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To deal with the problem of electromagnetic interference to radiocommunications, the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) and the Radio Spectrum Management Group (RSM) of the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development have introduced the trans-Tasman electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) regulatory arrangements.

The trans-Tasman EMC arrangements consist of a set of technical standards and common regulatory processes for products supplied to the Australian and New Zealand markets.

The EMC regulations apply to suppliers of a wide range of electrical and electronic products in Australia and New Zealand.


All electrical and electronic products that fall within the scope of the mandated standards must comply with the EMC regulatory arrangements. The standards listed in Table 1 cover several main product categories. (This is not exhaustive list.) The ACA and RSM have only mandated the following EMC aspects of the listed standards:

1. EMC phenomenon of emitted disturbance associated with:

  • Conducted (continuous and intermittent) radio frequency disturbance
  • Radiated radio frequency disturbance

2. Test procedures and requirements associated with the EMC phenomenon.

Electrical products sold in Australia and New Zealand are also required to comply with electrical safety requirements administered by other regulatory authorities.

ISM equipmentEN 55011CISPR 11AS/NZS CISPR 11
Electrical motor-operated & thermal appliances,
electrical tools & similar apparatus
EN 55014-1CISPR 14-1AS/NZS CISPR 14
Electrical lighting and similar equipmentEN 55015CISPR 15AS/NZS CISPR 15
Information technologyEN 55022CISPR 22AS/NZS CISPR 22
Generic (residential, commericial and light industryEN 50081.1IEC 61000-6-34251.1
Generic (industrial environments)EN 50081-2IEC 61000-6-44251.2
Electrical equipment for measurement, control
and laboratory use
EN 61326IEC 61326 
Adjustable speed electrical power drive systems
similar use (humidity sensing controls)
EN 61800-3IEC 61800-3

Table 1 - EMC test standards


To ensure compliance with the EMC regulatory arrangements, suppliers must satisfy four basic requirements. They must:

  • establish sound technical grounds for product compliance;
  • make and hold a Declaration of Conformity;
  • prepare and keep compliance records; and
  • label the product as directed.

Under the EMC regulatory arrangements, before a product can be first supplied to the Australian or New Zealand market, the supplier must register an application with the ACA or RSM to use the C-Tick label. One application only is required, as the label and associated identification from one country will be recognised in the other.

All other documents, the Declaration of Conformity and the supporting evidence, should be made available by the supplier for audit purposes on request, in writing, from either the ACA or RSM.

Once these basic requirements have been satisfied, a product may be supplied in Australia or New Zealand without further approval by the ACA or RSM.

The EMC scheme defines three levels of evidence for demonstrating compliance. These levels are based on the risk of interference that may be expected from the product.


Level 1 applies to products whose interfering emissions would have a low impact on devices using the radio frequency spectrum. This level covers products that only contain:

  • manually operated switches or simple relays;
  • brushless squirrel cage induction motors;
  • conventional AC/AC transformers; or
  • resistive elements.

For example, an electronic transformer, a lighting ballast or electronic lighting ballast are not low risk devices.

Level 2 applies to products whose interfering emissions would have a higher impact on devices using the radio frequency spectrum. Examples of these products are:

  • a microprocessor or other clocked digital device;
  • a commutator or slip ring motor ;
  • arc welding equipment; or
  • switched mode power supplies, lighting dimmers and motor speed controllers.

Level 3 applies to products whose interfering emissions have the highest risk of serious impact on devices using the radio frequency spectrum. This level covers products in the industrial scientific and medical group 2 (CISPR 11) and telecommunications terminal equipment under information technology (CISPR 22) categories.


Level 1 (voluntary)
For this level, the Australian or New Zealand supplier may:

  • hold a completed Declaration of Conformity; and
  • hold a product description.

For Level 1 products, the requirement to obtain the above documents and label with the C-Tick compliance mark is voluntary. However, if suppliers choose to use the C-Tick mark on Level 1 products, they must comply with the arrangements by holding a Declaration of Conformity and a description of the product. The voluntary nature of the arrangements does not exclude the products from having to meet the relevant EMC standard. Products must still meet the relevant EMC standard regardless of whether they are labelled.

Level 2
For this level, the Australian or New Zealand supplier must ensure the product complies with an applicable standard and hold compliance records containing:

  • a completed Declaration of Conformity;
  • a product description; and
  • a test report or technical construction file (TCF).

Level 3
For this level, the Australian or New Zealand supplier must ensure the product complies with an applicable standard and hold compliance records containing:

  • a completed Declaration of Conformity;
  • a product description; and
  • an accredited test report or TCF.

Unless a product is covered by compliance Level 1, which is voluntary, a product covered by the EMC regulatory arrangements must be labelled before it can be supplied in Australia or New Zealand. The label consists of a C-Tick mark, see Figure 1, and a unique supplier identification. The C-Tick mark is only allowed to be placed on products that comply with EMC standards. Location of the mark and supplier identification should be a permanent feature placed on the external surface of the product as close as practical to the model identification.

Figure 1 C-Tick Mark
If it is not practical to attach a label to the external surface of a device, due to its size or physical nature, a label may be attached in the following order:
# to the outer surface of the packaging; or if impractical
# to the instructions for use; or if impractical
# to the guarantee or certificates.


The Declaration of Conformity is the document signed by the Australian supplier or overseas manufacturer to certify that the product meets applicable standards. It must be signed by a person who holds a senior position in the company or organisation. The signatory should have sighted the evidence that supports the declaration and be satisfied of the grounds for compliance. The signed declaration must be made available if requested by the ACA or RSM.

Each new model or product requires a Declaration of Conformity. In these cases the supplier may place variants of a basic device on the market under one Declaration of Conformity. The compliance records must include a signed statement that identifies the variants, describes the changes made to the basic model and the rationale for marketing the device and variants under a single Declaration of Conformity.

Where a supplier is in any doubt as to the likely impact of proposed modifications to a device, the supplier should have the new model tested or establish a TCF for the product.

Examples of products marketed with a number of variants include lighting or personal computers, which are sold in various configurations.

All products under a single declaration must be identical to the basic device in terms of EMC.

The declaration must contain the following information:

  • variants identification and their similarities;
  • description of changes made to the basic model; and
  • explanation of rationale for marketing the products under one declaration.


A supplier may keep compliance records and sign a Declaration of Conformity without using a test report from an accredited test laboratory for products that fall under compliance Level 2. The test report must show:

  • the tests conducted;
  • the results of the tests, including test data; and
  • whether the results of the tests show that the product meets the standard.

Where a supplier chooses to use non-accredited testing, including in-house or self-testing, to support their Declaration of Conformity, the ACA and RSM reserve the right to ask for more evidence of conformity, if considered necessary.

A test report from an overseas test laboratory is acceptable where the product has been tested to the relevant standard. Test reports from overseas laboratories must be written in English.

Compliance Level 3 products are required to be tested by an accredited test laboratory or a competent body. Level 3 covers equipment under group 2 of the industrial scientific and medical standard (CISPR 11).


The technical construction file (TCF) is an alternative route to testing for suppliers to demonstrate compliance for Levels 2 or 3.

To use the TCF route, suppliers must apply to a competent body for a technical report. A TCF can be particularly useful where:

  • testing is impractical because of the physical characteristics of the product, or its location;
  • products are marketed as a number of variants; or
  • a supplier holds relevant technical information from a competent body.

The TCF is prepared in two parts. The first part is prepared by the supplier and should contain sufficient information for a competent body to issue a technical assessment of the product. The information may include a technical description of the product, claims by the supplier for product conformity and supporting evidence. This information is submitted to a competent body with a statement from the supplier declaring that there is no outstanding application to another competent body in respect of the product.

Once the assessment is completed, the competent body will issue a technical report verifying the claims made by the supplier, which will then form part of the compliance records.

The report made by the competent body does not replace the supplierýýs responsibility to ensure that the data in the draft TCF is correct.

If a competent body finds that the claims of the supplier for conformity of a product to the standards cannot be verified, the competent body must advise the applicant in writing of the reasons for its decision.

Competent bodies cannot issue a technical report against an application:

  • where the application is not in writing; and
  • where an applicant for a technical report has not provided information that is

relevant to the assessment of the draft TCF.

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