The requirements specify how products should be tested and labelled, and also the records that a supplier is required to keep relating to a product and its compliance with EMC standards.
Do You Need to Register as a Supplier?
The EMC requirements can be quite confusing. Before a supplier can put a label on a product, they must register themselves on the national database so that they are listed as a ‘responsible supplier’.
Labelling is not always mandatory. Some devices are classed as being low risk, and in that instance, a label is not required. However, even low-risk devices are required to meet certain standards.
What Are the EMC Standards?
The EMC standards are laid out on the ACMA website. These are the standards that are set by ACMA for products sold in Australia and New Zealand.
If you want to sell your products abroad then you will need to confirm that they are also compliant with other, international standards.
The standards used in Australia and New Zealand are very close to the ones used in the UK and Europe, so for most manufacturers, the only thing that would be required would be some additional tests to ensure all aspects of the international standards are covered.
There may be some regional differences, however, so it is a good idea to seek advice from a qualified test centre.
How Do You Prove Compliance?
If a product has passed EMC testing (electromagnetic compatibility) and is not considered to be a low-risk product, then it must be labelled. The ACMA requires that compliance labels are durable and are printed in a legible format at an appropriate size.
If the product has its own built-in display then the label can be displayed in an electronic form.
Products that were manufactured prior to the 1 March 2016 may bear a C-Tick compliance mark. The C-Tick mark was superseded by the RCM.
Any products which already carry a C-Tick may still be sold, and do not need to be relabelled. However, all new products should bear the RCM.
The compliance mark should be no smaller than 3mm in height and can be any colour as long as it contrasts with the background colour so that it is easy to read.
If the mark is stamped, moulded or engraved then the relief must be prominent enough to make the mark easy to read.
Electronic labelling is permitted for built-in displays (but not displays that are external to a product and must be connected separately).
If an electronic label is used then it should display the information prominently, for example during the power-up sequence, or in the help menu for the device.
The documentation which comes with the product should explain how to view the compliance information. In some cases, it may not be practical to apply a label to a product, perhaps because it is small in size.
In that case, the compliance information must appear both on the external surface of the product’s packaging, and also in the product’s documentation or warranty information.
Any label printed on a product’s packaging must occupy an area which is greater than 1% of the external surface of the package.
The manufacturer must also maintain records that explain why they have chosen not to label the surface of the product and should record the location of the label.
If you are unsure whether your product needs to be labelled, or if it meets the EMC requirements at all, then you should seek professional advice to ensure that you are correctly complying with Australian regulations.
At Compliance Engineering, we offer EMC certification and advice and can help with labelling requirements as well as the standards for international certification.
Whether you are working on small, low-risk products or communication technology, we can help you to ensure that your products are fully compliant and that they are ready to be sold in Australia or around the world.
If you would like to know more about the EMC standards and product testing or need EMC testing done, then look no further than Compliance Engineering.
We are the definitive source for all of your Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements. Please call us today on + 61 3 9763 3079 or contact us here.