The UAE’s regulation concerning the control of electrical and electronic products in the market has widened its scope to include gas-powered cookers and other gas-powered cooking appliances, bringing the total number of government-controlled appliances to 12.
The law, approved last month by the UAE cabinet, is scheduled for implementation beginning 2012. The move follows the successful monitoring and control of electric stoves last year.
Currently, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) – the federal agency in charge of the conformity and standards– controls and monitors the quality of plugs, extension cords, electric irons, microwave ovens, washing machines and dryers, electric stoves, refrigerators, heaters, freezers and chillers and room air conditioners available in the country.
Eng. Mohammad Saleh Badri, Acting Director General, ESMA, said: “We have begun controlling gas cylinders but we also have to monitor gas-powered cookers as they form a potential hazard to the lives and safety of people and properties.
“We therefore developed a regulation to control these appliances. This regulation was approved last month. We are now setting up the processes and implementation guidelines, which will run over the next six months. We estimate that beginning 2012, all gas-powered cooking appliances will have to be verifiedand certified by ESMA.”
As per the government’s requirement, all cooking appliances – gas and electric-powered – will have to obtain approval from ESMA before it is allowed entry to the UAE.
Distributors of appliances will have to present a third party test report from a reputable or accredited testing laboratory, which ESMA will have to approve. Once all verification criteria is complied, ESMA will issue a certificate of conformity, which is the distributor’s clearance to be allowed entry in the country.
“We encourage everyone to proactively participate in promoting safety at homes and in our workplaces. We therefore strongly advise the consumers to look for the certificate of approval issued by ESMA before buying or installing electric and gas-powered appliances,” Badri said.
ESMA is now in the process of controlling gas cylinders but to ensure optimum safety, the authority is also concentrating on preventing any problem that may arise from appliances that do not conform to the standards issued by GCC Standardization Organization (GSO).
Badly fitted and appliances that cannot adopt to the region’s weather conditions can cause gas safety risks such as gas leaks, fires explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“We don’t wait until the product comes in the market before inspecting,” Badri said. “We want to be assured that products that come in the UAE are complying fully with our standards from the beginning.”
ESMA will implement the programme in coordination with the UAE Customs offices, UAE Civil Defense departments, and other local authorities. ESMA is also in the process of issuing the certificates of conformity electronically through UAE’s e-government where the supplier can get approval on line.