Japan photographers need not worry about PSE seal

The new PSE safety seal law is creating a major stir in Japan during this month of March.

From April 1, 2006, a new law in Japan will require electrical appliances to have the PSE safety seal which assures that the appliance is safe for consumer use based on tests conducted by the manufacturer (instead of the government).

The PSE safety seal has been required since 2001. So electrical appliances made before 2001 which do not have the PSE safety seal cannot be sold new or used in Japan from April 1, 2006.

One important thing to note is that this law applies only to retailers and recycle shops who sell new and used electrical appliances as a business. It does not apply to individuals selling such stuff at flea markets, Internet auctions, etc.

It also does not apply to personal computer equipment which conforms to a different safety standard. And very fortunately, it does not apply to cameras, both film and digital. This means that used camera shops in Japan can stay in business.

The law applies to electrical appliances which need to be plugged in to a power outlet to operate, such as TVs, stereos, refrigerators, etc. This includes darkroom equipment such as enlargers, darkroom lamps, and print dryers. Also, slide projectors, overhead projectors, studio flash and power packs, and lightboxes. Such equipment made before 2001 cannot be sold at all by retailers from April 1, 2006.

PSE stands for “product safety of electrical appliance and material.”