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Electro Technical Overview

Electrotechnical protects the safety and health of consumers and the environment, by enforcing compulsory specifications (VCs) in the electrical and electronic technology areas. The regulated products include household appliances, power tools, ICT equipment, audiovisual equipment, lighting products; and electrical components such as plugs, adaptors, and switches. Electrotechnical is an accredited inspection body and conducts its operations in accordance with the requirements of SANS/ISO/IEC 17020: Conformity assessment — Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing the inspection. The accreditation demonstrates the technical competency of its staff for the defined scope and the operation of an effective management system.

Enforcement of VCs is done at two stages: pre-market approvals; where regulated products are required to be approved by the regulator before they enter the South African market, and post-market inspections; where products within the regulatory scope are inspected at source i.e. manufacturers premises, ports of entry, and importers premises, and at retailers. Any non-compliant products found on the market are dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the NRCS Act, Act 5 of 2008, as amended.

The Unit leverages some NRCS cooperative and collaborative working arrangements with other government departments and agencies with overlapping and related mandates in the electrotechnical sector. Some of the partnerships in place include Memoranda of Understanding/Agreement (MOU/A) with the following:

  • Department of Labour and Employment (DoL) – on aspects regarding the approval of components of fixed electrical installations;
  • Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) – on the energy efficiency of electrical and electronic apparatus;
  • Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) – on aspects concerning the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) of certain electrical and electronic apparatus;
  • South African Revenue Service (SARS) – on the control of the movement of regulated goods at the ports of entry;
  • National Consumer Commission (NCC) – establishing and maintaining a cooperative relationship for the provision of mutual assistance and advice in order to ensure the consistent application of the relevant legislation.

In accordance with the NRCS Act, Act 5 of 2008, and the Regulations thereto, all importers and manufacturers of regulated electrotechnical commodities are required to register with the NRCS. In addition, levies are payable for all regulated products as gazetted from time to time.

Approval and Inspection​


The Approval Process

Each model (or family) of products covered by the scope of VCs require to be approved by the regulator before they enter the South African market. Approvals are conducted in accordance with the relevant policies and procedures. The regulator deploys a risk-based approach and evaluates the evidence of conformity submitted with the application for approval, only granting approval when the requirements of the relevant VCs have been met. The evidence of conformity includes a valid test report, issued by an appropriately accredited and internationally recognized body, being a member of an IAF /ILAC /IECEE mutual recognition scheme in accordance with the NRCS's conformity assessment policy.

How to Apply for Approvals

Only applications for approval that are lodged online are accepted. The applicant shall be an existing legal entity within the Republic of South Africa. Applications for safety LOAs are submitted on the CRM System, while as from 1 April 2021, applications for Energy Efficiency (EE) LOAs are submitted on the EE Database System.

Types of Approvals Issued

Electrotechnical issues three types of approvals:

  1. Letter of Authority (LOA): issued for products that meet the requirements of the relevant VCs for safety and energy efficiency.
  2. Regulatory Certificate of Compliance (RCC): for the safety of components of fixed electrical installations covered by Table 4.1 of the Wiring Code, SANS 10142-1:2020
  3. Authorisation Certificate (AC): for the safety of products covered by the wiring code, which do not fall under Table 4.1, where it is deemed that the safety integrity of the installation is not compromised. In this case, applicants are required to present such evidence to the Advisory Committee constituted for such a purpose.

Products that fall under the scope of both the safety and energy effici​​ency requirements of VCs require two separate LOAs. The LOAs are valid for three years and may be extended on the further application for renewal before expiry.

LOA Fees and Revoking of Approvals

The fees for LOAs are gazetted from time to time. Any approvals issued by the regulator may be suspended/withdrawn/revoked if the conditions of issuance are violated or are not maintained.


The Role of Inspectors

Market surveillance inspectors, deriving their powers from the NRCS Act, Act 5 of 2008, as amended, conduct inspections on the market to verify compliance to the requirements of the relevant VCs. Where non-compliant products are found on the market the inspectors are empowered to issue the appropriate sanctions in accordance with the enabling legislation, to prevent such products from entering the market, thus protecting the health and safety of consumers.

The Inspection Process

In the process of conducting inspections, samples of products may be taken from the market for check testing or to be kept as evidence. The sampled products are tested at Third Party accredited conformity assessment bodies to verify compliance. The inspection process may include but is not limited to, the verification of the approval status of the products in question, conducting visual inspections in accordance with the requirements of the VC, verification of levies due to the regulator, and the evaluation of any relevant documentation that may be requested by the inspector, to assess conformity with the requirements.

Ports of Entry Inspections

For all inquiries​ in terms of the port of entry stoppages that may be imposed, the regulator would generally request the listed documents, which should be forwarded to the region where the stoppages/detentions were imposed:

  1. SAD 500
  2. Bill of entry (Harbour stoppage)/ Waybill (airport stoppage)
  3. Commercial Invoice
  4. Packing list
  5. Photos of the product
  6. Technical specification of the product.
  7. IEC Electrical Safety Test Report/ LOA/ RCC/ AC
  8. The container number/Waybill number should occupy the subject line of your email correspondence.

The profiler will review the documents and advise on the required action. The email addresses to be utilized for stoppages or enquiries on electrical and electronic products or components at the respective ports of discharge are given below.

  1. Port of discharge Cape Town:
  2. Port of discharge Durban: and
  3. Port of discharge Port Elizabeth:
  4. Port of discharge Gauteng:

List of VC's OF ReguLated Products

VC# Title Downloads
VC 9087 Supplement Supplement for Compulsory specification for the lamp control gear Download
VC 8012 Compulsory specification for appliance couplers Download
VC 9006 Supplement Supplement to VC9006 Download
VC 8011 Supplement Supplement to VC8011 Download
VC 9105 Compulsory specification for electric motor-operated hand-held tools, transportable tools and lawn and garden machinery Download
VC 8079 Compulsory specification for the control of gaming devices and related apparatus Download
VC 8006-2010 Compulsory specification for safety of flexible cords for electrical appliances Download
VC 8075-2017 Compulsory specification for the safety of electric cables with extruded solid dielectric insulation for fixed installations (300/500 V to 1 900/3 300 V) Download
VC 8029 Compulsory specification for cord sets and cord extension sets Download
VC 8077-2017 Compulsory specification for safety of medium-voltage electric cables Download
VC 8055 Supplement Supplement to VC8055 Download
VC 8055 Compulsory specification for electrical and electronic apparatus Download
VC 8043 Compulsory specification for incandescent lamps Download
VC 8035 Compulsory specification for earth leakage protection units Download
VC 9008 Supplement Supplement to VC9008 Download
VC 9091 Compulsory specification for single-capped fluorescent lamps Download
VC 8052-2010 Compulsory specification for manually operated switches for appliances Download
VC 9087 Compulsory specification for the lamp control gear Download
VC 8011 Compulsory specification for lamp holders Download
VC 8036 Compulsory specification for circuit-breakers Download
VC 8003-2015 Compulsory specification for manually operated switches for fixed installations Download
VC 9006 Compulsory specification for hot water storage tanks Download
VC 8008-2010 Compulsory specification for plugs, socket-outlets and socket-outlet adaptors Download
VC 8039-2010 Compulsory specification for The safety of starters for tubular fluorescent lamps Download

LOA and Application FORMS

Title Downloads
SALES PERMIT FORM NRCS ET SCF044 ISSUE 5 2018-08-01 Download
Application for Registration (ANNEX 2) Download
LOA Application Form 2019 Download
Certifcates Fees Fiscal 2019_2020 Download
NRCS Online Customer Manual pages 23 - 41 Download
RCC Admin Procedure 2018 Download

Database of Approved Products

Title​​ Downloads

Frequently Asked Questions

Full safety test reports coming from accredited testing facility and not older than 36 months.​

Check the list of Compulsory Specifications on the NRCS website to see which products fall within the scope of Compulsory Specifications.​

No, only full safety test reports coming from the accredited test laboratory and not older than 36 months are accepted.

No, unless they are accompanied by the declaration report, declaring the equivalence of standards​ to SANS/IEC.

NRCS Finance Business Unit.​

LOA applications are processed within 120 calendar days.​

Updated fees are gazetted annually and available on the NRCS website.​

Yes, in most cases they do as the regulations cover both a.c and d.c products. Check the scope of the relevant VC.​

No, the standard covers all aspects of safety, which also take into account the main device. Therefore, the whole unit would require a LOA not just the charger​

No, all products that are imported into the country and fall in the scope of the VC, regardless of whether they are for sale or for business use, are subjected to the relevant regulatory requirements​

No, Tariff or HS codes is a self-declaration classification to SARS about your devices and this does not determine whether a product requires compliance to VCs. The relevant VC must be used as the reference document.​

No, the tariff code and SARS risk engine to detain goods is not a means to determine whether a product requires compliance. The relevant VC must be the reference document in this regard​

Yes, this will now place you under the manufacturer or assembler classification and the completed unit will still require compliance. However, some parts also have their own VC which then requires proof of compliance for each part and the completed unit​

Yes, plugs form part of the compliance requirements. A standard covers all aspects of the device which includes plugs as a component of the device​

No, the conditions of a LOA state that it may not be sold, traded or ceded other than to the applicant listed on the certificate. Each importer is responsible to apply for their own certificate​

The LOA application process is based on an electronic system working off the FIFO principle and the Risk Based Approach. In order to ensure your LOA is issued as quickly as possible you must make sure that you have provided all the documents and correct information.​


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Lerato Maluleke

Personal Assistant
:+27 (0) 12 482 8886 ​​​

Mmakopano Ndlovu

Admin Co-ordinator

:+27 (0) 12 482 8839

Elsabe Kok

Admin Co-ordinator

:+27 (0) 12 482 8755

Patsy Andrews

Manager: Inspections (Western Cape)

:+27 (0) 21 526 3400

Steven Titus

Manager: Inspections (Port Elizabeth)

:+27 (0) 41 398 6900

Thembeka Msomi

Principal Inspector

:+27 (0) 31 533 6700

Thabo Mabena

Manager: Inspections

:+27 (0) 12 482 8767 ​

Stephina Gwangwa​

Manager: Approvals

:+27 (0) 12 482 8893 ​​​​​​​​