Game Politics (gamepolitics) wrote,
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Japanese Officials Regulate Used Console System Sales

Pssst.... Buddy. Over here. Wanna buy a used PS2?

GamePolitics recently reported that U.S. video game publishers are not too thrilled about sales of used games.

Now from Japan comes word that government officials have targeted used video game consoles as well as other electronic devices. The Asahi Shimbun reports that any electronic device manufactured before April 2002 will have to be inspected & certified before it can be re-sold in Japan.

So-called "PSE stickers," indicating certification of "product safety of electrical appliance and materials," have been mandatopry for all electronic devices distributed in Japan since 2002. Until now, the requirement has only been applied to manufacturers. In April, the law will be amended to include retailers.

Interestingly, it doesn't take much effort for retailers to acquire the ability to apply "certification" stickers to most appliances. Would-be re-sellers simply need to register with the government and accept responsibility for any liabilities that may arise from items sold. Nor are the government's minimum test requirements a barrier to entry: "the product looks fine, works properly when turned on, and does not leak electricity at 1,000 volts."

Certain classes of used equipment require an accredited certification. While game consoles do not appear to fall into this category, some components, such as power cords, might. Exceptions include exports, leases or rentals, items given away for free, or dumped in a landfill.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry acknowledges that re-selling equipment reduces waste, but it insists that "safety comes first".

The Japanese Patent Office has voiced its own concerns, since PSE stickers require the issuer's logo to be present on the sticker. "It could be against the trademark law and the law on prevention of unfair competition for retailers to sell used products under their own brands," an official said told the newspaper.

J: I understand the call for safety, but there needs to be some kind of system set up to encourage recycling; otherwise retailers will cease to buy back used goods (no point if it's a pain to re-sell), and consumers will just toss them in the dumpster.

-Jabrwock

Tags: government regulations, japan, used games, used systems
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