Alert: Changes to ACMA labelling arrangements from 1 March 2013.
New single compliance mark – RCM. Further information is available.
The ACMA has taken a dual approach to the EMR regulatory arrangements: the technical standard covering transmitters and licensed operators while carriers must adopt the code of practice to address infrastructure issues.
The Radiocommunications (Electromagnetic Radiation-Human Exposure) Standard 2003 (the Exposure Standard) as amended, mandates EMR exposure limits for mobile and portable radiocommunications transmitters supplied for use close to the human body operating on a frequency between 100 kHz and 300 GHz. Manufacturers and importers of such transmitters must test and label their products in accordance with the Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling - Electromagnetic Radiation) Labelling Notice 2003.
The EMR regulatory arrangements are applicable to:
- Direct manufacturers, importers or agents, and
- Distributors and resellers
A manufacturer or importer of mobile, cordless or satellite phones is required to comply with relevant ACMA standards for telecommunications, EMC, EMR regarding the performance of a telecommunications customer equipment and its connection to a telecommunications network. To do this, the person will have applied to the ACMA for permission to label the device using the 'A-Tick' compliance mark. For telecommunications customer equipment, a single A-Tick mark will demonstrate that is compliant with the relevant ACMA standards. For all non telecommunications customer equipment, a C-Tick mark applies. The person will have signed a Declaration of Conformity and compiled a compliance folder of documentation that supports the attestation of compliance.
All portable transmitters with integral antennas, including cordless, mobile and satellite phones will require testing to the human exposure standard. The EMR documentation required will be a test report (or certified copy) which states compliance with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limits of the mandatory standard using the methodology specified in the mandatory standard.
Most distributors and resellers of these devices will be on-sellers of devices that are already labelled and for which compliance folders have been compiled by the original manufacturer or importer. However, distributors and resellers should be aware that if the originally compliant device is modified in any way that could be seen to change the compliance of the device with the mandatory standard (eg. through modification of the antenna or addition of attachments to the device), as this will then be regarded as a new device. Consequently, the distributor or reseller will also be regarded as a supplier at first point of supply to the market and be subject to the ACMA's legislative requirements. This means that a test report stating the compliance of the device with the mandatory standard as outlined above must be obtained and a compliance folder compiled.
A person who knowingly supplies, operates or uses a non-standard device may be subject to legal action by the ACMA.
This principle also applies to manufacturers of mobile phones who will not be held responsible for compliance after point of sale if the device is modified or has any attachments. However, suppliers within Australia who import or act as agents for the manufacturer could be held responsible for the compliance of the device should they make any modifications to the originally compliant device that would make that device non-compliant. It is an offence under the Radiocommunications Act 1992 to knowingly operate, supply or use a non-standard device.
The mandatory standard includes a testing methodology. Those devices that are required to be evaluated must be tested by a laboratory that is accredited to conduct such testing.
EMR and Telecommunications Standards
The Telecommunications Labelling (Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Notice requires customer equipment that emits EMR to comply with requirements specified in applicable technical standards. Customer equipment such as those described above are required to comply with the EMR mandatory standard.