Dealers in used electrical equipment urged to comply with regulations

On 27 July 2022 at 06:11

Traders in used electrical and electronic equipment have been called upon to comply with the regulations, which came into force on July 11.

These regulations establish a framework for trade of used electrical and electronic equipment, including licensing.

The regulator, Rwanda Inspectorate, Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (RICA) and partners, including Rwanda National Police (RNP), Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) and Rwanda Energy Group (REG) held a press conference in Kigali on Tuesday, July 26, to elaborate on the regulations.

RICA Director General, Beatrice Uwumukiza said that lack of regulations governing second-hand electrical and electronic equipment had left a vacuum for irregularities including illegal trade and sell of stolen items.

"We now have clear regulations defining what you need to do as a trader or buyer of used electrical and electronic equipment, licensing and record keeping to prevent related lawlessness. We are everywhere across the country to enforce these regulations because we work with other public institutions like Rwanda National Police and RIB," Uwumukiza said.

The regulations govern, among others, consumer electronics, office, IT and telecommunication equipment, refrigerator equipment, large and small household appliances, lighting fixtures and lamps, sports and leisure appliances, and toys.

Among them include telephones, electric cables, computers, television sets, music instruments (guitar, piano, keyboard, sound speakers), cameras as well as TV and satellite receivers.

Others include CD and MP3 players, radios, scanners, video mixing and cutting devices, decoders, air conditioners, washing machines, cooking stove, and amplifier.

Under the regulations, for one to trade in used electrical and electronic equipment, you apply for a license issued by RICA, which is valid for two year, renewal.

Business operator is required to ensure that used electrical and electronic equipment he or she intends to buy meets the safety requirements of the standards IEC 60950-1; record description of the equipment bought and sold.

The records kept for at least two years, should indicate the category, brand and model name, model number, serial number, information relating to International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and International Mobile Equipment Identity Software Version (IMEI-SV) per slot where applicable; any other distinguished marks or features, where applicable and equipment status description.

Before buying second-hand electronics, the business operator must first verify that the seller is the rightful owner of the equipment and record detailed particulars.

According to RICA, those already in business have up to October to have realigned their trade with the regulations.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that the regulations facilitate in enforcement.

"As a law enforcement organ, it will be easy to track chains of illegal dealers since the regulations require the operator to be licensed, keep records of what they have bought and sold. The regulations comes as a big step against theft and selling stolen or smuggled used electrical and electronic equipment," CP Kabera said.

The RIB spokesperson, Thierry Murangira said that there will be no more excuse that a trader or buyer doesn’t know where they got the electronic device under question, including those who were changing serial numbers.

"Now the seller and buyer have the legal responsibility to justify the origin of the product. This is a preventive measure because now thieves will not get buyers of stolen electronics," Murangira said.


Administrative penalties range from Rwf50,000 to Rwf200,000 for late request of license renewal, failure to submit on time a report required by authority or cooperate with inspectors; failure to make sale contract; failure to notify particular changes or issue invoice; failure to maintain proper data records of used electrical or electronic equipment in his or her possession; and to operate without a license or with an expired license.

Representatives from relevant institutions at the press conference.