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The General Equipment Rules

Know the rules for supplying technical equipment.

Changes made to the Radiocommunications Act 1992 around equipment regulations

The Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) was amended by the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Act 2020 (the Modernisation Act).

The Modernisation Act has changed some provisions for supplying equipment. These include:

  • introducing the term ‘interim ban’
  • updating the definition of ‘label’ to include QR codes
  • repealing Part 4 of the Act and replacing it with a new Part 4 Equipment
  • repealing section 301 of the Act, which restricted supply of cellular mobile repeaters (also known as mobile phone repeaters)
  • introducing powers for the ACMA to create equipment rules, which can be used to:
    • keep parts of the existing arrangements
    • set up standards for equipment
    • enforce obligations or prohibitions for equipment
    • establish a permit scheme so we can issue, vary or cancel a permit
    • regulate the supply of cellular mobile repeaters.

All existing standards and labelling notices made under the Act will stay as equipment rules. Suppliers will need to comply with existing requirements in those standards and labelling notices.

ACMA’s powers under the General Equipment Rules

The Radiocommunications Equipment (General) Rules 2021 (the General Equipment Rules) allow the ACMA to:

  • enforce the existing standards and labelling notices
  • issue permits that allow the possession, operation or supply of non-standard devices and/or unlabelled equipment
  • regulate the supply of cellular mobile repeaters.

The General Equipment Rules do not impact the existing labelling notices or existing standards such as the EME and EMC Standards, which will continue to operate.

Permits

The General Equipment Rules includes a new permit scheme, which allows us to issue permits for possession, operation or supply of non-standard devices and/or unlabelled equipment.

Exempt repeaters

We can declare a cellular mobile repeater to be exempt after assessing an application from a carrier. Find out more in Schedule 1 to the General Equipment Rules.

When we declare a repeater to be exempt, we will publish information about it on our website, including:

  • the brand name
  • the model number
  • an image
  • the carrier that requested the exemption.

Consumers will be able to review the list to make sure they are making a legitimate purchase.

This new provision means carriers will have an alternative mechanism to allow the supply of cellular mobile repeaters.

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