The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) in 2021 commenced the monitoring of several categories of electrical equipment and fittings based on the requirements of 31 mandatory national standards. The standards are aimed at protecting consumers from losses or injury resulting from the use of inferior electrical items.
To date, Inspectors of the GNBS Product Compliance Department have seized 6,867 pieces of substandard electrical products, which they destroyed earlier today.
These items included breakers, lamp holders, power cords, receptacles, power outlets, Knife Switches, and surge protective devices. They were seized from sale outlets in Regions Three and Four for failing to comply with the requirements of the standards.
Some of the items confiscated and destroyed were found to be without any label while others did not specify the country of origin; certification marks to prove that they were tested by an independent laboratory for quality were missing from labels; and for others, there were no directions for use. There was a large number of inferior power cords and power strips incorrectly labeled as surge protective devices while they did not have such protection capability.
Most of these non-conforming items were placed on hold by the GNBS for inspection. During this period, importers and dealers were allowed to submit test certificates, and in some cases, Declaration on Conformity of Origin. Some importers could not provide the required documents, which are based on the minimum requirements established by the respective mandatory National Standards.
Test Certificates from independent/third-party laboratories are required for products that do not have Standard Marks, which indicate that they were tested and conform to a standard. Meanwhile, Declaration of Conformity of Origin is needed for products, which do not indicate the country in which they were manufactured.
To avoid seizure of items, Importers and Dealers are reminded to register with the GNBS, submit samples of new products for approval before importation; and ensure Inspectors of the GNBS examine consignments of commodities before clearance and sale in the country. Importers are also advised to purchase from sources known for producing quality products and those that can issue warranties that could be easily passed on to consumers.
In addition, imported products should bear a national or international certification mark from a recognised independent Testing Body in the country of origin, or a certificate of quality compliance should be submitted to the GNBS to verify the quality of products imported. Meanwhile, all labels, brochures, instruction manuals, leaflets, etc., which are associated with products, should be written in English Language and accompany the product at the time of sale.
Finally, Importers and Dealers are also urged to check their products received to ensure conformance to the quality specification and to detect any deterioration in quality or other damages during storage and transportation.
For consumers, while some of the substandard items may cost less, you are urged to purchase items, which are correctly labeled and suitable for the required use. The GNBS recommends that you purchase electrical equipment and fittings under the careful guidance of a Certified Electrician who is keen on using the best quality items. Such careful actions can reduce damages to household appliances and property due to fires.
Copies of the various Standards for Electrical Products can be purchased from the GNBS Head Office at Exhibition Site, Sophia. Inspectors of the Bureau will continue to aggressively monitor for non-complying and defective products.