To determine how to get RCM it must be recognised that the responsible party for obtaining a Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) is known as the “supplier” of the related products. The description of this entity is an importer, distributor or manufacturer that installs or sells electrical and electronic or radio products.
Regulations require that electrical and electronic products for sale or being used by consumers must comply with determined Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Standards.
Radio related products need to conform to specified radio standards and license conditions. In all instances, it is required that documentation and labelling confirming compliance are obtained.
When the question arises regarding how to get RCM, it needs to be taken into account that the regulatory compliance framework for EMC and radio products are designed to stabilize the need for business compliance costs with that of effectively protecting the radio resource range.
New labels of compliance
It should be kept in mind when planning how to get RCM that two new compliance labels were introduced as of March 01, 2013 namely, the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) and (R-NZ). The RCM regulation combines the previously recognised three marks identified as C –tick, RCM and A – tick (Australia).
The only label for radio products not inter-related with Australia is the R-NZ for suppliers. This was in effect before March 01, 2013. However, a transition process is in place.
Various detailed guides are available for suppliers. These are intended to help them determine and identify compliance requirements and how to get RCM.
They include interactive guides for electrical or electronic products, the process of compliance and guidelines for radio products.
In various aspects, it is advised that the publications are designed only as guidelines. Suppliers, in their own interest, should seek independent advice from laboratories or legal specialists.
Steps to RCM compliance
In a condensed and general form, designed to provide an insight on how to get RCM the following will provide suppliers with a foundation on what is required. There are seven basic steps:
- Logically, the most important step on how to get RCM is ensuring that products meet the determined compliance standards. The applicable Radio and EMC specifications are contained in Radio-communications (Radio standards) Notice and Radio communications (EMC Standards) Notice. Copies of applicable standards are obtainable from Standards Australia or Standards New Zealand
NB: It is the responsibility of the supplier to determine the level of conformity applicable to each product from the Radio communications (Compliance) Notice 2013. Reference can also be made to Compliance standards for EMC and radio.
The next step in getting RCM involves the preparation of a product description of the marketed product. This should fully identify its use, brand name and the model number as minimum requirements. The inclusion of a photograph with a technical description would be an added advantage.
Product compliance and certification
Another important factor in how to get RCM is obtaining testing certification as proof of product compliance. Again, it is important for any supplier to accept that they have complete responsibility in respect of product compliance. Therefore, it is crucial that they make an informed decision on the level of evidence or proof as the confirmation of compliance with the standard that is applicable.
It is likely that a test report or the manufacturer’s specifications will provide sufficient evidence to support a declaration of compliance. It must be shown that the product conforms to a relevant standard, as mandated by Radio Spectrum Management (RSM). When considering getting RCM on this particular aspect, take into account the conformity related to level 3 products. In this instance, it is required that a test report from an accredited laboratory is submitted. This may include one obtainable from overseas.
Compliance test reports
All test reports and/or evidence of conformity must be written in the English language. It is not required for the supplier to have possession of the original reports. A quality and clear copy of the original will be accepted.
Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity
Step four on how to get RCM is the compilation of a “Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity“(SDOC). This is a document lawfully approved by a supplier, an overseas manufacturer’s agent or supplier that certifies and determines the product that meets the applicable standards.
The process of getting RCM continues with the creation of a compliance folder. This is a collection of documents accumulated by the supplier. This supports the declaration of compliance. This folder, which may be presented in electronic or paper format, should contain the following:
- Product description
- Test report(s) or the submission of other documentary evidence of conformity
- Signed Declaration of Conformity
Responsible Supplier (RS) Number
The application for a Responsible Supplier (RS) Number is the next step on how to get RCM. This is a registration identification number which is obtained from the ERAC (Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council) free of charge. It provides the authorization of the possessor to use the designated RCM and R-NZ label.
RCM logo and RCM labelling
The completion procedure on how to get RCM ends with the labelling of the product. This action shows that the product is compliant with the determined standards. In the event that a product is being in a category which the levels of conformity 1, 2 and 3 are applied, the RCM compliance label should always be used.
Specifications of the label size are that it should not be less than 3mm in height for the compliance mark and 1mm in height for the identity of the supplier.
A note for any supplier deciding on getting RCM is that every state in Australia and New Zealand has sanctioned electrical safety legislation. It is designed to ensure that sold or hired electrical equipment is electrically safe. The essential safety requirements for Australia and New Zealand are referenced in AS/NZS 3820. This is not a test standard and is dependent on compliance with specific product safety standards. It is mandatory that safety approval is obtained for the products listed in Appendix E of AS/NZS 4417.2. They must be marked to indicate compliance with regulations.
Source: Courtesy of EMC Bayswater Melbourne, Australia