Labelling - telecommunications products | ACMA

Labelling - telecommunications products

The Telecommunications (Labelling Notice for Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Instrument 2015 (the TLN) is made under section 407 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. It specifies the testing, labelling and record-keeping obligations on a supplier of specified telecommunications customer equipment and customer cabling. Unless otherwise noted, a reference to ‘product’ in this document is a reference to both customer equipment and customer cabling.

The TLN requires a supplier (a manufacturer, importer or their authorised agent) to apply a label to a product to indicate whether the product complies with mandatory technical standards before the product is supplied to the Australian market.

Supplier registration

Before a supplier applies a compliance label to a product, the supplier must register on the national database as a ‘responsible supplier’.

Labelling

Labelling is a fundamental element of the ACMA’s technical regulatory arrangements for telecommunications products. Labelling indicates compliance with all applicable ACMA technical standards and associated record-keeping requirements.

Telecommunications items listed in Schedule 1 and Schedule 4 of the TLN must be labelled with a compliance label before supply to the Australian market. 

The TLN identifies two forms of labels:

  • the compliance label—the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM)
  • the non-compliance label.

Compliance label

A compliance label is a durable and legible label that indicates the product complies with the applicable regulatory arrangements, including any applicable ACMA standards. A compliance label must not be applied to the product unless it complies with the applicable ACMA technical standard/s and the supplier holds the documentation relevant to the product. If a product has a built-in display, the compliance label may be displayed electronically.

The compliance label for telecommunications products is the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM).

Note: Products that were labelled with the A-Tick compliance mark prior to 1 March 2016 can continue to be supplied until labelled stock has been exhausted - they are not required to be re-labelled with the RCM.

The RCM

rcm_image gif

A supplier must be registered on the national database to use the RCM.

Note: The Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS), administered by the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC), also uses the RCM. The ACMA has no regulatory responsibility for the EESS arrangements. Information about the EESS is available from www.erac.gov.au/
Questions about the EESS should be directed to the ERAC Secretariat via email at erac@justice.qld.gov.au

Further information on the RCM, including a downloadable image, is available.

Non-compliance label

Applying a non-compliance label to a product indicates that it does not comply with the applicable technical standards or has not been tested against them. Requirements for other regulatory arrangements must still be met.

A supplier should only use a non-compliance label where there is a legitimate reason why a product may not be able to comply with applicable technical standards, yet still be allowed to be supplied and connected to a carrier’s network or facility (once written permission from the network or facility manager is obtained).

The non-compliance label comprises a statement that the product does not comply with each applicable technical standard. The statement must be printed on the external surface of the product’s packaging and incorporated in the accompanying documentation supplied with the product. The non-compliance labelling requirements are specified in Part 4, Division 4 of the TLN.

If a product is also subject to other ACMA regulatory arrangements, it can still be labelled with the RCM; however, it must also display the non-compliance statement in order to comply with the TLN.

Below is an example statement that meets the requirements of the TLN:

DO NOT connect this product to any telecommunications network or facility unless:

  • you have the written consent of the network or facility manager; or
  • the connection is in accordance with a connection permit issued for this product; or
  • a connection rule for this product has been made by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The connection of this product to any telecommunications network or facility may cause a hazard or damage to the network or facility, or to users of the network or facility, and may result in you being consequentially liable to pay substantial compensation.

Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the supplier to ensure that a compliance label is correctly applied to each product before it is supplied to the market.

A supplier can give permission to a third party, including an agent, to apply the label. However, ultimate responsibility for applying the label rests with the supplier.

Application of the compliance label

Physical requirements for the compliance label include:

Scale and visibility—the compliance label must be legible and visible to the unaided eye and the compliance mark must be no smaller than three millimeters (3 mm) in height. The label may be in any colour, provided that visibility is assured through either contrast with the background colour or marking in relief (for example, moulding or engraving).

Surface labelling—the compliance label should be a permanent feature placed on the product. It must be applied to a surface of the product that is easily accessible to the user. The label should be durable and applied by any suitable means including printing, painting, moulding, etching or engraving.

Electronic labelling—if a product has a built-in display, the compliance label may be displayed electronically rather than on the surface of the product. Electronic labelling is only permitted if the product has a built-in display—displays that connect to the product, but are external to it, are not considered to be built-in.

The labelling notices do not prescribe how electronic labels should be displayed. Examples of how electronic labels can be displayed include:

  • during the device’s power up sequence
  • under the device’s system information page
  • under the device’s help menu.

The accompanying product documentation must explain how the electronic label can be viewed.

Package labelling—If it is not practical to apply a label to the external surface of the product (and it is not displayed using a built-in electronic display), the label must:

  • be applied to the external surface of the packaging used for the product
  • be clearly visible on the external surface
  • be incorporated in the documentation (operating instructions, warranty or guarantee certificates) that accompanies the product when it is supplied to the consumer.

Note: A supplier who does not apply a label to the surface of the product is required to maintain records detailing the reasons why and where the label was subsequently applied. This requirement does not apply to a supplier who labels electronically.

More information

The TLN provides full details of the telecommunications labelling requirements.

More information about the telecommunications regulatory arrangements is available. If you have any questions about the regulatory arrangements, please contact the ACMA's Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or email info@acma.gov.au

Last updated: 29 February 2016