Standards we set
To regulate products, we make technical standards under:
- section 376 of the Telecommunications Act 1997
- Part 9A of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992
and equipment rules under:
subsection 156(1) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.
Our technical standards are the:
- telecommunications standards
- radiocommunications standards
- electromagnetic compatibility standard
- electromagnetic energy standard
- parental lock standard.
Our technical standards generally refer to industry standards such as:
- Australian standards from Standards Australia
- international standards from the International Electrotechnical Commission, European Telecommunications Standards Institute, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization
- standards from the Communications Alliance and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
Changes to standards
When we change or introduce a standard, there is a transition period.
Transition periods are set out in our labelling notices and standards.
During the transition period, both the old (no longer in force) and new (in force) standard apply. If you supply a new product, you may choose to comply with either the old or new standard.
Products that comply with an old standard
You might have tested your product to a standard that is now old.
If the old standard was current when you signed a declaration of conformity, you:
- may still apply a label
- do not have to retest your product to the new standard.
This is called 'grandfathering'.
Grandfathering does not apply if:
- you or the manufacturer change your product
- supplying your product might threaten health and safety, or a network or facility
- your product must also comply with a class licence (such as the Radiocommunications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence 2015) that does not allow grandfathering (for example, for wireless microphones).
We make technical standards for customer equipment and customer cabling.
Our technical standards reference or incorporate industry standards in full (unless otherwise specified).
You can obtain industry standards from a Standards Australia distributor listed on the Standards Australia website. Industry standards referenced in ACMA technical standards may also be viewed at ACMA offices in Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra by prior arrangement. To make arrangements, please contact email@example.com.
Find our standards in Schedule 1 of the Telecommunications (Labelling Notice for Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Instrument 2015 (TLN).
- Telecommunications Technical Standard (Analogue Interworking and Non-interference Requirements for Customer Equipment for Connection to the Public Switched Telephone Network – AS/CA S002) 2015
- Telecommunications Technical Standard (Requirements for Customer Access Equipment for connection to a Telecommunications Network – AS/CA S003) 2015
- Telecommunications Technical Standard (Voice performance requirements for Customer Equipment – AS/CA S004) 2015
- Telecommunications Technical Standard (Requirements for customer cabling products – AS/CA S008) 2015
- Telecommunications Technical Standard (Requirements for Customer Equipment with hierarchical digital interfaces – AS/ACIF S016) 2015
- Telecommunications Disability Standard (Requirements for Customer Equipment for use with the Standard Telephone Service – Features for special needs of persons with disabilities – AS/ACIF S040) 2015
- Telecommunications Technical Standard (Requirements for DSL Customer Equipment for connection to the Public Switched Telephone Network – AS/ACIF S041) 2015
- Telecommunications Technical Standard (Requirements for Customer Equipment for connection to a metallic local loop interface of a Telecommunications Network – AS/CA S043) 2015
- Telecommunications (Customer Equipment Safety) Technical Standard 2018
- Telecommunications (Mobile Equipment Air Interface) Technical Standard 2022
We make technical standards for transmitters and receivers.
The Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) was amended by the Radiocommunications Legislation Amendment (Reform and Modernisation) Act 2020.
As part of these amendments, provisions relating to standards, labelling notices, permits and permissions were replaced with a broader power for the ACMA to make equipment rules.
The Radiocommunications Equipment (General) Rules 2021 (the General Equipment Rules) give us more flexibility and options to regulate equipment and the supply of equipment.
The ACMA has also repealed 14 radiocommunications technical standards (old general standards) and the Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling – Devices) Notice 2014 (the Radiocommunications Labelling Notice).
The content of 13 old general standards and the Radiocommunications Labelling Notice have been included with some amendments in the General Equipment Rules.
The content of the repealed Radiocommunications (121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) Standard 2014 has not been included in the General Equipment Rules. This is because the Standard is now redundant as 243.0 MHz emergency position indicating radio beacons are no longer monitored by international satellites.
Suppliers will need to ensure they comply with the relevant requirements for their equipment.
The general standards commonly refer to industry standards for technical performance (for example, limits and test methods). They may:
- refer to an industry standard in full
- vary the industry standard (for example, add rules that are not in the industry standard).
It is important you read our standards and the industry standards. This will help you identify all our rules for your product.
Find the general standards in Schedule 5 to the General Equipment Rules.
You can get copies of:
- Australian and New Zealand standards from a Standards Australia distributor listed on the Standards Australia website
- Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) standards from ARIB
- European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standards from ETSI.
Electromagnetic compatibility standards
We make technical standards for electrical and electronic products.
Our Radiocommunications (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Standard 2017 refers to our list of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards.
Our standards are in 2 parts:
Part 1 has general standards for emissions.
G1 standards are for products that customers likely use in a residential, commercial or light industrial (for example, a small brewery) place.
G2 standards are for products that customers likely use in an industrial place.
Part 2 groups products and lists the standards for them.
Your product might match more than one standard. Choose the standard that best matches the main purpose of your product.
If your product does not fit into any of the groups, choose one of the general standards in Part 1.
Electromagnetic energy standard
The electromagnetic energy standard is in Schedule 4 to the Radiocommunications Equipment (General) Rules 2021 (the General Equipment Rules). The General Equipment Rules outline requirements for certain equipment (e.g., mobile stations with an integral antenna) to comply with exposure limits for electromagnetic energy.
The exposure limits are those applying to the general public as set out in the standard published by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), the Radiation Protection Standard for Limiting Exposure to Radiofrequency fields – 100 kHz to 300 GHz (2021).
Check the General Equipment Rules to see if the requirements apply to your product.
Generally, you can assume your product must comply with the rules if it is a:
- mobile telephone
- baby monitor
- cordless telephone
- smart meter.
Parental lock standards
Our Broadcasting Services (Parental Lock) Technical Standard 2020 (parental lock standard) is the only standard in Australia that sets the rules for parental lock.
Parental lock is a feature of digital TV receivers. It allows you to control access to programs based on their classification (for example, G, PG, M or MA).
Parents and guardians use parental lock to protect their children from inappropriate or harmful TV content.
Generally, you can assume your product must comply with our standard if it is:
- an integrated digital TV
- a digital TV set-top box
- a personal video recorder
- a distribution device (used for connected TVs in apartment buildings, hospitals, nursing homes).
Check sections 8, 9 and 10 of our standard to see if it applies to your product.
The parental lock standard has no labelling or record-keeping rules, unlike for our other standards.
If you supply a product that does not comply with the parental lock standard, you might be committing an offence.
Penalties for breaching the Act can reach up to $165,000.