The ACMA

Product supply and compliance

Steps to compliance

Testing - product compliance

After identifying the applicable labelling notice/s, technical standards and testing requirements, step 3 is to demonstrate product compliance:

Steps to compliance

1. Identify the applicable labelling notice

2. Identify the applicable technical standards (prescribed in the relevant labelling notice) and the testing requirements

3. Demonstrate product compliance
4. Complete a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and maintain compliance records
5. Register as a ‘responsible supplier’
6. Label the product

Product compliance may be demonstrated through testing or the assessment of supporting documentation.

How is supporting documentation assessed?

Certain low-risk products (including under EMC and radiocommunications regulatory arrangements) are not required to be tested to demonstrate compliance. However, even if a product is not required to be tested, a supplier should be confident that the product complies with the applicable technical standard before signing the supplier Declaration of Conformity. This may be evidenced by a manufacturer’s performance specification documents for the device.

However, for most products, testing and test reports are required to prove that a product complies with applicable ACMA technical standards.

What are the testing requirements and what do test reports cover?

Testing is conducted in a laboratory environment. The specific testing requirements are based on a risk assessment of the potential consequences arising from supplying a non-compliant product. The higher the compliance/risk level, the more stringent the requirements for evidence of compliance and for record-keeping. The compliance/risk levels and testing required are specified in each labelling notice.

A test report should identify the product (type, model and batch number), the testing agency, the standards tested to, the tests conducted, the test results, and (if appropriate) the methodology used to conduct the test.

Because a product is tested in a laboratory (rather than in its deployed environment), the test report may also include installation requirements. This ensures the product continues to comply with the standard after it is installed (for example, a Variable Speed Drive (VSD), if installed incorrectly with longer cables than were used in testing, could radiate emissions above the limits prescribed in the relevant EMC standard).

Who conducts the product tests?

Each regulatory arrangement varies slightly in its testing and record-keeping requirements, however, generally the following applies:

Note—The supplier is responsible for product conformity and needs to make an informed decision on the interference potential of the product and the appropriate level of testing.

Where can products be tested?  

 

 

Testing body or in-house test facility

NATA-accredited testing body or NATA MRA Partner

Recognised testing authority

Compliance level 1

Low-risk device

 

 

Compliance level 2

Medium-risk device

Non-high risk standard

Compliance level 3

High-risk device

High-risk standard

 

 Note: Australia has Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) with numerous countries that provide for the mutual recognition of Conformity Assessment Bodies (bodies deemed by both countries competent to assess products as conforming to the standards of the other country) and the mutual acceptance of test results undertaken by those bodies to the importing country’s own technical regulations. 

What is a ‘testing body’?

A testing body is a non-accredited laboratory that has the equipment, resources and technical capability to conduct testing to an applicable standard. Examples of testing bodies include: an in-house laboratory or a testing facility that does not hold an accreditation.

What are ‘accredited testing bodies’?

An accredited testing body is a testing body that has been accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA), or by a NATA MRA Partner.

NATA accreditation indicates the competence of the testing body to conduct specific types of testing, inspection, calibration and other related activities. Testing bodies are re-assessed regularly to maintain accreditation.

A NATA MRA Partner is an overseas regional accreditation cooperation with which NATA has an agreement for the mutual recognition of test reports.

Details of current accredited testing bodies, NATA MRA Partners and accredited overseas testing bodies are available on the NATA website.

Note: Not all laboratories hold accreditation for all standards. Although non-accredited reports may be acceptable for compliance level 1 and 2/non-high risk items, they do not hold the same authority as an accredited report.

What is a ‘Recognised Testing Authority’ (RTA)?

recognised testing authority is a testing body that has been accredited by NATA or an accreditation body with whom NATA holds a MRA for the purposes of testing certain telecommunications items.

What is the ACMA’s compliance laboratory?

The ACMA operates an accredited compliance laboratory for radiocommunications testing. The laboratory conducts radio equipment testing traceable to national references. The certified test reports produced are of an international standard.

Further information and contact details for the ACMA’s compliance laboratory is available.

What are ‘certification bodies’?

The Telecommunications Act 1997 allows for the appointment of ‘certification bodies’ under section 410 (2). Certification bodies are specified persons or associations that, in the opinion of an approving body (currently the ACMA), have the necessary skills and experience to certify that telecommunications equipment complies with standards. Certification bodies can only certify equipment compliance under certain circumstances.

Certification bodies fill a ‘gap’ in the testing and conformity arrangements where appropriate testing facilities are not available or where a supplier requires additional assurance that they have met their regulatory obligations.

Further information is available on the Certification bodies page.

Next step:

Compile compliance records.

Last updated: 05 February 2016

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