RFID devices | ACMA

RFID devices

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

RFID (radio frequency identification) is a data collection technology that uses electronic tags to uniquely identify an object, animal, or person. This technology has a wide variety of applications, from accessing buildings to managing cattle on a farm.

Some RFID devices are not permitted to be supplied in Australia because they’re not compatible with Australian licensing and spectrum allocation arrangements. Some RFID devices are designed for markets other than Australia and operate on frequencies that are already licensed to mobile phone carriers in Australia. For example, RFID devices that are suitable for use in the United States operate in the frequency band 902–928 MHz. This frequency allocation is not mirrored in Australia, with the frequencies 890–915 MHz being used for mobile phone services.

In the 900 MHz band, RFID devices in Australia can only be operated between 915 and 928 MHz as specified in the Radiocommunications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence 2015 (the LIPD Class Licence).

RFID devices operating in this band may be subject to one or more of the following:

  • Radiocommunications regulatory arrangements
  • Electromagnetic capability (EMC) regulatory arrangements
  • Electromagnetic (EME) regulatory arrangements.

Radiocommunications regulatory arrangements

The regulatory obligations for all radiocommunications devices are detailed in the Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling – Devices) Notice 2014 (the RLN).

Radiocommunications standards

The Radiocommunications (Short Range Devices) Standard 2014 (Short Range Devices Standard)

is the relevant radiocommunications standard for RFID devices.

The ACMA’s Short Range Devices Standard references AS/NZS 4268:2012+A1:2013 Radio equipment and systems – Short range devices – Limits and methods of measurement (AS/NZS 4268). Suppliers must take particular note of section 7.2 of AS/NZS 4268. This section contains a number of restrictions that are designed to limit the risk of the end user being able to cause a device to operate on an incorrect frequency and cause interference.

EME regulatory arrangements

The EME regulatory arrangements for mobile and portable products set exposure limits for emissions from radiocommunications transmitters with integral antennas before the products can be supplied to the Australian market. The obligations are detailed in the:

The Human Exposure Standard adopts the exposure limits specified in the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) in its Radiation Protection Standard for Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields, 3 kHz–300 GHz (2002) (the ARPANSA Standard).

Other regulatory arrangements

RFID devices may also be subject to EMC regulatory arrangements

Radiocommunications licensing requirements

All radiocommunications transmitters must be operated in Australia under the authority of, and in accordance with, the requirements of a radiocommunications licence issued by the ACMA. The operation of a variety of low-powered communications devices, including those using RFID, are authorised by the the LIPD Class Licence. The relevant conditions, such as permitted power limits, must be met for the operation to be authorised under the LIPD Class Licence.

The Australian frequency band licensed for use by RFID devices is 915–928 MHz.

Further information can be obtained from the class licences page.

More information

Advice for suppliers is available on our Steps to Compliance page.  

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

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: 08 March 2016