Japan Set To Enforce New Game-Related Electronics Restrictions
According to online reports, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry will begin enforcing a law concerning the sale of used electronic devices, beginning April 1st, in a move that is said by some to have significant effects on second-hand sales of older video game consoles or software.
The Electrical Appliance and Materials Safety Law, passed in 2001, already requires manufacturers to place "product safety of electrical appliance and materials" (PSE) safety certifications on new electronic goods, and beginning in April, retailers will be prohibited from selling pre-2001 electrical items without the PSE mark.
Though some have interpreted the law as signaling the end of, among other secondhand industries, the Japanese used game market, the law is less draconian than it might initially appear. Pre-2001 consoles such as the Dreamcast and original PlayStation would fall under the law, but as Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun explains, there are several ways of getting around the regulation.
One way is to export the affected systems, an activity exempt from the PSE law, while other retailers are seeking to lease rather than sell pre-2001 electronics. Even for those wanting to continue domestic sales, though, there is an option: retailers can register as manufacturers and affix their own PSE seals after testing to make sure the product appears to function, it successfully powers on, and it does not leak electricity at 1,000 volts.
In those cases, the retailer would be responsible should any accidents occur, as the Ministry made clear to one inquiring merchant: "The official said, 'You will be able to sell (used products) if you attach PSE marks after making voluntary inspections," said a retailer to the Asahi Shimbun. "'But you should take full responsibility in case of an accident.'" However, such a danger would likely apply more to secondhand home appliance retailers, rather than relatively risk-free game system merchants.