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Help! I’m importing an appliance from overseas, what do I need to do and why? 

If you’re reading this it is likely you’ve purchased an appliance that either isn’t manufactured in NZ, or is more specialist or niche than the NZ market has available for sale. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as piping it up and switching it on as there are some important checks that need to be done, and for good reason. One of the reasons for this is to ensure appliances are designed and manufactured using materials that have been tested and approved for use in NZ. Another reason is that in other jurisdictions there is not an onus on having flame failure devices built in to ensure an appliance “fails safe.” For this reason any appliance that has been imported will need to be endorsed by an energy safety approved practitioner. 

The first step is usually to inspect the appliance and gather as much information as possible. Best case scenario there is a manual that shows the following; 

  • The full operation of the machine – In English, 
  • The standard to which it has been built 
  • The safety parameters that have been installed 
  • The rated consumption of the burners 
  • What gas it is rated for 

Depending on the outcome of this process there either needs to be a formal sign off, or more often than not we will need to order in parts to bring the appliance up to standard. If there is more work required this can add a considerable amount of time to get to the final outcome, usually you find that if the appliance is niche, the parts required to make it compliant are niche too. 

Yes! This is another role that a practitioner can fulfill, it could be increasing the productivity of an appliance by upgrading the burners, not only can we source the parts, we can install and endorse them too. An example of this might be to replace the burners on an old Wok bench to low pressure duckbill burners. There isn’t a part of this process we wouldn’t be able to handle in house from the appliance itself to the alteration of the pipework and ensuring it had an endorsement certificate. 

What we have found is that sometimes an appliance being brought in may seem cheaper, but by the time we’ve worked through compliance issues it isn’t always cost effective to import something that is already sold here in NZ. If we are given an opportunity to inspect the manufacturer’s manual and the full scope of how the appliance works and to the standard it’s been built, we may be able to advise in advance the expected endorsement cost and process before importing. 

The important thing to remember is that these standards keep all of us safe, we’ve seen many appliances brought into the country that lack basic flame failure function or that have been piped up with non-compliant pipework and fittings. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us directly if you have any other questions that this blog doesn’t cover.