The plugs and sockets etc (safety) regulations 1994

OC 489/6

This OC informs inspectors of the implementation of the above 'consumer product safety' regulations and gives a brief summary of the Regulations and their commencement dates.


1 The Plugs and Sockets etc (Safety) Regulations 1994 apply to electrical appliances intended for domestic use. Many of these appliances will, however, also be used in the workplace.

2 The Regulations are divided into 3 parts:

(1) Part I Approval of electrical devices;

(2) Part II Fitted plug provisions; and

(3) Part III Information requirements.

Part i - Approval of electrical devices

3 Part I retains many elements of the Plugs and Sockets etc (Safety) Regulations 1987. However, it has been necessary to modify the approval regime to take into account the views expressed by the European Commission and other member states.

4 The Regulations will continue to require that all standard plugs, ie a plug that is designed to engage a socket made to the dimensions of BS 1363 1984:Specification for 13A fused plugs and switched and unswitched socket outlets, must be of a type that has been approved. Approval must be carried out by either a body that has been notified under Article 10 of the Low Voltage Directive or by one that has been appointed by the Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry.

5 Other devices such as sockets, fuse-links, plugs, adaptors etc, must conform to the appropriate British standard listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations.

6 These changes will not affect the day to day operation of manufacturers or suppliers who will not need to seek re-approval of devices that are currently approved by ASTA Certification Services or British Standards Institute (BSI) under the provisions of the 1987 Regulations. Both ASTA Certification Services and BSI will continue to be recognised as approval bodies for the purposes of the new Regulations.

Part ii - Fitted plug provisions

7 Part II introduces a new requirement that most domestic electrical appliances which operate at a voltage of not less than 200 volts must be supplied fitted with a correctly fused and approved standard plug. As an alternative to fitting a standard plug an appliance may be fitted with a non-UK plug provided that an approved conversion plug is fitted.

8 For the purposes of these Regulations an appliance ordinarily intended for domestic use is taken to mean one that is intended for private use at home.

9 Responsibility for fitting a standard plug or converter plug will fall to the first supplier of the appliance in the UK.

10 The "fitted plug" provisions will not apply to those appliances that are listed at the appendix.

Part iii - Information requirements

11 Part III provides for the information that must accompany all standard plugs and conversion plugs. Such devices must be legibly marked or bear a label that signifies that the device has been approved and the identity of the body that carried out the approval.

12 Where it is necessary for the safe operation of any standard plug or conversion plug that the user should be aware of any particular characteristics, the necessary information must be given by markings on the plug or where this is not practicable, in a notice accompanying the plug. Any such instructions must be given in English.

Implementation dates

13 The Regulations will be introduced in 3 stages.

(1) First suppliers (ie manufacturers and importers) will be required to comply with effect from 1 February 1995.

(2) All other suppliers (ie distributors, retailers etc) will have to comply with effect from 1 February 1996.

Regulations revoked

16 The Plugs and Sockets etc (Safety) Regulations 1987 are revoked with effect from 3 August 1994.

17 The Electrical Appliances (Colour Code) Regulations 1969 (as amended in 1970 and 1977) will be revoked with effect from 1 February 1995.

22 December 1994

(2026/FOD/90 V3'B')

ASI headings

Electric(ity): plugs: Plugs and Sockets etc (Safety) Regulations 1994: wiring.

(para 10)

1 Any appliance that is not ordinarily intended for domestic use.

2 Any fixed luminaire, being a luminaire which cannot be easily moved from one place to another, either because it can only be removed with the use of a tool, or because it is intended for use out of easy reach.

3 Any ceiling rose connect (that is to say a connector designed to hold up overhead electric light fittings).

4 Any electric light designed and intended to be located within a recess in a wall or ceiling.

5 Any appliance which is fitted with a residual current device (RCD) plug.

6 Any appliance which is fitted with a plug transformer.

7 Any appliance which is fitted with a plug other that a standard plug which is designed to engage with a portable multiple socket outlet.

8 Any appliance which is intended to be permanently connected to the fixed wiring of the mains system other than by means of a plug and socket.

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Updated 2023-02-15