Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM). Product Compliance for Australia & New Zealand

RCM Compliance Testing for Australia and New Zealand

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C-Tick and A-Tick were replaced by the Regulatory Compliance Mark

 

A brief description of RCM compliance testing, approval & certification

Expansion: Regulatory Compliance Mark

Effective region: Australia and New Zealand

Regulator: Australian Communications and Media Authority (Australia) and Radio Spectrum Management Group (RSM) (New Zealand).

Legal status: Mandatory

AC Mains supply: 230VAC 50Hz

Supersedes: The C-Tick scheme was superseded and replaced during a 3 year transition period that ended March 2016.

Please note: All customers should now have transitioned from the C-Tick scheme to the Regulatory Compliance Mark scheme.

Countries requiring the Regulatory Compliance Mark approvals

Regulatory Compliance Mark labelling is mandatory for certain product groups within Australia and New Zealand.

Certification, approval and compliance requirements

C-Tick and A-tick compliance marks were phased out and ended in March 2016. The old C-Tick and A-tick were consolidated with one single compliance mark, known as the RCM or Regulatory Compliance Mark. The new Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC) Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) commenced on the same date. The result of these regulatory changes from the ACMA and ERAC is that the RCM logo will indicate compliance of a product with all applicable Australian regulatory requirements, namely:

  • Telecommunications
  • Radiocommunications
  • Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
  • Electromagnetic energy (EME) / Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)
  • Electrical safety

All suppliers must register on a new national database and there is no longer a requirement to include supplier identification on product labelling.

Legal Implications of the Regulatory Compliance Mark scheme

Products must be compliant with the relevant applicable accepted standard. The ACMA has a published an EMC standards list that includes all recognised standards. These standards may include specific product standards for certain types of products. Alternatively, if a product standard does not apply, a generic standard could be used. Based upon the intended typical EMI environment the product will be used in. The ACMA utilize product classification levels for products within the EMC scope. Only products that fall under Medium or High-risk require evidence of compliance. Either through test reports or technical construction file (TCF). Showing the device complies with an applicable technical standard. Responsible suppliers must register on the National Database which is the foundation of the RCM system. If a responsible supplier wishes to use the RCM logo on a level 1 product then a declaration of conformance is required. Products incorporating Radiocommunication modules i.e. RF transmitters and receivers such as Bluetooth, WiFi and so on, require compliance under section 162 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.

Responsible suppliers must determine if the device falls under the in-scope electrical equipment. A product that falls under this scope means the supplier must register on the EESS database. Certain products are “prescribed or declared articles”. These products must have tested electrical safety approvals under the RCM scheme.

RCM compliance certification & approvals requirements

EMC Bayswater offer accredited compliance services including Radiocommunications and EMC testing, certification and approvals.

Watch our “How to get” the Regulatory Compliance Mark product compliance for Australia video lesson/tutorial.

Playlist: How to get the Regulatory Compliance Mark RCM for Australia
Flow diagram and steps on how to get the RCM mark

How to get RCM approvals – Flow diagram

Flow diagram of how to get RCM compliance

EMC Bayswater takes no responsibility if any of the information provided is incorrect this is general guidance

RCM Checklist with links to external websites for further information:

  • After registration on the RCM database, you (The Supplier) will be provided with a copy of AS/NZS 4417 which outlines the use of the RCM.
  • If the equipment falls under the scope of EESS

Upload compliance folders for all types of level 2 and level 3 equipment

Or

Equipment declarations can also be recorded onto the RCM database

We have many more resources regarding RCM compliance for Australia and New Zealand. Further information about overseas reports, refer to our RCM overseas test report assessment page. Your product may also need other Australian approvals such as electrical safety. Through our parent company EMC Technologies we can arrange all other Australian approvals. This includes Electrical safety testing or SAR testing.

ACMA and ERAC arrangements

ACMA arrangements

  • Arrangements will apply to all suppliers.

The Regulatory Compliance Mark scheme does not affect testing, record-keeping and evidential requirements as set out in the relevant labelling notices.

ACMA – “RCM Registration Applicant Guide“. An example RCM Declaration of Conformity can be found here.

ERAC arrangements

The Regulatory Compliance Mark is the only compliance mark for products within the scope of the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS).

  • Suppliers must register on the new database and label applicable products with the RCM

Further information about the EESS is available from www.erac.gov.au/.

EMC Compliance, labelling and record keeping for the Regulatory Compliance Mark

ACMA – Australian Communications and Media Authority

The following text is from the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (the ACMA) website with regards to EMC compliance for Australia and the original version of this can found on the ACMA website regarding EMC labelling requirements for Australia, a link is provided in the relevant section below.

“The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (the ACMA) electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regulatory arrangement specifies requirements for the supply of a wide range of electrical and electronic devices, vehicles and devices with internal combustion engines.

The purpose of the regulation is to minimise the risk of electromagnetic interference from products which may affect the performance of electrical devices or disrupt radio-communications services.

Prior to supplying a product to the Australian market, the supplier importer or Australian manufacturer) must ensure that the product meets applicable technical standards, labelling and record keeping requirements.

Step 1 – Comply with technical standards

All devices covered by the EMC regulatory arrangements must comply with an applicable technical standard. The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) website lists the applicable technical standards.

If a device is in the scope of one of the applicable standards listed in Part 2 (Product family and equipment standards) of the list, then that standard should be used as the applicable standard.

Should a device be in the scope of more than one of the listed standards, the supplier should choose the standard that more closely matches the primary function of the device.

If a device is not in the scope of any standards listed in Part 2, then the supplier must use one of the standards listed in Part 1 (Generic standards) of the list as the applicable standard.

Note: It is an offense under the Radio-communications Act 1992 to knowingly supply a non-standard device.

Step 2 – Labelling

Suppliers of devices (other than low risk devices) covered by the EMC regulatory arrangements must affix a compliance label to the device before it can be supplied to the market. Labelling of low risk devices is optional. A supplier will not be required to include supplier identification on devices labelled with the RCM.

The compliance label comprises two parts – a compliance mark and information to identify the supplier of the device. The compliance label indicates that the device complies with an applicable standard and provides a traceable link between a device and the supplier responsible for placing it on the Australian market. (See also EMC labelling requirements for Australia).

Step 3 – Record keeping

In addition to compliance with mandatory technical standards and labelling, suppliers of devices covered by the EMC arrangements are required to maintain documentary evidence (compliance records) to demonstrate that the device complies with the regulatory arrangements.

The level of evidence required to be maintained by the supplier varies depending on the risk of interference that may be expected from the device – high risk, medium risk and low risk (see also the Compliance levels fact sheet).

All compliance records must be in English and may be kept in electronic form. Records must be kept for five years after the device ceases to be supplied in Australia.

The compliance records must be made available to the ACMA within 10 working days if requested”.

Overseas report reviews and other compliance requirments

Importing products for sale/distribution in Australia.

Who is responsible for product compliance?

  • Manufacturers in Australia of electrical and electronic products, and vehicles and devices with internal combustion engines
  • Importers in Australia of electrical and electronic products, and vehicles and devices with internal combustion engines
  • Authorised agents in Australia acting on behalf of manufacturers or importers of electrical and electronic products, and vehicles and devices with internal combustion engines

The local supplier accepts total responsibility for device conformity. Thus they need to make a commercial decision on the level of testing required

I am importing a product from overseas for sale in Australia, do I need proof of RCM compliance?

Yes, you must have proof in the form of a full formal EMC test report(s) to an EMC standard(s) accepted by the ACMA.

Note: Compliance certificates or Declaration of Conformity statements (DoC’s) are not acceptable as proof of RCM compliance

Can I use an overseas test report for proof of compliance?

A test report from an overseas test laboratory can be used to demonstrate compliance. Provided a suitable ACMA accepted standard is applied. The report must prove testing has been performed correctly. The report should also clearly identify the product.

Acceptable RCM EMC standards are listed on the ACMA website: ACMA EMC Standards list.

Test reports from overseas laboratories must be written in English and must be original or certified copies.

How do I know the report and the information within are acceptable?

Adequate technical knowledge of the applicable ACMA accepted RCM EMC standards is essential. EMC Bayswater regularly performs reviews of overseas EMC test reports. We issue a detailed report of our findings highlighting any required actions/recommendations. We also detail other RCM housekeeping requirements.

What happens if an existing EMC test report is not available? Or is not acceptable as proof of RCM EMC compliance?

The product may need testing to meet the required Australian RCM EMC standards. This may involve complete or partial RCM testing. The scope of testing depends on the report assessment findings.

Is the cost of technical review worth it?

Having experts review your documents ensures peace of mind. Helping to ensure your products meet the requirements set by the ACMA is essential. The banning of sales, fines or product recalls is possible. Report assessment can prevent this before importation.

Are test laboratories, competency and test reports around the world the same?

Unfortunately no!! There is a major discrepancy in the standard of testing services. The technical understanding between testing laboratories worldwide varies. Many overseas test reports are rejected due to insufficient evidence to prove compliance. Only an accredited laboratory can provide 100% peace of mind.

I have a valid report, what now?

You must register on the ACMA supplier database. Fill out a Declaration of Conformity statement (in most cases). Label the product with the RCM logo. Keep your documents in a compliance folder. The folder may contain any relevant product information such as brochures or datasheets. Have the records available in case of an ACMA audit.

Why choose EMC Bayswater to review EMC test reports

The ACMA suggests that suppliers check the accreditation status of a laboratory. Not all laboratories hold accreditation for all standards and parts. An accredited testing laboratory has been assessed by an independent agency as competent. This may include providing accredited EMC testing services. The local accreditation agency in Australia is NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities). EMC Bayswater is accredited for the majority of RCM EMC testing standards. We have a dedicated team of experienced, knowledgeable qualified engineers. We ensure the highest level of service to our customers with short lead teams. Our facility incorporates modern equipment and a friendly environment. The ACMA suggest using a NATA laboratory as a risk-free investment.

For further RCM information such as using overseas reports etc please refer to our EMC test report validity assessment service page.

LED Lighting EMC Testing for Australia

AS/NZS CISPR 15 – LED Lighting EMC Testing – EMC Requirements

In Australia lighting products before 9th February 2013 could be tested to AS/NZS CISPR 15: 2006. International equivalent standards were also accepted. Proof of at the time the C-Tick compliance. The Regulatory Compliance Mark scheme superseded the C-Tick scheme. This involved a conducted emissions test on the AC mains. Also radiated emissions (H-Field) test on the enclosure. With both performed across the 9kHz to 30 MHz frequency band.

We found through testing to other standards that this may not have been adequate. Many new lighting products, particularly LED lighting devices to produce excessive emissions. Noting significant radiated emissions above 30MHz. Many products that passed the older version of AS/NZS CISPR 15 (2006) did not pass the new requirements. Thus it became mandatory for radiated emissions above 30MHz (30MHz to 300MHz, E-Field).

The ACMA has reported that these devices can cause interference in the field. And polluting the radio spectrum. Affecting nearby radio communication devices, remote controls, radio receivers and other sensitive electronics. Hence the importance of LED Lighting EMC Testing.

LED Lighting EMC Testing for Australia CISPR 15 and EN 55015

When a device is placed on the market the supplier has an obligation to not pollute the RF spectrum. Unfortunately AS/NZS CISPR 15 did not keep pace with LED lighting technology at the time. Thus many units compliant with the older standard would fail the new standard. Products may comply with AS/NZS CISPR 15: 2006 still cause interference when installed. The supplier is still responsible for this and must take steps to resolve the matter.

The new version of AS/NZS CISPR 15 specifies measurements from 30MHz to 300 MHz. These measurements were mandatory as of 9th February 2013. External aftermarket electronic transformers or ballasts. The need to test a light fixture in a typical operating manner can pose several issues when the fixture is not supplied with a transformer. It may end up being used with a large number of completely different transformers other than the one used for the LED Lighting EMC Testing.

Often a fixture is presented with a typical transformer, which passes the AC mains conducted emissions test. The problem is that the transformer may have extra filtering that other transformers may not have. Hence a noisy fixture fitted with a transformer with little or no filtering (often non-compliant in its own right) may cause interference. This may be traced back to the supplier of the fixture.

We advise that the particular type and make of electronic transformer used for testing are referenced in the supplied documentation. The electronic transformer should be compliant in its own right. Or as the standard states using a step down linear transformer for LED Lighting EMC Testing.

A better method of compliance is to ensure that your product on its own without the transformer. Thus it does not cause interference and complies with the limits. This can be achieved by powering the unit directly via a suitable source.

Other Lighting Testing available at EMC Bayswater

EMC Bayswater can also test to the European CE Mark immunity standard EN 61547. EMC Bayswater has the capability for Lamp Circuit Power (LCP) testing. This is a requirement for the VEET and ESS energy schemes. We can offer the mandatory accredited test reports. Click here for more details about Accredited Lamp Circuit Power (LCP) testing.

EMC Bayswater is the first laboratory in Australia to offer a complete testing service to EN 62493:2010. EN 62493:2010 is the “Assessment of Lighting Equipment Related to Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields”. This involves testing lighting products to the radiated emissions testing with a special “Van Der Hoofden” test head. Please click here for a photo of the EN 62493:2010 testing test head.

Why use EMC Bayswater for your compliance approvals?

If your device does not comply, we can offer compliance engineering help (consulting, R&D). If your device does not comply, we can offer compliance engineering help (consulting, R&D). For extra information on EMC testing failures and fixes visit our blog section. Also about how we can help using consultancy and pre-compliance testing to achieve compliance.

We offer excellent customer support from a friendly team. Providing great value for high-quality testing and test reports. We provide a fast turnaround. Helping your product get to market with the shortest possible lead time. EMC Bayswater has accreditation for many of the mandated Australian EMC standards. In the case of a dispute, NATA endorsed accredited testing is favoured by the ACMA over others.

Please visit our Electromagnetic compatibility, EMC testing page for the types of types of EMC testing required.

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