Supplier Declaration of Compliance system gas appliances that require a declaration

Issue 44 – November 2012

The Gas Regulations 1993 were amended in November 2002 to introduce the Supplier Declaration of Compliance (SDoC) system. The amendment required that an importer or New Zealand manufacturer of an appliance had to make a declaration prior to supplying the appliance.

The Gas Regulations also required that where an SDoC was required for an appliance, a gasfitter could not install that appliance unless there was an SDoC.

The Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010, (GSMR) continue the requirements for an SDoC. The GSMR also tightens up on the requirements for appliance suppliers but gives suppliers until 1 July 2013 to implement these new provisions. Under the new provisions the appliance must be certified to one of the certification regimes and Standards specified in Schedule 2A of the GSMR, and must carry a compliance label.

The GSMR requires that a gasfitter must ensure that that an appliance carries a compliance label before installing an appliance, or if it does not, that it has a SDoC, usually on the database of gas supplier declarations.

After 1 July 2013, all new gas appliances should have the compliance label (unless they are old stock). Consequently, as old stock diminishes gasfitters will need to check the database only occasionally.

An alternative to the certification regime is the endorsement regime where an approved practitioner will provide a paper-based endorsement that the appliance is compliant. This applies where there are fewer than eleven of the appliance (or they are appliances in an imported installation). Under the 1993 regulations a supplier could also supply a paper based SDoC for fewer than eleven runs of an appliance.

When does an appliance not require a declaration?

  • If an appliance was imported or NZ manufactured and supplied prior to November 2002 it does not require a declaration (but it still must be safe).

  • If an appliance is imported for the client's own use it does need a declaration as it has not been supplied (but again, it must be safe).

A gasfitter's other obligations

Regardless of whether an appliance requires an SDoC, Regulation 53 requires 'Every person who ... installs [the gasfitter]… a gas appliance or fittings must take all practicable steps to ensure that the gas appliance or fittings are safe'.

For a new gas appliance that has an SDoC or a compliance label, a gasfitter should be able to rely on the appliance being suitable (once they have completed their commissioning tests). But what about a second-hand appliance or one that falls outside of the SDoC regime? Just what are practicable steps? While certification may establish that appliance was OK when it was new, it may not mean a used appliance is still OK.

Regulation 74 deals with the maintenance of gas appliances and states a repaired appliance must comply with the technical requirements of NZS 5266 Safety of gas appliances. Energy Safety suggests that it would be a good approach to also comply with the technical requirements of NZS 5266 when establishing whether an appliance is suitable for installation if it is second-hand or outside of the SDoC regime.

NZS 5266 draws heavily on NZS 5262 Gas appliance safety and the 'technical requirements' require:

  • freedom from mechanical hazards

  • adequate means of support and the ability to be stable or remain safe when subjected to external forces

  • any gas leakage shall not give rise to a hazardous situation

  • parts shall not reach temperatures which create a hazard

  • remain safe under New Zealand climatic conditions

  • operates safely at all specified gas supply pressures

  • not cause a dangerous situation to develop when subjected to an overpressure

  • be electrically safe (if appropriate)

  • products of combustion to be of a composition, and to be discharged in such a manner, as to present no health or fire hazard

  • burners to have reliable and complete ignition, reignition and cross-lighting

  • no flame abnormality (flame lift, lightback, yellow tipping, or sooting).

If you do not think the appliance is safe you should not be installing it, regardless of whether it has an SDoC.

Summarised from PGDB's infobrief, September 2012.

Note: NZS 5262:2003 has been replaced by the following Standards: NZS/AS 3645.1(Int):2010, NZS/AS 3645.2(Int):2010, and NZS 5266(Int):2011. NZS/AS 3645.1 and 2 and NZS 5266 are currently under review.

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Published in energy.