Ministério da Indústria e Energia (Ministry of Industry and Energy)
Consumer's rights to health and safety protection, consecrated in Article 110 of the Constitution have already been the subject of indispensable basic articulation with the publication of Law no. 29/81 of the 22nd of August (Law of Consumer Rights).
This law foresees, in paragraph a) of section 3 of Article 5, that the manufacture and use, in optimum conditions of goods capable of compromising users health and safety, specifically machines, apparatus and electrical and electronic equipment shall be the subject of appropriate regulation.
Furthermore, for the purposes of eliminating technical obstacles to trade in the electrotechnical sector, the Council of the European Communities adopted Directive no.73/23/EEC of the 19th of February, relating to safety standards required of electrical equipment intended for use within the range of certain voltages, so they can be traded and freely circulated within the Community.
The aforementioned law being in force and taking that directive into consideration, the aim of this diploma is to establish safety objectives and conditions, with the exceptions indicated therein, to which all electrical equipment intended for use in installations whose nominal voltage falls between 50V and 1000V alternate current, or between 75V and 1500V direct current; that is to say, household electrical appliances, small electrical apparatus, portable tools, lighting apparatus, conductors, cables and others intended for use in the majority of existing installations in Portugal, since standard voltage is 220V/380V, are covered.
In the development of the system contained in Law no. 29/81 of the 22nd of August, under the terms of paragraph c) of section 1 of Article 201 of the Constitution, the Government decrees the following:
This diploma applies to electrical equipment intended for use in installations whose nominal voltage falls between 50V and 1000V alternate current, or 75V and 1500V direct current, with the exception of the electrical equipment listed below:
a. Equipment intended for use in an explosive atmosphere;
b. Equipment intended for electromedicine;
c. Equipment for elevators;
d. Electrical energy counters;
e. Sockets, plugs and connectors for domestic use;
f. Equipment intended to power electrical fences;
g. Specialised equipment intended for use in ships or aircraft or railways which meets the safety standards established by international entities of which the member States of the European Communities form part;
h. All electrical equipment relating to radio interference;
i. Equipment intended for export to non-EEC countries.
For the purposes of this diploma, the items below are defined as follows:
a. Electrical equipment - all equipment intended for the production, transformation, distribution or use of electrical energy, namely distribution panels, transformers, measuring, protection, control and cut-off apparatus, component parts of electrical supply systems and usage apparatus;
b. Manufacturing rules - decode and manufacturing rules of electrical equipment which meets EEC safety standards, according to tests carried out.
c. Harmonised standards - standards, after has been established by accord of the standardisation entities of the member States of the European Communities, are published in accordance with the national procedure.
Equipment safety objectives and conditions
1. Electrical equipment must be manufactured in accordance with the manufacturing rules and in such a way as not to compromise the safety of people, domestic animals and property, when correctly installed and maintained and used for the purpose for which it was intended.
2. In the light of the objectives foreseen in the previous section, electrical equipment must namely comply with the safety conditions contained in the following articles.
Electrical equipment must comply with the following general conditions:
a. Basic characteristics, the awareness of which is necessary for the equipment to be correctly used, must be inscribed upon such, or if this is not feasible, in an user manual or booklet which accompanies it;
b. The manufacturing or trade mark must be affixed on the material in a visible and indeleble way, or if this is not feasible, on the respective package;
c. Electrical equipment must be designed and manufactured in such a way that, when the regulations for its respective use and maintenance are observed, protection against the dangers referred to in Articles 5 and 6 is guaranteed.
Protection against the dangers of the equipment
In order to fulfill what is stipulated in Article 4, with regard to protection against dangers which could be caused by the equipment, the following technical measures must be taken, so that:
a. People and domestic animals are suitably protected against risk of injury or other damages which could be caused by direct or indirect contact with the electrical equipment;
b. Dangerous temperatures, electrical discharges or radiation are not produced;
c. People, domestic animals and property are suitably protected against non-electrical dangers caused by the equipment and recognised by use;
d. The equipment's electrical insulation is appropriate to its conditions of use.
Protection against dangers caused by outside influences
In order to fulfill what is stipulated in Article 4, with regard to protection against dangers which could be caused by influences outside the electrical equipment, the following technical measures must be taken, so that:
a. Mechanical requirements in the environmental conditions foreseen for its use are met, so as not to place humans, domestic animals or property in danger;
b. Non-mechanical influences in the environmental conditions foreseen for its use are withstood, so as not to place humans, domestic animals or property in danger;
c. Humans, domestic animals and property are not placed in danger when the equipment is subject to foreseeable overvoltages.
Free circulation of electrical equipment
For safety reasons, the free circulation of electrical equipment may not be impeded, which, under the conditions foreseen in Articles 9, 10 and 11, corresponds to the safety objectives and standards established in Articles 3 to 6.
Connection to mains and power supply
With regard to safety, power distribution companies may not subject the connection to its mains or consumer power supply to more restrictive requirements than those foreseen in Articles 3 to 6.
Conformity of electrical equipment with certain norms or specifications
1. Unless adverse evidence, electrical equipment that complies with the harmonised standards, is presumed to comply with what is stipulated in Articles 3 to 6, and can be put on the market and freely traded.
2. Should harmonised standards have not yet been established and published, electrical equipment which complies with the specifications of the International Electrotechnical Commission (CEI) or with those published by the now extinct International Regulating Commission for the Approval of Electrical Equipment (CEE-el), is also presumed to comply with what is stipulated in those articles.
3. When the standards and specifications referred to in sub-paragraphs 1 and 2 do not exist, electrical equipment which complies with the following is also presumed to comply with Articles 3 to 6:
a. Portuguese standards and specifications relating to the equipment in question, which guarantee the safety standards required by those articles and are indicated by the Instituto Português da Qualidade;
b. National standards and specifications in force in the country of origin of imported equipment, provided the Instituto Português da Qualidade recognises that they guarantee safety standards equivalent to those established in Articles 3 to 6.
Presumption of conformity with technical standards or specifications
Electrical equipment which has a conformity mark affixed to it, or in relation to which a conformity certificate has been issued, or failing both, which is accompanied by a declaration of conformity from the manufacturer himself, is presumed to comply with the standards or specifications referred to in Article 9.
Trading and free circulation of electrical equipment which does not comply with the standards or specifications referred to in Article 9 shall be permitted, on the proviso that the manufacturer or importer presents a certificate, issued by one of the entities included in the list to which Article 14 alludes, demonstrating its conformity with the safety standards established in Articles 3 to 6.
1. Notwithstanding the equipment found on the market having a conformity mark affixed to it, or it being accompanied by a conformity certificate or a conformity declaration from the manufacturer, as foreseen in Article 10, or it having been the subject of a certificate issued under the circumstances foreseen in Article 11, the inspectorate or the Instituto Português da Qualidade may inspect, by means of samples, to see whether the equipment does in fact correspond to the safety objectives and standards established in Articles 3 to 6.
2. Should the equipment not correspond to the required safety standards, the trading agent shall be informed of the fact, and shall be granted a period of 30 days within which to submit a justified application for a new inspection.
3. If the interested party should not submit the request to which the previous section alludes or if further tests carried out on the equipment requested by him confirm failure to fulfill what is stipulated in Articles 3 to 6, the Minister of Commerce and Tourism, pending a motion by the Minister of Industry and Energy, based on the opinion of the Instituto Português da Qualidade, shall outlaw the equipment in question from being traded.
4. The inspectorate must immediately inform the Instituto Português da Qualidade of all situations which justify the measures foreseen in the previous section.
Burden of the Costs
1. Costs arising from carrying out tests on electrical equipment, in the light of the inspection to which section 1 of Article 12 alludes shall be borne by the entities which proposed such inspection.
2. Should it be found that the equipment does not meet safety standards required under the terms of this diploma, the aforementioned costs shall be borne by the trading agent in question.
A executive order from the Minister for Industry and Energy containing the list of entities authorised to grant conformity certificates as foreseen in Articles 10 and 11 shall be published in the Journal of the Republic (Diário da República).
1. The imports, storage or display for sale, delivery after repair or modification, exports or delivery to third parties, even on a free basis, of electrical equipment which does not comply with the safety standards established in Articles 3 to 6 constitute an offence actionable by a fine, within a minimum and maximum amounts of 5,000$00 and 200,000$00 Escudos for single persons, and 10,000$00 and 3,000,000$00 Escudos for collective persons, respectively.
2. As an additional sanction to the fines foreseen in the previous section, the arrest of the equipment and the deprivationof any right of the trading agent in question to any subsidy afforded by public services or entities may be imposed.
3. In violations found under the terms of section 1, negligence is always actionable, the above amounts being halved in such cases.
4. What is stipulated in Decree-law nr.433/82 of the 27th of October is also applicable.
Competence for imposing fines
The directors of regional delegations of the Ministry of Industry and Energy, to whom cases in the area of the respective regional delegation should be sent once initiated, are competent for imposing fines.
Fiscal control and direction of cases brought against offenders
1. Without prejudice to to the competence attributed in law to other entities, the control of the fulfillment of what is stipulated in this diploma is incumbent upon the Direcção-Geral de Energia (National Energy Board), under the scope of the Ministry of Industry and Energy.
2. Each of the entities referred to in the previous section shall undertake to bring cases against offences which it has been discovered.
3. When offences are discovered by entities not explicitly referred to in section 1, full details of the case must be sent to the Direcção-Geral da Inspecção Económica (National Board of Economic Inspection), for investigation and direction of the respective cases.
4. The inspectorate may request information and other means of co-operation from the trading agent, for the purposes of carrying out its inspection and request all the help it needs from the police authorities for the same purpose.
Follow-up of the global application of this diploma
The Instituto Português da Qualidade shall follow the global application of this diploma, proposing measures necessary to the pursuit of its ends and those which are intended to ensure connection with the Commission of the European Communities.
Entrance into force
This Decree-law shall enter into force when 30 days have lapsed from the date of its issue.
Seen and approved in Cabinet on the 11th of February, 1988. - Eurico Teixeira Silva de Melo. - Luís Francisco Valente de Oliveira. - Luís Fernando Mira Amaral. - Joaquim Martins Ferreira do Amaral.
Enacted on the 24th of March,1988.
It is hereby issued.
The President of the Portuguese Republic, Mário Soares.
Signed on the 28th of March, 1988.
The Prime-Minister, Aníbal António Cavaco Silva.