Compliance program 2012–13 | ACMA

Compliance program 2012–13

The ACMA has identified three priority compliance areas (PCAs) for 2012–13. These have been set after analysis of compliance data inputs, market intelligence and a comparative risk assessment. The PCAs are:

As part of its communications strategy for this financial year, the ACMA will also be focusing on improving online supply compliance.

Prohibited devices (Jammers)

What's the issue?

The ACMA has declared PMTS jamming devices (mobile phone jammers) and RNSS jamming devices (such as, GPS jammers) as prohibited devices under section 190 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992. In Australia, it is an offence to operate, possess (for the purpose of operation or supply) or supply these devices.

These devices have been prohibited because of the significant risks posed by their operation. The only purpose of their use is to adversely affect or disrupt licensed radiocommunications services. This disruption can have serious consequences to individuals, such as preventing access to the Emergency Call Service (Triple Zero) or by impeding the receipt of messages through the Emergency Alert System.

More information

What are the penalties?

Depending on the offence, using a prohibited device can attract a penalty of up to five years in prison or a monetary penalty of up to $550,000.

How do I report information?

If you have any information regarding prohibited devices, please contact the ACMA's Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or info@acma.gov.au.

Non-compliant DECT devices

What's the issue?

There are some DECT devices (cordless phones and headsets) that will be unable to meet Australian regulatory requirements and cannot be supplied or operated in Australia. These devices have been designed for overseas markets and operate on frequencies (such as 1920-1930 MHz) that have been spectrum licensed to mobile phone carriers in Australia. As such, the operation of these devices may cause interference to mobile phone services. Such disruptions may prevent access to the Emergency Call Service (Triple Zero).

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What are the penalties?

Criminal penalties, including court imposed penalties of up to $165,000 or two years imprisonment, exist under the Radiocommunications Act 1992 for the supply of a non standard device, for the unlawful possession of and/or use of unlicensed radiocommunications devices, and for causing interference.

How do I report information?

If you have any information regarding the supply of online non-compliant products, please contact the ACMA's Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or info@acma.gov.au.

Mobile phone repeaters

What's the issue?

A mobile phone repeater is a fixed radiocommunications device that is designed to wirelessly regenerate or replicate a mobile signal. These devices are used to improve mobile phone reception within a small area.

Mobile phone carriers regularly use repeaters as part of their ordinary network management. If the device is installed and configured by the mobile carrier, the risk of interference to the telecommunications network is minimised. However, repeaters can also be used by end users without carrier permission. When used in this way, the repeater has the capacity to cause substantial interference to the cellular network and consequentially may adversely affect mobile services, including preventing access to emergency call services.

What’s changed?

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has amended the Radiocommunications Regulations 1993 (the Regulations) to incorporate a regulation to restrict the supply of mobile phone repeaters. The amended regulation came into effect 09 August 2013.

There are two main elements to the changes to the Regulations to ensure the supply of repeaters is subject to the restrictions under section 301 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act). The first element is to specify cellular mobile repeaters as a class of radiocommunications devices for the definition of an ‘eligible radiocommunications device’ in subsection 301(4) of the Act. The second element of the changes to the Regulations is to include new administrative (record-keeping) requirements for suppliers of repeaters.

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What are the penalties?

It is an offence under the Act to operate an unlicensed radiocommunications device, or possess this device for the purpose of operation. A person found guilty of this offence may be imprisoned for two years for each offence. A body corporate may receive a penalty of up to $255,000 (1,500 penalty units) per offence (sections 46 and 47 of the Act). Other penalties may apply, such as the interference offence provisions at Part 4.2 of the Act.

How do I report information?

If you have any information regarding the supply of online non-compliant products, please contact the ACMA's Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or info@acma.gov.au.

Online supply

What's the issue?

Some electronic devices designed for markets other than Australia may not be properly tested and may not operate on the appropriate Australian frequencies. Such devices may cause interference to various radiocommunications and telecommunications services.

Under Australian regulation, a supplier (an Australian manufacturer or importer or their authorised Australian agent) must satisfy the requirements of the relevant labelling notices before electronic devices are supplied in Australia. Under these regulatory arrangements, a supplier is required to ensure compliance with all applicable mandatory standards, label devices with a compliance label and maintain compliance documentation.

More information

  • Compliance marks information
  • New single compliance mark-RCM
  • ACCC Factsheet - Online shopping - when things go wrong

How do I report information?

If you have any information regarding the online supply of non-compliant products, please contact the ACMA's Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or info@acma.gov.au.

Last updated: 03 May 2017