Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme
Issue 2, 2020
The InkWELS newsletter provides stakeholders with an update on activities and achievements under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme.
If you have any relevant topics you would like covered in future additions of InkWELS, please contact us.
The product registration renewal period is now open from 15 September to 5 December 2020.
If you choose to renew your product registrations, ensure your WaterMark certificates are current and that the model has remained exactly the same. If a product has changed from the original registration, a new application for registration must be lodged and the original registration not renewed.
You must also maintain accurate and up-to-date product records, including those relating to minor products.
For more information about minor products, see InkWELS Issue 1, 2018.
All product registrations that were not renewed in 2019 expired on 21 July 2020.
If some of your product registrations expired, you would have received an email notification. If these products are to be manufactured or offered for supply, you must register them again with a new application.
Please consider how long it takes to clear stock, including by businesses in your supply chain, when deciding whether to renew the registration of your products.
Remember, it is illegal to supply WELS products in Australia if their registration has expired. Compliance activities will be monitoring the supply of products with expired registrations, and infringement notices may be issued.
The Australian Government is on track to begin the independent review of the WELS scheme in 2020.
This will be the third statutory review of the WELS scheme which is required every 5 years under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.
The review will evaluate the current operation of the WELS scheme in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders. The independent reviewer will be announced in coming weeks and a dedicated webpage will be established on our Water Rating website.
The final review report is to be published on the website and is will be completed by June 2021.
In June 2020, WELS and the Australian Building Code Board launched a joint 30-day advertising campaign on popular ecommerce sites.
The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of the WELS and WaterMark schemes among Australian consumers seeking plumbing products.
Building on a successful WELS advertising campaign on eBay in 2019, this campaign expanded to include information on WaterMark obligations.
The ads targeted shoppers across most online retail outlets for 1 month. They encouraged online shoppers to ‘check before you check out’ and visit the WELS and WaterMark websites to check that the product they were considering was compliant.
The ads also encouraged shoppers to report items that did not comply with the WELS standard.
Shoppers on eBay, Gumtree and news services showed a high level of interest in the WELS and WaterMark message and clicked through to the campaign landing webpage for more information.
The WELS team will use the lessons learned from this campaign to design future education and compliance activities.
On 24 February 2020, WaterMark licence 25233 was cancelled at the request of the licence holder, Handshake Sanitary Fitting Industry Co., Ltd. The Certificate of Conformity associated with this licence listed several flow controller products.
The licence holder was directed to inform all purchasers of the product of the certificate cancellation by the WaterMark Conformity Assessment Body in their notice of licence cancellation.
This licence cancellation affects all WaterMark certified and WELS registered tapware and shower products that include these Handshake flow controllers as integral components.
These products are not authorised under WaterMark for use in a plumbing and drainage installation. Affected tapware and shower products currently WELS registered will not be able to be renewed.
A large number of WELS registered products have been affected by this WaterMark cancellation. WELS has been discussing the WaterMark licence cancellation with affected registrants in the lead up to the renewal period which began on 15 September 2020. This will ensure renewed product registrations are compliant under the WaterMark and WELS schemes.
For further information go to our website or contact the WELS team at firstname.lastname@example.org.