Alert: Changes to ACMA labelling arrangements from 1 March 2013.
New single compliance mark – RCM. Further information is available.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (the ACMA’s) electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regulatory arrangement specifies requirements for the supply of a wide range of electrical and electronic devices.
Under these arrangements, the supplier in Australia (importer or Australian manufacturer) must ensure that their products meet mandatory technical standards. Suppliers of devices covered by the EMC arrangement must also meet applicable labelling and record keeping requirements for devices supplied to the market.
The EMC regulatory arrangements apply to devices subject to an applicable EMC technical standard. The scope of the ACMA’s list of EMC standards do not cover radiocommunications transmitters. Therefore the EMC regulatory arrangements do not apply to the transmitter functionality of a device.
The intent of the EMC regulations is that if a device normally subject to the EMC regulatory arrangement also incorporates a radiocommunications transmitter, then the device must still comply with the EMC regulatory arrangements. This can be done by testing the device for EMC compliance with the transmitter off or disabled.
The radiocommunications transmitter will need to comply with the requirements of the Radiocommunications Devices (Compliance Labelling) Notice 2003. (See also the Compliance requirements for an IT product fitted with a spread spectrum or digital modulation device fact sheet)
A device that does not have functionality other than that of a transmitter is not subject to the EMC arrangements.
Example 1: A laptop computer that incorporates a Bluetooth transmitter.
The applicable standard is AS/NZS CISPR 22 (or EN 55022, CISPR 22). This standard excludes any equipment or part of equipment which has a primary function of radio transmission.
Therefore the Bluetooth module would be excluded from the scope of the standard (and hence excluded from the scope of the EMC regulations). However the laptop is still subject to the EMC regulations. The laptop needs to be assessed against the applicable EMC technical standard (with the Bluetooth module turned off). The Bluetooth transmitter is then assessed separately against the applicable radiocommunications technical standard (Radiocommunications (Short range devices) Standard 2004) under the radiocommunications device regulations.
Example 2: A mobile phone that does not have ‘flight mode’ (i.e. the mobile phone cannot operate in a mode other than that as a transmitting device) is not subject to the EMC regulatory arrangements. It may still however be subject to requirements under other Labelling Notices such as telecommunications, radiocommunications and or electromagnetic radiation (EMR).
Suppliers may contact the Technical Regulation Development Section for more information.
The ACMA has fact sheets on a range of topics.
Please note: this document is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases.