C-Tick and Supplier Obligations

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The majority of industry in Australia is now aware of the mandatory EMC compliance requirements, which apply to electronic/electrical products supplied to the Australian market. However, there are still organisations that are
not aware, and many more who are aware, but do not fully understand the process.

Why are there EMC regulations?

It is widely known that electronic devices inadvertently emit RF energy during normal operation. With the proliferation of electronic circuits in products and the advances in operating speeds of these circuits, the level and frequency of emissions has significantly increased.

At the same time the radio frequency spectrum has become more densely populated with users including Mobile Phone Services, TV, Radio, Two Way Communications, and Wireless Internet etc.

In order to protect the radio frequency spectrum from potential interference the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) introduced Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) regulatory arrangements. These regulatory
arrangements form part of the standards which include technical limits for emissions produced by any electrical/electronic product.

What is C-Tick?

The C-Tick is an identification trademark registered to the ACMA, which signifies compliance with applicable EMC standard and also provides a traceable link between the equipment and the supplier. The C-Tick mark and supplier
identification are placed on the external surface of the product near the model number. Any organisation wishing to use the C-Tick compliance mark must first make written application to ACMA.

What does C-Tick legislation require?

To comply with the C-Tick requirements a supplier must:

  • Have their product tested to the relevant mandated standard and obtain an EMC Test Report.
  • Complete a Declaration of Conformity.
  • Collate Product information.
  • Create a Compliance Folder.
  • Apply to the ACMA for use of the C-Tick mark.
  • Label the product with the C-Tick mark and supplier identification.

EMC Test Report

The supplier must show technical grounds for compliance with the EMC standard relevant to the product. The technical grounds are generally evidenced in the form of a formal EMC test report. Often an EMC test report can be
sourced from the manufacturer of the product, however if you are not able to obtain a copy of an EMC test report the product will need to be tested and a report generated.

Declaration of Conformity

The supplier must complete a Declaration of Conformity. The Declaration of Conformity is a one page document stating compliance of a product with the relevant EMC standard. The document is signed by the individual accepting
responsibility for compliance of the product.

Product Information

Product information on the sample tested should be included in the Compliance Folder to enable identification and may include brochures, descriptions of the product, circuit diagrams, component overlays, product branding, model
details and any other documentation that is available.

Compliance Folder

The Compliance Folder is simply a folder containing the EMC test Report, Declaration of Conformity and Product Information. A compliance folder should be held for each product series and all compliance records must be in
English. This folder will need to be presented to the ACMA when they visit your premises to perform an audit.

What about CE marking?

CE is the European compliance mark and covers a range of requirements including EMC and Electrical Safety. The EMC
requirements are more extensive than those in Australia, where only radiated RF emission, mains terminal emission and telephone terminal emission measurements are required. Products simply marked with a CE logo should in theory, but do not necessarily comply with C-Tick requirements. Often a report assessment is required to determine if the applicable AS/NZS standard was used and if the report format contains all of the required information.

If a product has a CE marking the importer is still required to hold a compliance folder, fill out a declaration of conformity and affix the C-Tick label to the product.

If you are looking to export to Europe you will need to comply with the European EMC and Low Voltage Directives and affix the CE mark.

Where can I find more information?

If you have further questions, require a report assessment or product testing, or simply need assistance with your C-Tick compliance records then please contact Compliance Engineering on 03 9763 3079.

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