Labelling and the C-Tick Mark
Q: Do I need to apply for the C-Tick every time I want to market a new product?
A: No, you register for permission to use the C-Tick once only. You then apply the mark and your supplier identification to compliant products before marketing them in Australia or New Zealand.
Q: Where do I send my Declaration of Conformity?
A: There is no requirement to send the Declaration to the ACMA. It should be retained with the documents supporting your claim that the product complies with the relevant standard.
Q: I’m a manufacturer outside Australia and I want to apply the C-Tick mark to my products. How do I go about this?
A: Your Australian importer must register with the ACMA to use the mark. Overseas manufacturers should ask their suppliers (or agents) in Australia or New Zealand to apply for the C-Tick mark as authorisation to use the mark will only be issued to an Australian or New Zealand based company. The C-Tick and supplier identification form the label and identifies the person marketing your product in Australia or New Zealand. Once authorisation for use of the C-Tick mark has been received from the ACMA the importer may then forward their supplier details to you to apply the label at the time of manufacture. The Application Form to use the C-Tick Mark is available on the
Q: I am an overseas company that manufactures a wide range of products. I have more than one supplier in Australia as the first point of supply for my products. Can I use one supplier code number on all my products?
A: Yes. An overseas company that manufactures products placed on the Australian market by several importers can enter into an arrangement, known as an ‘Agency Agreement’, where one importer or other responsible party use their ‘C-tick’ mark and supplier identification on the products and hold the compliance records. Further information on the ‘Agency Agreement’ is available on the ACMA website.
Q: Can I use the C-Tick mark to advertise my products?
A: Manufacturers, importers and retailers may use the C-Tick mark on advertisements, packaging, displays, warranty forms and instruction leaflets relating to their products, to show that the products comply with the applicable standard. This also includes using it on a website to indicate that your products comply with the Australian EMC regulatory arrangements.
Q: What happens if it is not possible to apply the label on the product?
A: If it is not possible to apply the label to the external surface of the device because of the size or physical nature of the device, the label must be applied to the labelling or outer packaging associated with the device.
If it is possible, but not practical, to apply the label to the external surface ofthe device, the label must be applied to 1 of the following items associated with the device (listed in order of priority):
- To the outer surface of the packaging;
- The instructions for use; or
- To the warranty or guarantee certificates.
However, the supplier must first apply in writing to the ACMA for approval, justifying the reasons why one of the above labelling methods is required for a product. Requests can be directed to any ACMA Regional Office.
Q: Should I label my product if it is not found under any of the scopes of the Australian EMC Standards?
A: No. If the device is not subject to an ACMA recognised EMC standard it cannot be labelled as compliant.
Q: What EMC standards are recognised by the ACMA?
A: The ACMA recognises the European Norm (EN), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR) and Australian / New Zealand standards (AS/NZS) on the ACMA Website.
Within the listed standards the ACMA has mandated the following EMC aspects:
- EMC phenomenon of emitted disturbance associated with:Conducted (continuous and intermittent) radiofrequency disturbance; andRadiated radiofrequency disturbance.
- Test procedures and requirements associated with the above EMC phenomenon.
- Other EMC phenomenon such as electrostatic discharge (ESD), harmonics, flicker and voltage fluctuations on mains power supply etc are not required by the ACMA.
Q: Where an EMC standard is amended, is there any requirement to establish compliance of the product to the latest version of the standard?
A: The requirement to establish product compliance against amendments to a relevant EMC standard recognised by the ACMA is dependent on:
Requirements are best described by the following scenarios:
- For a product first placed on the Australian market before an amendment to a standard takes effect. In this situation, the ACMA recognises product compliance against the ‘earlier’ version of a standard for the life of the product. There is no mandatory requirement for the product to be re-tested against the amendments even if this product continues to be supplied to market after changes to a standard take effect.
- For a product first placed on the Australian market after an amendment to an EMC standard and before expiry of the transitional period. The transitional periods are:
Two (2) years for amendments to IEC, CISPR and AS/NZS standards from the time of publication;Transitional period as published in the Official Journal of the European Communities for EN standards:
In this situation where a product is first supplied to market during the transitional period, the ACMA recognises conformity to either the ‘earlier’ or ‘later’ version of the same standard. However upon expiry of the transitional period, the ACMA recognises only the ‘later’ version of the standard for compliance purposes.
- For a product first placed on the market after an amendment to a standard takes effect and also after expiry of the transitional period. In this situation, products are required to comply with the ‘later’ version of the standard.
Q: If more than one applicable standard seems to apply to my product, how do I know which standard applies?
A: The most applicable standard is the one most closely related to the primary purpose of the device.
Q: What is the applicable standard for a converter?
A: Converters that use linear technology fall within the scope of AS/NZS CISPR 14 or CISPR 14-1 or EN 55014 if they are designed for connection to a low voltage electrical supply. Converters that use switched mode echnology fall within the scope of AS/NZS CISPR 11 or CISPR 11 or EN 55011. Converters that are part of or an independent auxiliary for exclusive use with lighting equipment fall under AS/NZS CISPR 15 or CISPR 15 or EN 55015. The relevant EMC standard for uninterruptible power systems is AS 62040.2 or IEC 62040-2 or EN 50091-2.
Modifications to Products
Q: Can I replace parts in my existing product?
A: Parts may be replaced on equipment in service without the requirement to establish compliance as long as the replacement part refurbishes the product back to its original state. The spare part must have the identical specifications to the part it is to replace or not increase the radiofrequency emissions of the product.
Q: What are the requirements if existing equipment is upgraded or enhanced?
A: If the defective part is replaced by an upgraded complex component which is subject to the EMC regulatory arrangements, then the part being offered for sale as an upgrade should be compliant and labelled accordingly. Compliance of the complex component may be established by testing in a representative host.
Q: Does second-hand equipment imported into Australia need to comply with the ACMA’s EMC arrangements?
A: Second-hand equipment imported into Australia to provide spares or expansion to equipment in service is not required to comply with the ACMA’s EMC arrangements. However second-hand equipment imported into Australia and supplied to the market for operational use must comply with the ACMA’s EMC arrangements. Second-hand equipment refers to used equipment that has previously been in service either in Australia or overseas. Equipment imported into Australia to provide spares or expansion to equipment in service in Australia should be treated as a replacement part or an upgrade as appropriate.
Q: I am retrofitting an existing lighting installation by removing existing parts where necessary and replacing them with corresponding complex components. Do I have any responsibilities under the EMC regulatory arrangements?
A: The manufacturer or importer of the complex component is responsible for compliance. As long as only corresponding components are used, and you are not creating a new product, compliance is only required on the complex component and not on the retrofitted lighting installation.
Q: I assemble and supply replacement gear trays complete with gear and lamps to fit in existing light fittings. All existing components are replaced with the latest technology. I buy and use C-ticked components manufactured or imported by others. Do I have any responsibilities under the EMC regulatory arrangements?
A: The combination of components effectively creates a new product and it cannot be reasonably assumed that the new product will have the same RF signature as the one it replaces. You have placed a new product on the market under contract and are therefore responsible for compliance of the refitted luminaire.
Q: If I sell peripherals to a personal computer separately, do they need to comply?
A: Yes. When sold as individual products peripherals to a personal computer must satisfy the compliance requirements of the EMC framework. Peripherals or complex assemblies include printers, monitors, keyboards, printer/sound/network/LAN/video cards, mouse, hard drive, floppy drive, CD Rom, power supply and motherboard.
Q: Do individual components of a personal computer need to comply?
A: No. Individual components such as chips, resistors, capacitors and inductors are not covered by the EMC arrangements. However, a complex assembly or complete device of which the individual components form a part, is assessable against the appropriate EMC standard in the configuration in which the device is supplied (see above answer for some examples), and it would have to comply with EMC regulatory arrangements.
Q: I assemble and supply personal computers. What do I have to do to meet EMC requirements?
A: Provided you are using compliant labelled sub-assemblies and an appropriate shielded case you are not required to have the finished product tested although the complete PC should be labelled with the C-Tick mark. However, the finished product does remain subject to the appropriate standard and in the event of an interference investigation a test report against AS/NZS CISPR 22:2002 may be requested. You should prepare and keep Generic Compliance records which list all the sub-assemblies in your assembled products and identifies the suppliers of these sub-assemblies.
Q: If a personal computer is modified does it require a new Declaration of Conformity?
A: If the modification offered for sale significantly alters or increases the RF signature of the product then the modified product is considered to be a new model and will require a new Declaration of Conformity. If the modification is cosmetic, reduces the RF emissions or does not affect the RF signature, the modified product is then considered as a variant and may be placed on the market under the original Declaration of Conformity providing the details are noted in the existing compliance records.
Battery Powered and Three-phase Equipment
Q: Is my battery powered product required to comply with the EMC regulatory arrangements?
A: Battery powered devices are those devices constructed to be powered solely by battery. If these devices can be connected to the electrical mains, either directly or indirectly (via a battery charger), they are in terms of the EMC arrangements, not regarded as battery powered devices.
All battery powered products that fall under the scope of the EMC standards listed in Appendix A of the suppliers booklet must comply with the EMC regulatory arrangements. After 7 November 2003, those battery powered devices and three phase equipment covered by AS/NZS CISPR 15 and AS/NZS CISPR 14 (or their International and European equivalents) must also comply with the arrangements.
Q: Does three-phase equipment require compliance?
A: All three-phase equipment must comply with the EMC arrangements. From 7 November 2003, all three-phase products, including those covered by the EMC standards AS/NZS CISPR 15 and AS/NZS CISPR 14 are required to comply with the arrangements.
Q: Do the EMC regulatory arrangements cover fixed installations?
A: A fixed installation means a combination of types of devices, components and hardware that are assembled and installed at a place of use in such a way that the combination cannot be moved without part of the combination being at least partially disassembled.
Fixed installations are exempt and not required to meet the EMC arrangements, although individual apparatus used to assemble the installation will have to comply with the arrangements.
In the current phase of implementation of the EMC arrangements, only fixed installations are exempt and do not require compliance, although individual apparatus within them will have to meet EMC requirements. For the purposes of the EMC arrangements, a system is not exempt.
Q: What is the AEEMA Code of Practice for fixed installations?
A: The ACMA and the Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association (AEEMA) have worked together to develop a Code of Practice for Electromagnetic Compatibility of Industrial Electrical Equipment. Industry signatories to the code are committed to make available instructions to minimise radiofrequency emissions from their equipment so as to limit interference to radiocommunications services.
The instructions assist installers, operators and maintenance personnel in the correct application, operation, and configuration of industrial electronic products to minimise radiated and conducted emissions.
Types of industrial equipment for which instructions will be supplied include, programmable logic controllers, electronic soft starters, variable speed drives, power monitoring and management equipment and machine vision systems.