Transition requirements

The estimated enforcement date is 1 September 2022. An exact enforcement date cannot be provided at this time as the process of amending the Regulations is dependent on several regulatory process and legal requirements, but in the interim you must either:

  • meet the current regulation requirements, or
  • meet the new regulation requirements voluntarily.

Note that:

  • Fridges/freezers manufactured in New Zealand, or imported prior to the enforcement date, will still fall under the 2002 Regulations and can legally be sold without meeting the new regulation requirements.
  • Fridges/freezers manufactured in New Zealand, or imported from the enforcement date, must meet the new regulation requirements. This includes meeting the new MEPS requirements, displaying the new Energy Rating Label and being registered to the new requirements.
  • A minimum of 6 months notice will be provided via the Gazette before the enforcement date. 

If you have any questions about the transition or the regulations, contact us at  star@eeca.govt.nz.

Key differences between the new and old regulations

There have been a number of changes:

  • change of scope to clarify wine storage appliances, and bar fridges
  • international test methods have been adopted,
  • new MEPS levels and assessment criteria,
  • new Energy Rating Label calculation to better reflect real world energy consumption,
  • clarification on displaying the Energy Rating Label.

Which products are included?

MEPS and MEPL covers:

  • fridges, freezers, and fridge/freezers as specified by product class regardless of the context in which the product is used, or
  • fridges, freezers, and fridge/freezers which have a wine storage compartment(s), or
  • bar fridges,
  • If the product is designed to contain perishable foods such as milk or cheese then it is considered to be within the scope of regulation.

Which products are excluded?

MEPS and MEPL does not apply to:

  • portable products that are 12 volt or 24 volt DC and:
    • chest configuration, or
    • upright and have a volume less than 80 litres
  • standalone wine storage cabinets that are:
    • exclusively for the storage and/or the maturation of wine; and
    • have shelving specifically designed for wine; and
    • the capability to maintain a nominated temperature between 5 and 20°C.
  • products that are exclusively used in vehicles,
  • glass door beverage coolers (these are covered under the refrigerated cabinets products class where MEPS requirements are explained),
  • products that have a total volume of less than 30 litres where the refrigeration function is secondary, such as boiled and cooled water dispensers,
  • products that have no options for connection to a 230 volt or 400 volt mains electricity supply at 50 Hz,
  • stand-alone ice-makers,
  • products that cool using technologies other than the vapour compression cycle.

What are the MEPS requirements?

The MEPS requirement for household refrigerating appliances is a maximum estimated yearly energy consumption that must not be exceeded under test conditions.

The maximum estimated yearly energy consumption is adjusted depending on type of product and volume.

The MEPS levels are listed in section 4.2 of AS/NZS 4474:2018 + A1.

What standards are applicable?

The new New Zealand Regulations will have the same scope and technical specification as the Australian Determination with identical Standards. However, the transition requirements will be different in New Zealand.

Read the Australian Determination(external link)

Registration requirements

  • Registration is currently available to the new or old requirements in New Zealand. From the enforcement date the ability to register to the old requirements in New Zealand will be removed.
  • If a fridge/freezer is registered in Australia, it can be sold in New Zealand without being registered in New Zealand. It must still meet the New Zealand Regulation requirements in order to be sold in New Zealand, including meeting New Zealand MEPS and MEPL requirements.
  • On the enforcement date all fridges/freezers registered to the 2002 Regulations will be superseded. A superseded registration status means that existing stock (imported before the enforcement date) can be sold, but no new stock can use this registration.
  • If a fridge/freezer is manufactured in or imported through Australia, the TTMRA can be applied.