InkWELS – Issue 2, 2021

InkWELS newsletter

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme

Issue 2, 2021

The InkWELS newsletter provides updates 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.

New process for registering a product variant

Businesses registering product models under the WELS scheme must also register variations of the product models, such as when they are available in different colours and finishes or with different options for seats or handles. The number of variant models registered has been growing sharply in recent years. In 2020 -2021, over 12 000 variants were registered, which was up from 7 000 in the previous year. Businesses were required to wait until the primary model - the parent model - was registered before being able to apply to register the variants, which created additional time and effort for businesses, and a longer processing time for products leading to longer lead times for product to market.

The WELS registration database now has a streamlined process for businesses to register product variants.

The changes allow applicants to apply for the parent and variant registration at the same time by simply ticking boxes for the relevant variant types.

It also removes the requirement to upload images of all possible variants.

The process which previously would have taken minutes for each model, now takes seconds.

Registrants need to ensure they are still applying the AS/NZS 6400 standard correctly, and only apply for a variant registration when it is appropriate to do so according to the standard.

In 2022, we will continue to look for ways to make the application process more user-friendly and faster and easier for all system users.

If you have any questions about the WELS registration process, please get in touch by emailing

International standard for water efficiency labelling programs in development with ISO and Standards Australia

The WELS team have been leading the development of an international standard for water efficiency labelling programs. We have collaborated with international governments from around the world through an International Standards Organization (ISO) project committee to develop the standard.

The international standard will complement and recognise the Australian and New Zealand standard 6400:2016 and provide guidance in establishing national water efficiency labelling programs around the world.

Work to draft the standard has progressed steadily since commencing in 2018 and is now nearing completion. In a recent ballot, 100% of the voting ISO members supported that the draft should be progress to being a published international standard, after some minor changes.

The project committee is now working on the proposed changes to produce the final draft international standard, for reconsideration by the members.

The international standard is expected to be published as early as mid-2022.

Have your say about non-compliance risks for WELS

Stage 1 - survey opens

The 2017-2020 WELS Compliance and Enforcement Strategy, available at, is being updated.

We are consulting industry, government, and other stakeholders about where we should focus our compliance program through to 2025.

To help inform the strategy, we want to hear from you through a short online survey that is open now at The survey will take about 10 minutes.

The survey will remain open until 5:00pm AEST on 17 December 2021, so if you don’t have time now, please add a reminder in your calendar.

What we want to hear about is:

  • what types of non-compliance risks do you know of or suspect in relation to WELS
  • are there other non-compliance risks that could emerge in the next few years
  • what activities that you are aware of that encourage compliance with the WELS scheme

If you have any questions about the survey or in relation to compliance, contact us at or call 1800 372 746.

World Toilet Day – Valuing Toilets

It’s time to remember the value water plays in sanitation throughout the world. Friday 19 November is World Toilet Day - a United Nations observance day to raise awareness for global sanitation.

This year’s World Toilet Day theme is about valuing toilets. It also highlights the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6 that aims to provide water and sanitation for all by 2030.

UN-Water runs an annual campaign to promote World Toilet Day. The World Toilet Day website has information about global sanitation and recognises the work other organisations around the world are doing along the entire sanitation service chain.

The World Toilet Day website also has resources people can share with friends and colleagues to help raise awareness. Visit for more information.


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