Thinking of supplying telecommunications, radiocommunications or electrical/electronic products to the Australian market? The ACMA has legislation that specifies requirements for the supply of these products.
As a supplier, it is your responsibility to ensure your product meets the ACMA regulatory requirements for network integrity, interoperability, performance characteristics, and health and safety.
The regulatory framework—what is it and what does it cover?
The regulatory framework for products supplied to the Australian market covers the following arrangements:
- Telecommunications—Requirements for customer equipment (that may connect to a telecommunications network) or customer cabling (for example, cables, plugs, sockets and connectors) used in a customer premises (such as, a house or commercial building).
- Radiocommunications—Technical performance limits for transmitters and receivers (part of the ACMA’s spectrum management responsibilities). The arrangements also apply to transmitters that are embedded in other devices (for example, 802.xx devices in televisions).
- EMC—Electromagnetic compatibility (the unintended interference from emissions of radio frequency (RF) energy) for electrical and electronic devices. The arrangements cover most common household products (for example, whitegoods, kitchen appliances and IT equipment). The EMC regulatory arrangements may also apply to some vehicles and products with internal combustion engines.
- EME—Specified requirements for RF electromagnetic energy (EME) used for radio transmitter communications. The arrangements focus on public health effects rather than interference potential.
The ACMA regulatory framework also covers Broadcasting—parental lock requirements for digital television receivers. Unlike the regulatory arrangements listed above, the parental lock requirements do not have any associated labelling and record-keeping requirements.
It is a supplier’s responsibility to ensure a product complies with all applicable requirements before supplying that product to the Australian market. A single product may be subject to more than one arrangement. For example, a smart television with Bluetooth capability and/or a Wi-Fi transmitter would be subject to the EMC, Radiocommunications and EME arrangements, and would also need to comply with the Broadcasting and Datacasting Services (Parental Lock) Technical Standard 2010 (the parental lock standard).
How do I go about becoming compliant?
There are six steps to ensure a product is compliant. Prior to supplying a product, a supplier must:
1. Identify the applicable labelling notice
Establish whether the product is subject to the regulatory arrangements. Remember that a product may be subject to more than one of the regulatory arrangements. The labelling notices explain the applicable technical standards, testing, record-keeping and labelling requirements for each product.
2. Identify the applicable technical standards (prescribed in the relevant labelling notice) and the testing requirements
Identify the applicable technical standard/s for the product. The ACMA technical standards are legal instruments that define the technical performance requirements for products by directly referencing industry standards.
3. Demonstrate compliance
Ensure the product complies with the technical standard/s. Compliance may be demonstrated through testing or (in certain cases) assessment of supporting documentation.
The supplier is responsible for product conformity and needs to make an informed decision on the interference potential of the product and the appropriate level of testing.
4. Complete a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and maintain compliance records
The DoC is a declaration made by, or on behalf of, the supplier that all products comply with the applicable standard/s. A compliance record is a collection of documents (that may include the DoC and test reports) that support the supplier’s claim the product complies with the standard/s.
5. Register as a ‘responsible supplier’
A supplier must register on the national database before affixing a compliance label to compliant products.
6. Label the product
The final step is to affix a compliance label to each product. A compliance label indicates the product complies with the applicable standards. The compliance label consists of the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM).
The first step to supplying a product is to identify the applicable labelling notice/s.