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Electrical and electronics equipment policy

Policy overview

Certain electronics equipment, such as equipment deemed unlawful by Ofcom in the UK and the Commission for Communication Regulations in Ireland, can't be listed on eBay.

Also, eBay doesn't allow the sale of products that are mainly intended to record the private oral, wire or electronic conversations or activities of others without them knowing.

The use and sale of radio transmitting equipment (which broadly means any product that uses radio waves allocated to radio communication other than TV or radio receivers) is regulated under European law (the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) Directive), which applies in the UK and Ireland.

Detailed information about the legality of radio equipment in the UK is available on the Ofcom website, or for Ireland from the Commission for Communication Regulation. Specific UK regulations also apply to plugs, sockets, adaptors and fuse links. For more information on these regulations, please contact your local Trading Standards service.

Sellers of electrical and electronics equipment also have certain other obligations, for example, under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006. See the Additional information section for more details on WEEE.

Make sure your listing follows these guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Restricted

  • Radio transmitting equipment: Radio transmitting equipment may only be listed on eBay if it complies with the R&TTE Directive. Equipment that complies is marked with the 'CE' mark.

  • Cordless telephones: Cordless telephones operated on frequencies above 853 MHz can be listed, provided the description includes authorisation from Ofcom

  • Radar detectors: Radar detectors can be listed as long as they do not offer postage to Ireland

  • Videosenders: Videosenders which operate outside the frequency band 470-854MHz

Not allowed

  • Radar or laser jamming devices: Products that claim to jam or otherwise interfere with police radar aren't allowed.

  • Traffic light control devices or signal changers: Products that claim to change stoplights or otherwise inhibit the natural pattern of a traffic signal aren't allowed.

  • Satellite, Digital and Cable TV decoders: Items that can be used to decode encrypted transmissions, or access cable, digital terrestrial or satellite television programming without authorisation or payment aren't allowed. Stating the item is for educational or testing purposes does not make it acceptable to list.

    Examples of items that aren't allowed include:

    • Modified decoder boxes

    • Smart Card programmers and unloopers

    • Programmed Smart Cards

    • Blocker devices

    • Hardware or software DSS emulators

    • Test cards and 'Stealth Switches' for test cards

    • ISO 7816 Programmer

    • Un-99, DDT and DAT devices

  • Listings that encourage or provide information on how to decode or gain access to cable, digital terrestrial or satellite television programming without authorisation or payment

  • CB radios: The following items aren't allowed because they are illegal:

    • CB radios that operate in the frequency band 26.1-28MHz

    • CB radios that are not compliant with the R&TTE Directive or do not comply with specifications in force prior to R&TTE Directive

  • Odometer modification devices

  • FM modulators: Devices which use the FM broadcast band to transmit radio signals to car radios aren't allowed because they are illegal. The FM broadcast band is allocated for the exclusive use of licensed broadcasters and FM modulators are not currently licensed to use the FM broadcast band.

  • Mobile phone, GPS, Wi-Fi and other jammers: Devices used to jam mobile phones (or any other radio signals including GPS and Wi-Fi) aren't allowed because they are illegal. A mobile phone jammer is a transmitter and a licence is required to use one. The Office of Communications (Ofcom) advise that because the sole effect of jammers is to disrupt licensed radio services, they do not issue licenses allowing their use.

  • Cordless telephones: Cordless telephones operated on frequencies below 853 MHz

  • Videosenders: Videosenders may not be listed on eBay if they transmit in the frequency band 470-854MHz. The sale of these items is illegal.

Allowed

  • Toy spy cameras for children

  • Answering machines

Not allowed

  • Telephone bugging devices and wiretapping devices

  • Miniature transmitters

  • Surveillance microphones

  • Listings that promote the use of photographic devices to surreptitiously view or record individuals for sexual purposes

 

Not allowed

Additional information

WEEE Regulations

Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams and much of it can be recycled. To remind consumers that waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) can be recycled, all electrical items sold carry a 'crossed-out wheelie bin' symbol.

Restricted

If you are a business seller who sells EEE to consumers, you're considered a 'distributor' of EEE, and you must comply with these obligations:

Sellers on eBay.co.uk:

  • Take back obligation - You must provide facilities for your customer to return old EEE free of charge on the purchase of a replacement item. You can do this by joining the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS) operated by Valpak, which supports a network of collection facilities where consumers can return their WEEE; or by offering to take WEEE when consumers buy a replacement item from you.

  • Obligation to inform consumers - You must make information available to consumers on how they can dispose of WEEE, and the environmental benefits of doing so. This can be achieved by, for example, including such information on your eBay store site, in your About Me page or in your listing. The DTS will provide its members with information in a standard format. You must keep records of how you provide this information.

Sellers on eBay.ie:

  • Take back obligation - You must arrange for the free recycling of similar WEEE.

Why does eBay have this policy?

In order to follow the law and help prevent breaches of privacy, sellers can't list certain items on eBay. This information is not intended to be legal advice, but we hope it will help you trade safely on eBay. It is not an exhaustive list and seller will need to take steps to ensure their listing is lawful and does not infringe the copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property rights of third parties.

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