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Large fine issued for sale of unsafe plug adaptors

An online trader who repeatedly sold unsafe plug adaptors has been convicted and fined $10,500 for the sale of unsafe electrical goods.

Despite repeated warnings Digital Tronics Limited continued to sell unsafe plug adaptors and external power supplies for Bluetooth headsets, says Energy Safety, the government agency tasked with promoting the safe supply and use of electricity and gas.

Energy Safety Compliance Officer Richard Lamb says: “Traders like this are extremely careless, selling dangerous plug adaptors that present very real risks of fire and electrocution. They provide little protection from live parts, which is concerning, given that plugs are used at skirting board level and easily accessible by infants and young children.”

The company was convicted in Manukau District Court this month. This prosecution follows an earlier case of an individual Trade Me member who was fined $2800 for selling unsafe electrical products, despite warnings.

Energy Safety has become increasingly concerned at the level of unsafe electrical goods being sold on online auction sites, says Mr Lamb. 

“A recent survey of online traders showed a significant number of external power supplies offered for sale failed to meet necessary safety checks.

“By issuing such a large fine, the judge has sent a clear message to online traders to clean up their act. We do not want to be dealing with the potentially tragic consequences of unsafe electrical goods.”

Energy Safety is continuing to work with online traders to advise them of their legal responsibilities. The government has simplified regulations to make clear that electrical items with a foreign plug and different voltage are deemed unsafe and will be treated as such.

Mr Lamb says buyers can also take steps to make sure they are purchasing safe goods.  “Only buy from a reputable seller, never accept anything that is supplied with an adaptor and if in doubt, ask to see a safety declaration signed by the New Zealand importer.”

Media Contact

Alastair Stewart
Communications Advisor
Ministry of Economic Development

Ph: 04 470 2508
Email: alastair.stewart@med.govt.nz