RCM Labeling of Electrical Products in Australia & New Zealand to Coincide with New EESS Safety Requirement
As detailed in Compliance Today before, the Australia C-Tick and A-Tick regulatory compliance markings will be phased out, replaced by the existing Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM).
The RCM mark will be the only mark to indicate compliance with the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) regulatory arrangements for telecommunications, radio, EMC and electromagnetic energy (EME).
The new arrangement will commence July 1, 2012, in concert with the implementation of the new Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS). Many regulatory observers believe the start date may slip to later in the year.
All new devices that are physically labeled for the first time from July 1, 2012 will need to be labeled with the RCM. The use of the C-Tick and A-Tick marks on all legacy products will be phased out by June 30, 2015. Devices that have already been labeled with the C-Tick or A-Tick mark but not sold (e.g. stock products) prior to the end of the transition period may continue to be offered for sale beyond that date.
The EESS is not a national requirement; it was created by state and territory electrical equipment safety legislation, and is not yet adopted across all of Australia and New Zealand.
The EESS marks a fundamental change to the electrical safety landscape for products sold in Australia and New Zealand. In-scope electrical equipment suppliers will be required to register their details on a national database and must make a declaration that all the equipment they sell meets relevant standards and is electrically safe. Evidence of compliance is required and is graded, based on risk.
Risk-based classifications of equipment are:
- Level 1 = low risk
- Level 2 = medium risk
- Level 3 = high risk
Level 2 and level 3 equipment are defined in AS/NZS 4417.2. All other types of in-scope electrical equipment are level 1.
In-scope is defined as all new electrical and electronic equipment that is designed or marketed as suitable for household or personal use whose voltage is greater than 50 V AC RMS or 120V ripple-free DC, and less than 1000V AC RMS or 1500V ripple-free DC.
For more information, see ACMA’s extensive FAQ on the changes (.docx).
Get educated on how to gain access to multiple markets – including Australia and New Zealand – by joining a free International EMC Homologation webinar on April 10, 2012.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is proposing replacing the C-Tick (ITE & radio products) and A-Tick (telephony products) marks with a single Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM), effective July 1, 2012. The RCM would cover telecommunications, radiocommunications, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and electromagnetic energy (EME).
This change is being pursued for a couple reasons:
- Single devices are increasingly subject to overlapping technical regulatory requirements, making compliance more difficult for some manufacturers
- A simplified system will reduce complexity and cost for manufacturers and regulatory agencies
Pictured here is the RCM, which is already recognized as an alternative to the C-Tick, and is administered by Standards Australia. See the C-Tick and A-Tick marks, as well as popular testing standards such as AS/NZS CISPR 22, on the MET Labs site.
The A-tick and C-tick will be phased out over a period of three years. Devices already labeled with the A-Tick or C-Tick at the end of the transition period will not be required to be relabeled.
The New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development (MED) supports a consolidated compliance mark and plans to amend its labeling requirements over the coming months to accommodate the RCM. The RCM will not be a recognized mark in New Zealand for telecommunications, as per the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement.
This labeling change is subject to final approval. ACMA is seeking public comment through August 12, 2011.