“Ensuring Consumer Safety”

… ZCSA Cracks Down on Unsafe Electrical Products in Lusaka: Seizes Goods Worth Over K290,000

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (16-05-2024) – In a decisive move to protect public safety, the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) has seized unsafe electrical products worth more than K290,000 in Lusaka. This operation, which targeted several commercial locations including Kamwala Trading area, Oasis, Westgate, and Levy Malls, is part of an ongoing effort to ensure compliance with mandatory safety standards.

Operation Details and Public Safety Concerns

Brian Hatyoka, Acting Manager of Communications and Public Relations at ZCSA, revealed to Zambia24 that the confiscated items included electric cables, adapters, and household appliances such as kettles, plate cookers, and toasters.

“These products were found to be non-compliant with the stringent safety regulations mandated by the agency,” he said.

During this enforcement operation, ZCSA removed electrical products valued at K42,090 from the market. Hatyoka explained, “These items are scheduled for disposal to eliminate any risk they pose to consumers, which include dangers such as personal injury, electric shocks, fire hazards, and property damage.”

Additionally, Hatyoka stated that electrical products worth K248,499 will be quarantined pending corrective measures as outlined by the Compulsory Standards Act No. 3 of 2017.

According to Hatyoka, inspections revealed significant non-compliance issues, with 56 plugs, sockets, and adaptors not meeting the required color coding standards.

Furthermore, Hatyoka explained that 121 electric cables were found to be unregistered with the ZCSA, and 1,442 plugs, sockets, and adaptors failed to comply with Zambian Standard 558 for Plugs and Socket Outlets, Adaptors, and Connection Units.

Warnings and Consumer Guidance

Hatyoka issued a stern warning to traders about the severe risks associated with the illegal supply of non-compliant electrical products.

“The Agency remains steadfast in its commitment to rigorous enforcement, ensuring that only safe, compliant products are available on the market,” he said.

He advised consumers to purchase electrical products from reputable sources and to report any suspicious items to the nearest ZCSA office.

Regulatory Framework and Standards

According to Hatyoka, the ZCSA oversees electrical products based on several mandatory standards, including ZS 106, which pertains to the safety of household and similar electrical appliances; ZS 558, which covers plugs and socket outlets, adaptors, and connection units; and ZS 688, which specifies requirements for electric cables with extruded solid dielectric insulation for fixed installations ranging from 300/500 volts to 1900/3300 volts.

“These standards define the specifications and testing methods for products used in households, commercial settings, and light industrial applications,” Hatyoka stated.

Agency’s Mandate and Future Actions

Operating under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the ZCSA is mandated by the Compulsory Standards Act No. 3 of 2017 to administer, maintain, and enforce compulsory standards, ensuring the protection of public safety, health, consumer interests, and the environment.

He said seizure highlights the ZCSA’s unwavering dedication to maintaining high safety standards and protecting Zambian consumers from the dangers posed by substandard electrical products.

As the agency continues its vigilance, traders and consumers alike are reminded of their roles in upholding these crucial safety measures.

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