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    1. StuartLil40 is offline

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      #1

      Legally importing incandescent bulbs into the EU - Light bulb import to Europe

      For my business, I’ve gotten requests for some incandescent light bulbs. As I understand it, incandescent bulbs have been banned from import into the EU a couple years back. Can anyone tell me specifically what are the laws in regards to non-energy efficient bulbs?
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    2. PatrickTwist is offline

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      #2
      You heard right, more or less. The EU began phasing out the manufacture and import of incandescent bulbs back in 2009, starting with 100 watt bulbs and any wattage of frosted or pearled bulbs, and the UK followed suit. The schedule is as follows:

      1. September 2009-- Non-clear incandescents and any bulbs 100 watts or over banned from manufacture or import to the UK or the EU.

      2. September 2010-- Any incandescent bulbs of over 75 watts and without an energy efficiency rating of “C” or above banned from manufacture or import to the UK and EU.

      3. September 2012-- Incandescents of 40 watts or above without an energy efficiency rating of “C” or above banned blah blah blah.


      As far as the energy efficiency ratings are concerned, it has to do with the cost of running a given electrical device, such as a light bulb. Just look HERE for a rundown. These days, bulbs will have their energy efficiency rating on the packaging, most likely.

      Now, notice that the schedule mentions only the manufacture or import of incandescent bulbs, but nothing about the sale of such bulbs. As far as I can see, there’s no decision as regards bulb sale, so if you can find a source inside the UK or the EU for the “banned” bulbs, you should be in the clear. As far as cost is concerned, it could go one of two ways-- either the vendor anticipates a sale ban and is wanting to unload his stock, and the prices will be low; or the vendor doesn’t see a sale ban likely, and is expecting higher demand for UK/EU sources, and so the prices will be higher. Really just depends on the vendor in question.
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    3. whitemark is offline

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      #3
      First off, it’s only household bulbs that have been banned. In the UK, you can still get “rough service” industrial use bulbs (mostly intended for use in job sites, mines and the like) for around Ł1 a bulb in specialty shops. They only come in 60w and 100w types, and the boxes are labled “Not for household use”, but they’re reinforced and quite rugged. Beyond these differences, they are just like normal household bulbs, so the ban is nothing more than a gesture. A symbolic thing.

      Secondly, compact fluorescent give off about half the light any given CFL is ranked for. THAT is why they are “energy efficient”, they don’t put out much light! Also, people (such as myself) sensitive to fluorescent light get blinding headaches when under such light, and these CFLs are FLUORESCENTS. There are also studies going on right now to determine whether compact fluorescents of the type the EU wants us all to use potentially give off carcinogenic gasses. Also, have you seen the insanity you have to go through to “properly and legally” dispose of the things? Don’t get me started.

      This whole thing is barely legal. Defra’s legal precedent is a 2007 ordinance-- SI 2037-- concerning boilers and refrigerators, but says nothing about “non-directional household lamps” (bureau-speak for regular incandescent bulbs), so there’s not even grounds for issuing the ban.

      So, ranting aside, you can legally sell household incandescents of any wattage, and can, in fact, import 100w and 60w bulbs, so long as they are rough service bulbs not labeled for household use, and it’s really not your job to determine whether your customer is going to use a bulb on his job site or in his loo, now is it?

    4. StuartLil40 is offline

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      #4
      Isn’t this whole thing going to end up leading to some kind of shortage of CFL bulbs once all the incandescent bulbs are phased out?

    5. PatrickTwist is offline

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      Not according to the EU authority. Check out the press releases from the Europa site. They’re certain that the phasing schedule will allow manufacturers to convert their facilities over to CFL manufacture in time to compensate.

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