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Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 (S.I. 1994/1768)

The content relates to Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994 which regulate safety of electrical plugs, sockets and adaptors for use in the UK.

Subject area

The Regulations apply to electrical plugs, sockets and adaptors ordinarily intended for domestic use at a voltage of not less than 200 volts and to fuse links suitable for use with such plugs and adaptors. They also require that most domestic electrical products must be supplied correctly fitted with a fused and approved UK three-pin plug (BS 1363) or approved "conversion plug", i.e. a device which may be engaged with a socket conforming to BS 1363 and which is designed to enable a non-UK plug to be engaged with such a socket.


The legislation relates specifically to domestic appliances.

Intention of legislation

Most electrical equipment intended for use in and around the home will need to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994. Additionally the Regulations require that the majority of such equipment, when placed on the UK market, must be fitted with a plug that has been approved by a notified body and either conforms to BS 1363 or offers an equivalent level of safety.

As an alternative to fitting a BS 1363 plug, it is permissible, to fit a "conversion plug"  The "conversion plug" must be approved by a notified body and meet various conditions set out in the Regulations. An 'adaptor' is not a coversion plug.

Certain electrical appliances are excluded from the Regulations: Please see Part II Regulation 11 and Schedule 3 of the Regulations.

Implementing legislation

The Regulations are a national regulation and apply only to the UK market.

The Regulations can be viewed and purchased from the OPSI website.

For information on similar regulations relating to the various Member States of the European Union contact European Market Access Unit, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, tel: 020 7215 2833

Trading Standards: The Regulations are enforced by the Local Authority Trading Standards Department. No specific written guidance is available. Suppliers seeking advice should contact their Local Authorities' Trading Standards Departments

Notified Bodies

Notified Bodies are responsible for the approval of standard plugs and "conversion plugs". As to which bodies are notified bodies and route to appointment see definition of Notified Bodies in regulation 3 (1) "Interpretation" and regulation 7 of the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994. 

Guidance and further information

BIS contact

Gigi Pardesi
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
4th Floor, Orchard 1
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET

Tel: 020 7215 1323
Fax: 020 7215 6862

Minister responsible

Mark Prisk is the minister responsible for this policy area.