The Dangers of Buying Battery Chargers from Hong Kong

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The contract between buyer and seller is the backbone of the eBay community. Without a level of trust, the entire ecommerce universe collapses. Not every company understands this and many use the anonymity provided by the internet to sell dangerous or useless merchandise, at discounted rates. They undermine the entire eBay community, and the trust that eBay is built on. One such group is a Hong Kong based company that sells Battery Chargers that are downright dangerous. They are damaging  the Australian market by making promises they do not fulfill as well as selling inferior battery chargers that have the risk of catching fire or electrocuting those that use them.
In Australia, electrical devices must adhere to specific standards. These standards are regulated by groups like SAA Approvals and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). They are authorized and certified through the Joint Accreditation Service of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) which allows them to supervise the standards of all electronic equipment sold in Australia. They work in conjunction with the governments of Australia and New Zealand to ensure that all the requirements set forth by law are adhered to by any group doing business within their borders.
They have been circumvented by these Asian battery charger manufacturers that use eBay as a means of illegally importing battery chargers that do not meet with the standards of SAA, ACMA, the Electricity act of 1945, the Energy Coordination Act of 1994, Electricity Regulations of 1947, or the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations of 1991.
In a word, this means these discounted battery chargers are illegal.
Beyond merely being against the law, these battery chargers are a severe risk to anyone that buys them. The reason for this is the outlet adaptors are not insulated. According to the law, all plug and outlet adaptors must be fully insulated in order to be sold on the market. The reason for this is that there are individuals that have died of electrocution due to un-insulated adapter plugs. The insulation is there to protect against electric shock when the battery charger is plugged or unplugged from the wall. Without this insulation a person can receive a large dose of electricity sufficient to cause death.
The un-insulated plugs also allow current to come into direct contact with carpet or drapes that are near to the outlet. This can easily cause the materials to catch fire, damaging property, and again runs the risk of potentially fatal inferno.
Australian and New Zealand laws were put in to place specifically to safeguard against loss of life and damage to property. The laws are there to protect its citizenry. When these unregulated groups manage to distribute their unlawful and harmful products they reintroduce these dangers into the homes of anyone that believes they can trust a seller.
The reason this is allowed is due to the loophole in the law that protects against direct shipments by oversea retailers. These Hong Kong based battery chargers are made cheaply, with dodgy designs so that the company can sell them cheap through eBay and other reputable ecommerce companies. They are bringing their shabby business practices into the otherwise highly respectable world of ecommerce.
These companies are guilty of criminal acts, but cannot be prosecuted because they exist outside of the jurisdiction of Australian law. They are exploiting the vaunted world of eBay by using the site to peddle their dangerous wares. For anyone that is considering buying a battery charger online, there are many reputable companies that sell quality merchandise that is well within the laws and safety standards set forth by Australia. Do not believe a lower price tag. It could literally be a matter of life and death.

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