Battery-powered devices | ACMA

Battery-powered devices

This page should be read in conjunction with the general information on compliance and labelling requirements available on the Supplying products in Australia page.

A Battery-powered device is a device that is not capable of being connected, directly or indirectly, to an external power supply. A battery-powered device includes:

  • any device where the battery is housed internally within the device (for example, battery operated toys, calculators and wrist watches)
  • any device where the battery is part of the product for normal operation but is removed for charging (provided the ‘host’ product cannot be connected to an external power supply).

A supplier of a battery-powered device has obligations under the ACMA electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regulatory arrangements. A battery-powered device will also be subject to other ACMA regulatory arrangements, such as the radiocommunications and electromagnetic energy (EME) arrangements (if the device incorporates a transmitter) or the telecommunications regulatory arrangements (if the device is intended for connection to a telecommunications network). 

EMC regulatory arrangements

The EMC regulatory arrangements impose labelling and record-keeping requirements for the supply of an extensive range of electrical and electronic products before it is supplied to the Australian market. The requirements are detailed in the Radiocommunications Labelling (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Notice 2017 (the EMC LN).

The objective of the arrangements is to minimise the risk of unintentional electromagnetic interference from products, which may affect the performance of other electrical products or disrupt radiocommunications services.

Risk levels/compliance levels

The EMC LN recognises three risk levels in relation to a product:

  • Low-risk device
  • Medium-risk device
  • High-risk device

An explanation of each device risk level is available on the device compliance levels page.

Each risk level corresponds to a compliance level. The compliance level specifies the evidence a supplier must obtain to demonstrate the product complies with the applicable technical standard, the compliance records that must be kept, and the product labelling requirements.  

A battery-powered device is a low-risk device [see note]. If a low-risk device is only subject to the EMC arrangements, the device must comply with the applicable EMC standard, but is not required to be compliance labelled. A supplier may voluntarily apply a compliance label.

It is important to note that the option to not label only applies to a battery-powered (or other low-risk) device that is only subject to the EMC regulatory arrangements. Compliance labelling is mandatory if a battery-powered (or other low-risk) device is also subject to any of the other ACMA regulatory arrangements.

Note: The ACMA may declare a particular batter-powered device to be a medium-risk device. Any battery-powered device so declared, must be labelled. To date the ACMA has not declared any battery-powered device to be a medium-risk device.

What is not a battery-powered device

A product that connects to an external power supply does not meet the definition of a battery-powered device. A product where the battery can be removed for charging but the product can also be connected to a power supply to operate it or charge the battery in situ is not a battery-powered device.

Products that are not battery-powered devices include:

  • USB products (these are powered via the USB port)
  • tablets and portable MP3 players that connect to an external power source for charging
  • automotive products (these connect to the car’s battery which is an external power source)
  • inverters
  • Ethernet powered products
  • Laptops/PCs
  • Mobile phones
  • Wireless remote controls (for example, garage door opener)

Note: A charger used to charge a battery in relation to a battery-powered device needs to be assessed separately. 

More information

Advice for suppliers on equipment compliance and labelling is available on the ACMA website.

More information about the EMC regulatory arrangements is available on the ACMA website.

If you have any questions about the regulatory arrangements, please contact the ACMA's Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or

Please note: this page 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.



Last updated: 19 January 2018