Issued by Authority of the Australian Communications and Media Authority RADIOCOMMUNICATIONS LABELLING (ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY)
This instrument is the Radiocommunications Labelling (Electromagnetic
Compatibility) Notice 2008. It is made under section 182 of the Radiocommunications
Act 1992 (“the Act”).
Purpose and Operation
Subsection 182(1) of the Act provides that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (“ACMA”) may by notice require any person who manufactures or imports a device included in a specified class of devices to apply a label to the device indicating whether the device complies with standards mandated by ACMA under section 162 of the Act.
On 24 January 2008 ACMA made the Radiocommunications Labelling
(Electromagnetic Compatibility) Notice 2008 (“the Notice”).
The Notice and the Radiocommunications (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Standard 2008 (“the EMC Standard”) operate together to specify the Australian regulatory arrangements for electromagnetic compatibility.
A notice made under section 182 of the Act is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.
ACMA has responsibility for the regulation of customer equipment, customer cabling and specified devices in Australia under the Telecommunications Act 1997 and the
Radiocommunications Act 1992. These regimes cover aspects of devices related to the telecommunications, radiocommunications and electromagnetic compatibility functions of the device. In a number of cases suppliers will be providing equipment that is subject to more than one of the current regulatory regimes. The EMC arrangement through its mandatory standards introduces protection levels from unintended emissions of electromagnetic energy for the protection of radiocommunications services and contributes to Australia‟s international trade arrangements through the adoption of internationally recognised standards The Notice replaces the Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling – Incidental
Emissions) Notice 2001 which commenced on 2 November 2001. As part of the
redrafting of the Notice, the name of the Notice has been changed to more clearly represent its purpose. The format of the Notice has also been changed to more closely match the Notices of the other compliance regimes administered by ACMA and therefore make the legislation easier to understand for industry. The Notice reiterates current policies and interpretations, including voluntary labelling of low risk devices and while it does not introduce any significant regulatory changes over the previous notice it does incorporate clarification of:
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; the requirements for suppliers to maintain compliance records for equipment
that does not bear a compliance label (certain low risk items have a voluntary
labelling requirement); and
; those devices that are exempt from the requirements within the Notice
(exemptions from the Notice were previously specified in the section 162
Standard and were not referenced within this Notice).
NOTES ON CLAUSES
Part 1 Preliminary
Section 1.1 Name of Notice
Section 1.1 provides the name and citation for the Notice - Radiocommunications
Labelling (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Notice 2008.
Section 1.2 Commencement
Section 1.2 provides that the Notice commences on the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.
Section 1.3 Revocation
Section 1.3 revokes the Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling – Incidental
Emissions) Notice 2001.
Section 1.4 Definition
ection 1.4 defines the meaning of terms used throughout the Notice. S
; The term “accredited”, in relation to a test report, specifies a higher quality
report in that the test report, which demonstrates compliance with an
applicable standard, must have been produced by an accredited testing
body within the terms of its accreditation for the particular standard.
; The term “accredited testing body” means a testing body that has been
o a NATA MRA partner; or
o an accreditation body recognised under an agreement such as a Mutual
Recognition Agreement or Free Trade Agreement between Australia and
as well as having the equipment, resources and technical capability to
conduct testing to an applicable standard.
; The term “fixed installation” refers to installations of particular devices at
a predetermined location. This is intended to refer to customised
equipment that is intended to be installed at a unique location by the
supplier. This term refers to a predetermined location rather than a fixed
location for consistency with European regulatory arrangements.
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; The term “supplier” has been adopted as a shorthand reference to mean the
manufacturer or importer of a device, or an agent of the manufacturer or
importer of a device. Thus, whenever the term „supplier‟ is used, it can be
taken to be a reference to either a manufacturer, an importer or an agent of
that manufacturer or importer. However, the term only refers to a person
who is in Australia. This means that obligations placed on suppliers under
this Notice, such as the retention of compliance records, must be carried
out by persons in Australia.
; The term “applicable standard” is a fundamental concept in this Notice. It
refers to a standard (e.g. AS/NZS, CISPR, IEC, EN standard) that is
referenced in the EMC Standard in relation to the device. The EMC
Standard incorporates by reference the list of standards at
http://www.acma.gov.au/standards/emc and sets out rules for determining
which standard is an applicable standard that applies to a device. The EMC
standard is made under s 162 of the Act and requires that devices comply
with an applicable standard.
This Notice applies three different levels of risk for devices - low risk, medium risk and high risk. Low risk devices have a low interference impact on other devices using the radiofrequency spectrum and are assembled from a limited set of components. High risk devices are those which would be described as “Group 2 ISM equipment” in ndAS/NZS CISPR 11:2004 (2 Edition) these devices have significant potential to
cause interference if not designed to minimise emissions. Medium risk devices are those which are neither high risk devices nor low risk devices, most devices are medium risk devices.
Section 1.5 Meaning of compliance records
Section 1.5 specifies the content of the „compliance records‟ which are the
documentary evidence a supplier must hold to prove compliance of a particular device to the requirements of the Notice.
This includes a description of the device, the supplier‟s declaration of conformity, test reports or technical construction files demonstrating compliance, and any explanatory documentation required to use the device correctly.
The section also includes requirements for compliance records of variants of a device. A variant is a model that may have differences to the model for which the original compliance records were obtained. Variants can have changes in features which do not significantly effect the electromagnetic performance of the device. If the device is a variant, then the original device‟s test report or technical construction file must be included together with a description of why the variant complies with the relevant applicable standard.
Section 1.6 Meaning of description of the device
Section 1.6 specifies the minimum information required in the compliance records to accurately describe the device which is to be labelled. Such information may include model numbers, software or firmware versions and photographs or diagrams of the device. The description of the device is important because it enables ACMA to determine whether a particular device is the same as the device for which a declaration of conformity, test report or technical construction file in the compliance records relates.
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Section 1.7 Meaning of device that complies with New Zealand labelling
Australia and New Zealand have established closer economic ties under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA). Australia and New Zealand have a common suite of applicable standards and the same regulatory compliance mark for EMC arrangements. To a large extent the Australian and New Zealand arrangements have been harmonised. Under the TTMRA, Australia recognises that devices labelled in accordance with the New Zealand arrangements are deemed to comply with the Australian arrangements. Sections 1.7 and 2.3 work together to implement exemptions for devices labelled under the New Zealand arrangements. Section 1.7 specifies that devices that are not labelled in accordance with the New Zealand legislation fall outside the definition of “a device that complies with New
Zealand labelling legislation” for the purposes of this Notice. This is intended to
total harmonisation including: address some minor exceptions from
; A device that is manufactured in New Zealand solely for export to
Australia and does not bear a label in accordance with the New Zealand
requirements must be labelled in accordance with the Australian
A device that is a battery operated device that is exempt from labelling ;
under the New Zealand labelling legislation is not exempt in Australia.
; A device that is exempted from the New Zealand labelling legislation
because it is supplied in quantities of less than 10 per annum is not exempt
Section 1.8 Other interpretation
Section 1.8 provides definitions of several acronyms used in the titles of standards that are referenced in this Notice. In particular, it defines the acronyms referring to joint Australian and New Zealand Standards, International Electrotechnical Commission Standards, International Special Committee on Radio Interference Standards, and European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization European Standards.
Section 1.8 also states that this Notice may refer to a standard without including the year of the referenced standard. Where such a reference occurs, the reference is to the standard as in force from time to time, this facilitates keeping the arrangements contemporary with current industry practices.
; The prefix acronym CISPR indicates standards developed by the Special
International Committee on Radio Interference (abbreviated CISPR).
; The technical standard CISPR 22:2005 may be referred as CISPR 22.
Part 2 Application of Notice
Section 2.1 Devices to which this Notice applies
Section 2.1 limits the application of this Notice to devices imported into or manufactured in Australia that will be supplied in Australia and for which there is an applicable standard.
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Applicable standards are those standards specified in the associated EMC Standard. This Notice and the EMC Standard operate together to specify the Australian regulatory arrangements for electromagnetic compatibility.
Section 2.2 Devices to which this Notice does not apply – general
Section 2.2 specifies those devices which are exempted from the requirements set out in the Notice.
Examples of exclusions in Schedule 2 are:
; Devices that are subject to other radiocommunications standards that
have the same effect of specifying emission levels, such as:
o medical and therapeutic devices for which emission standards are
mandated under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989; and
o Vehicles that are imported and supplied by members of the Federal
Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) or the Trucking Industry
Council (TIC) where those vehicles comply with the emission
requirements contained in codes imposed by the FCAI or TIC.
; Devices that by their nature emit at extremely low levels and are unlikely
to present a risk of interference.
; Devices used for exhibition or demonstration if it is the sole example of
the device used for that purpose.
; A personal computer assembled in Australia using only individually
compliant and labelled components. Personal computers are exempted
because the risk of the personal computer causing an interference problem
is mitigated by its assembly from compliant subassemblies.
Note: A personal computer assembled outside Australia does not meet this exemption,
nor does a personal computer assembled in Australia that has components required to be
marked that are not marked with a compliance mark.
Section 2.3 Devices to which this Notice does not apply – New Zealand devices
This section works in conjunction with section 1.7 of the Notice. Section 2.3 specifies that devices imported into Australia from New Zealand for supply in Australia, and that bear a label in accordance with the New Zealand labelling legislation, are not subject to the labelling requirements set out in Part 3, 4 and 5 of the Notice.
Devices supplied in Australia that are exempt under Australian arrangements may not have the same exemption when supplied from Australia into New Zealand. Devices supplied in New Zealand that have an exemption under New Zealand legislation do not necessarily have the same exemption when supplied into Australia. For example, New Zealand exempts from labelling requirements devices supplied in quantities of less than 10. However, if the supplier proposes to supply those devices into Australia they must be labelled as there is no similar exemption under the Australian arrangements.
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Section 2.4 Relationship between this Notice and the Telecommunications
Labelling (Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Notice 2001
Section 2.4 recognises that the A-Tick regulatory compliance mark mandated for telecommunications customer equipment also serves to indicate that a device complies with the requirements of this Notice. While this does not prevent the supplier from applying both the A-Tick and C-Tick regulatory compliance marks it avoids unnecessary duplication by allowing the supplier to use one rather than two compliance marks.
This section also specifies that if both the Telecommunications Labelling (Customer
Equipment and Customer Cabling) Notice 2001 (the TLN) and the EMC Notice apply
to a device, the supplier must comply with the requirements in both the TLN and this Notice.
Part 3 Form and placement of labels, marks and information
Part 3 of the Notice specifies requirements regarding the form, application and positioning of compliance labels and the use of compliance marks. The Part also recognises that for certain “low risk” devices, the supplier may choose not to apply a
label, but must nevertheless comply with the requirements of the standard and maintain compliance records.
Section 3.1 Compliance labels, compliance information and compliance marks Section 3.1 specifies the form of a compliance label and the type of information that
appear on a device to indicate the identity of the supplier of the device. must
A compliance label comprises two components – compliance information which is
sufficient to identify the supplier of the device (specified in section 3.1(2)) and a compliance mark (specified in Schedule 3).
However, this section permits the two components of the compliance label not to be adjacent to each other on the device. This provision recognises that for some suppliers the information identifying the supplier, such as a registered trademark under subsection (g), may already appear on the device and, provided that the identification and mark do not obscure one another, the compliance labelling requirement can be met by applying a compliance mark elsewhere on the device.
It must not be necessary for a person to use a tool to gain access to either part of the compliance label.
Section 3.2 Compliance labels for low risk devices
Section 3.2 applies only to low risk devices. Under this section, suppliers of a low risk device may choose whether or not to apply a compliance label to the low risk device. However, the decision to apply a compliance label, or not, does not change the supplier‟s obligations under the Notice including the requirements to maintain compliance records and ensure that the device meets the relevant compliance level. The device must comply with an applicable standard under the EMC Standard whether or not a compliance label is applied.
Section 3.3 Who must apply a compliance label to a device?
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Section 3.3 specifies the person who is responsible for ensuring a device is labelled. Subsection 3.3(1) specifies who may apply or authorise application of labels for devices manufactured within Australia. Subsection 3.3(2) specifies who may apply or authorise application of compliance labels where the device is manufactured outside of Australia. Both subsections permit suppliers to authorise other persons to apply a label or mark to a device on behalf of the supplier.
Authorising agents or persons outside Australia who apply labels or marks do not change the liability of a manufacturer (if the device is manufactured in Australia) or importer (if the device is manufactured overseas) for any breach of the labelling requirements. In addition, the provisions relating to agents have been included to take account of the many commercial arrangements that provide for devices to be labelled by an agent of a manufacturer or importer.
Section 3.4 Durability of compliance information and compliance mark ection 3.4 specifies that compliance information and compliance marks must be S
„durable‟. That is, the compliance information or compliance mark must be attached permanently to the device or attached in such a way that it cannot be easily removed or defaced during normal use of the device. It is important that the compliance information or compliance mark be applied in such a way that the information or
of the device. mark remains on the device for the life
Section 3.5 Symbols and characters on compliance label
Section 3.5(1) specifies that compliance information must be legible, and the minimum size for the alphanumeric characters used as part of the labelling. Subsection 3.5(2) specifies the minimum size of the compliance mark
This information is specified so that persons applying labels cannot make the mark or alphanumeric characters so small as to be illegible. The notice does not address accessibility requirements for the mark as the mark is currently a regulatory mark rather than a consumer mark.
Section 3.6 Placement of compliance label
Section 3.6 provides an exception to subsection 3.1(4) where it is not possible to apply a compliance label to the device that is accessible to a user because of the size or physical nature of the device.
In such a case, subsection 3.6(1) allows that the supplier may place the compliance label on an external surface of the packaging used for the device and the documentation that accompanies the device when it is supplied to the user. This provision recognises the difficulties associated with labelling a device that is imported in packaging that would be destroyed by unpacking in order to apply the compliance label.
Subsection 3.6(2) requires a compliance label applied to external packaging to be of a certain size and readily visible.
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Section 3.7 Explanatory documentation to be supplied with a device
Section 3.7 requires suppliers to provide information with a device to prevent end users from operating the device in such a way that the device would not comply with the requirements in the applicable standard to which the device was tested. This is necessary because it may be possible for a device to be compliant with an applicable standard when used or installed as designed, but then operated or installed in a manner that would make it no longer compliant. In this case documentation should be supplied with a device to detail how to use or install the device and keep it compliant. This is an important issue for devices where compliance is highly dependent upon installation practices.
A split system air-conditioner featuring a variable speed drive and tested with a cable of 1.2 m
from the control unit to the drive, may be non-compliant if installed with a longer installation
cable. The purpose of this section is to require the supplier to provide documentation stating
that the device will only be compliant if installed with a 1.2 m cable from control unit to the
drive. However, if the drive was tested with a sufficiently wide range of cables that it would
be very unlikely for the device to be used in a way that would not comply with the standard,
documentation under this section would not be necessary.
Part 4 Compliance levels
This Part specifies:
; The documentary evidence that a supplier must maintain in relation to a
device to which a compliance label has been applied.
; The compliance levels that a device must meet if an applicable standard
applies to the device.
; The requirements that a supplier must meet in order to gain permission to use
a regulatory compliance mark specified in Schedule 3.
; A record keeping exemption for a device that is a variant of a device for
which a compliance record already exists.
Section 4.1 Application of Part 4
Section 4.1 states that the record keeping requirements apply to devices to which an applicable standard applies. However, it provides an exemption for a device that is a variant of a device for which a compliance record already exists, if the radiofrequency emission characteristics of the variant do not exceed those of the original device. The supplier of a variant must still comply with section 4.7.
This provision recognises that changes to a device (colour, some design features) that have no effect on the electromagnetic performance of the device do not necessitate a retest of the device to an applicable standard.
Section 4.2 Permission to use compliance marks and issue of supplier code number
Compliance marks are protected symbols under the Act. Protected symbols cannot be used for any purpose except in accordance with a labelling notice under section 182 of
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the Act or section 407 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This provision notifies
suppliers that application of the mark is controlled.
Section 4.2 states that a supplier must not apply a C-Tick mark to a device unless the supplier has permission to use the C-Tick mark and a supplier code number. Under section 188A of the Act, the C-Tick mark is a protected symbol and a supplier must apply for permission to use the mark. In addition, a supplier code number must have been issued by ACMA to the supplier before the first time that the supplier applies the C-Tick mark to a device.
Use of the RCM is covered by Australian Standard AS/NZS 4417.1 and therefore suppliers who wish to use this mark need to comply with the requirements of that standard.
Suppliers who have:
(a) already received permission from ACMA to use a compliance mark (either the
-Tick or C-Tick); and A
(b) obtained a supplier code number;
under the Telecommunications Labelling (Customer Equipment and Customer
Cabling) Notice 2001 or the Radiocommunications Devices (Compliance Labelling)
Notice 2003 do not need to apply again and may apply the C-Tick mark to a device. Section 4.3 Meeting compliance levels
The EMC arrangement recognises that the risk of non-compliance is greater with ertain devices than others. This has been incorporated into the Notice by specifying c
different evidence requirements for proof of compliance, known as compliance levels. There are three compliance levels and they specify requirements for:
; compliance level 1 – a “low risk” device (section 4.4);
; compliance level 2 – a “medium risk” device (section 4.5); and
; compliance level 3 – a “high risk” device (section 4.6).
This ensures that all devices have an appropriate requirement for maintenance of documentary evidence of compliance. The specified documentary requirements are commensurate with the identified level of risk for a device.
Section 4.3 specifies the requirements that a supplier must meet before applying a label to a device. The supplier must prepare a description of the device, meet the relevant compliance level for the device, and complete and sign a declaration of conformity for the device.
Section 4.4 Compliance level 1 – low-risk device
Section 4.4 specifies that there are no additional requirements to those in section 4.3 for a low risk device that complies with the EMC Standard.
Section 4.5 Compliance level 2 – medium risk device
Section 4.5 specifies additional requirements over those specified in section 4.3 for a medium risk device.
The additional requirements for a medium risk device are that the supplier must ensure that the device complies with the EMC Standard. (The EMC Standard requires
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that a device complies with an applicable standard.) Compliance is established by the supplier having the device tested against an applicable standard and including in the compliance records for the device:
; a test report from a testing body; or
; a technical construction file.
It is important to note that the definitions of test report and technical construction file require the testing body or accredited testing body to assess the device as complying with the applicable standard.
Section 4.6 Compliance level 3 – high risk device
Section 4.6 sets out the additional requirements for a high risk device. This is the highest compliance level in the Notice.
The potential interference risk is the highest for a high risk device. Therefore the supplier of a high risk device must have the highest level of evidence of compliance with an applicable standard.
The additional requirements for a high risk device are that the supplier must ensure that the device complies with the EMC standard. (The EMC standard requires that a device complies with an applicable standard.) Compliance is established by the supplier having the device tested against an applicable standard and including in the compliance records:
; an accredited test report from a testing body; or
; a technical construction file.
It is important to note that the definitions of test report and technical construction file require accredited testing body or a competent body to make statements that identify that the device complies with the applicable standard.
Section 4.7 Additional requirements for variants
Section 4.7 specifies alternative evidentiary requirements for a device that is a variant of another device (the original device).
If the supplier of the variant has met the requirements of sections 4.3-4.6 for the original device, the supplier need not meet those requirements in relation to the variant. However, the supplier must prepare technical documentation to show that the differences between the original and the variant will not effect the compliance of the variant.
If the original device met the requirements for compliance level 2 and the supplier had
technical documentation to show that the variant has no more emissions than the original
device and the variant is the same compliance level, the supplier does not need to keep
complete compliance documentation for the variant.
In this case the compliance documentation for the variant would be a copy of the compliance
documentation for the original device, plus a written statement that:
; identifies the original device and the variant;
; describes the differences between the original device and the variant; and
; provides a technical rationale for the conformity of the variant.
If the variant is a higher compliance level than the original device, it will need to be assessed
at the higher compliance level.
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