Lighters that are unsafe, do not work properly or are used incorrectly, particularly by children, may cause accidental fires and injuries.
To reduce the risk of accidental fires, cigarette lighters must meet certain performance, design and labelling standards. Lighters must be designed to ensure most children would not be able to operate them.
What types of cigarette lighters must comply with the product safety standard for cigarette lighters?
The rules apply to:
all disposable cigarette lighters including many 'novelty' lighters
refillable lighters with a customs value of less than $3.50.
A cigarette lighter is defined as a flame producing device that is designed to light cigarettes, cigars and pipes and is either disposable or is designed to be refilled with fuel.
A lighter is disposable when it is designed to be thrown away when empty or if it has a separate container for fuel which is designed to be thrown away when empty.
The rules do not apply to these types of cigarette lighters:
refillable lighters with a customs value of more than $3.50
lighters brought into New Zealand in a person's luggage or effects, as long as the number of lighters does not exceed four
component parts to make cigarette lighters where a certificate of compliance has already been issued.
A customs value is not a retail value. You can check the customs value of goods with Customs New Zealand.
What are the requirements?
A cigarette lighter must be child resistant and it must meet certain performance and structural requirements.
The mechanism designed or intended to make the lighter child resistant must:
reset itself automatically after each operation of the ignition mechanism
not impair safe operation of the lighter when used normally
be effective for the lighter's functional life
not be easily overridden or deactivated.
Each shipment of cigarette lighters must be accompanied by a certificate of compliance, containing mandatory information. Importers must provide a certificate of compliance with the imported product to New Zealand Customs when the shipment enters New Zealand. It is illegal to sell cigarette lighters where there is no certificate of compliance.
The rules apply to any person who supplies, offers to supply or advertises the supply of new disposable or low-price refillable lighters. Any person includes retailers, importers, distributors and manufacturers.
Supplying can be through displaying cigarette lighters for sale in a shop, selling lighters at a market or advertising lighters for sale on internet retail or auction sites.
Offering cigarette lighters as give-aways is also a type of supply and these lighters must also comply with the rules.