SUMMARY OF THE ACMA COMPLIANCE SYSTEM
The regulatory process for suppliers is defined in ACMA’s various Labelling Notices for Telecommunications, EMC, RF and EMR.
In simple terms, Australian suppliers are required to be registered with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as a supplier of electrical and electronic products and obtain an Australian ACMA Suppliers Number. Only Australian companies or individuals can register with ACMA as a distributor.
Australian suppliers label their product with the appropriate Australian compliance logo, the RCM.
Labelling of Compliant Devices in Australia
RCM Part 1: ACMA System For RCM
This scheme is a process for registration of suppliers of electrical and electronic equipment that are manufactured in Australia or imported into Australia. A shared national database has been designated for all supplier registration and is jointly used by the ACMA, the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) and Radio Spectrum Management (New Zealand).
This new process replaces the previous ACMA registration process for Australian suppliers, which included the allocation of an ACMA Suppliers Number and the use of the C-Tick and A-Tick marks. There are no changes to the testing and record-keeping requirements applicable to devices subject to ACMA arrangements for telecommunications, radiocommunications, EMC and EMR. Testing, compliance folders and Declarations of Compliance prepared by the Australian manufacturer or importer still apply.
The RCM indicates a device’s compliance with applicable ACMA technical standards for telecommunications, radiocommunications, EMC and EME. A supplier will not be required to include supplier identification on devices labelled with the RCM.
A supplier who intends to supply devices that are required to be labelled under an ACMA Labelling Notice must register on the National Database as a ‘Responsible Supplier’.
If registering only for ACMA purposes, a supplier must ensure that only the ACMA acknowledgement is checked.
A supplier who is registering only for ACMA purposes is not able to enter any equipment details.
Devices which were labelled with the C-Tick or A-Tick mark can continue to be supplied until labelled stock has been exhausted. Any new stock must have changed to the RCM label by the 1st March 2016.
Fees for Registration
When you register on the ERAC database you will be asked for equipment details. There will be the option to choose registration for the purposes of complying with ACMA and/or Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) requirements.
If you elect for ACMA only (i.e. your device is not subject to electrical safety requirements), there is no charge for registration.
In broad terms, a supplier from the perspective of the ACMA is an Australian entity (person or company) that supplies equipment to the Australian market that is scoped by one or more of the ACMA’s regulatory arrangements.
A supplier can be (as defined by the ACMA):
- an importer in Australia with an ABN
- a manufacturer in Australia with an ABN
- an Australian agent of a manufacturer or importer who is acting on their behalf – an agent must have an ABN
The arrangements only apply to equipment intended for supply to the Australian market.
An agent can act on behalf of an Australian importer or manufacturer in regard to its obligations under one or more of the ACMA arrangements. When given authority (Agency Agreement), an agent can apply appropriate compliance labels, complete the Declaration of Conformity (DoC) in relation to an item, arrange for equipment testing, and compile and hold compliance records.
Agents can be independent consultants who regularly act as agents of Australian importers or manufacturers. Agents can also be an importer of a specific line of products that is also acting as an agent for other importers supplying that identical product.
A person acting on behalf of an international manufacturer that does not have a presence in Australia is not considered an agent but will be considered to be the importer for the purposes of the ACMA arrangements.
Responsibility for failure to meet the regulatory arrangement will ultimately lie with the importer or manufacturer.