing lamps are among the new household appliances that will have to be registered with Singapore's safety authority, if proposed amendments are passed.

This follows risk assessments done by Spring Singapore that found them to be of "similar risk profile to existing controlled goods", said the authority yesterday.

Currently, there are 45 categories of household electrical, electronic and gas appliances and accessories that are considered controlled goods and must be given the safety mark by Spring before they can be sold in Singapore.

The hair and LED products that are being considered for registration currently have to meet international, regional or national safety standards before they can be sold here, but they do not need to be registered with Spring.

Registration means suppliers need to get certification from a third-party Conformity Assessment Body and submit it to Spring.

The authority administers the Consumer Protection (Safety Requirements) Regulations, which specify the 45 categories of controlled goods. It is seeking public feedback on the proposed amendments.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said it had one complaint about hair care appliances from January to July and one about table and standing lamps.

Another proposed change is to cut the list of 45 categories to 33, as some products, like video cassette recorders, are obsolete. The scope of controlled goods will also be broadened so they can cover new products. For example, the existing hairdryer category can be reclassified to hair care appliances, which will include hair straighteners, stylers and curlers as well.

Another proposal is the introduction of a tiered risk framework so controlled goods can be classified as remote, low, medium or high risk. It will allow low-risk items to be ready for sale quicker than they are now, when all products undergo a uniform certification process.

Case executive director Loy York Jiun said the amendments "will ensure that consumers are more protected as such appliances will have to undergo stringent testing and assessment by a third party to ensure that they are safe for use".

The four-week consultation began yesterday. The public can share their views and comments with Spring through e-mail at safety@spring.gov.sg by Sept 13.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2017, with the headline 'Proposal for new appliances to be registered with safety authority'. Print Edition | Subscribe