There are a couple of organisations here in Christchurch that I would like to use as source of appliances for refurbishment. They both insist that they cannot part with the appliances unless the power cords are cut off. Health and safety issues they declare. But I am a registered electrical technician I tell them. I am always receiving appliances that may be of dubious electrical safety. Nope thems the rules they say.
And they are right. It is not a case of overzealous staff being overly officious or paranoid. The rules on electrical safety and the sale (or the giving away) of electrical appliances is quite quite clear. The regulations state that in order to sell (or give away) the appliance it must be prevented from being plugged into the mains unless it has been tested to AS/NZ3760.
A staff member at the Ministry of Economic Development (who are in charge of energy safety) was helpful and sympathetic. It was suggested a legal waiver could be signed to get around the issue but I thought that that was a bit odd. It sounds like it has given them the idea of changing the regulation when the are next up for review in order to solve this dilemma.
Once the power cord is cut off an appliance the cost of refurbishment is increased. What may have been a simple repair job turns into real hassle because fitting a new power cord is often really fiddly. So unless the regulations change, or I can get a legal waiver from my sources it looks like I may have a bit less cash flow and the world will have a bigger pile of e-waste!