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Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme

WELS is Australia's Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme. It requires the following products to be registered and labelled with their water efficiency level in accordance with the standard set under the national Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.

Plumbing products

  • showers
  • tap equipment
  • flow controllers (optional)

Sanitary ware

  • toilet (lavatory) equipment*
  • urinal equipment

White goods

  • clothes washing machines
  • dishwashers

* A minimum efficiency standard also applies to toilets, meaning that toilets with a flow rate higher than 5.5 litres per average flush volume cannot be supplied.

Why apply?

The WELS Scheme became mandatory on 1 July 2006. All WELS products manufactured or imported into Australia on or after that date must be registered and labelled before they can be sold.

The WELS Scheme does not apply to secondhand products, products imported into Australia for personal use and waterless urinals.

How to register

In order to register a product, companies will need to provide the following:

  • a completed online application
  • completed product test reports showing compliance with the relevant WELS standards
  • a sample label (see specifications)
  • registration fee

As part of the registration process companies must demonstrate that the product meets the WELS standard by providing laboratory test reports and other relevant product certifications showing the water consumption has been tested in accordance with specified standards.

The National Association of Testing Authorities has details of testing laboratories. More information on testing is provided in the WELS Suppliers Guide and a Contacts List containing the details of accredited bodies for certification of WELS products and NATA accredited laboratories that undertake testing.

Products that do not comply with WELS standards must use a label with a ‘Zero’ star rating. (In this case test reports or a letter from an independent testing laboratory or product certifying agency will show the product does not meet the WELS standard.)

Application fees

One fee applies for a product, family of models, or set of minor products. More information about how to pay application fees is available online.

Once an application has been assessed, the applicant will be notified by email. Registration of a WELS product normally lasts for five years however if the Minister makes a change to the WELS Standard that affects the registration of your product, it will need to be re-registered.

Further information

Visit the Australian Government's Water Rating website.

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