The majority of industries in Australia are aware of the mandatory EMC compliance requirements, which apply to electronic/electrical products supplied to the Australian market. Compliance Engineering provide assistance to customers who need C-Tick compliance records.
It is widely known that electronic devices inadvertently emit RF energy during normal operation. With the proliferation of electronic circuits in products and advances in operating speeds of these circuits, the level and frequency of emissions has significantly increased. At the same time, the radio frequency spectrum has become more densely populated with users such as those using mobile phone services, TV, radio, two way communications and wireless internet.
In order to protect the radio frequency spectrum from potential interference, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) introduced Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) regulatory arrangements. These regulatory arrangements form a part of the standards, which include technical limits for emissions produced by any electrical/electronic product.
The C-Tick is an identification trademark registered to the ACMA, which signifies compliance with applicable EMC standard and also provides a traceable link between the equipment and the supplier. The C-Tick mark and supplier identification are placed on the external surface of the product near the model number. Any organisation wishing to use the C-Tick compliance mark must first make written application to the ACMA.
Basically to comply with the C-Tick requirements a supplier must:
- Have the product tested to the relevant mandated standard and obtain an EMC Test Report
- Complete a Declaration of Conformity
- Collate product information
- Create a Compliance Folder
- Apply to the ACMA for use of the C-Tick mark
- Label the product with the C-Tick mark
The supplier must show technical grounds for compliance with the EMC standard relevant to the product. The technical grounds are generally evidenced in the form of a formal EMC test report. Often an EMC test report can be sourced from the manufacturer of the product.
The supplier must complete a Declaration of Conformity. The Declaration of Conformity is a one page document stating compliance of a product with the relevant EMC standard. The document is signed by the individual accepting responsibility for compliance of the product.
Product information on the sample tested should be included in the Compliance Folder to enable identification and may include brochures, descriptions of the product, circuit diagrams, component overlays, product branding and model details and any other documentation that is available.
The Compliance Folder is a folder containing the EMC test report, Declaration of Conformity and product information. A compliance folder should be held for each product series and all compliance records must be in English. This folder will need to be presented to the ACMA when they visit the premises of the supplier to perform an audit.
The CE is the European compliance mark and covers a range of requirements including EMC and Electrical Safety. The EMC requirements are more extensive than those in Australia, where only radiated RF and mains terminal emission measurements are required. Products simply marked with a CE logo should in theory, but do not necessarily comply with C-Tick requirements. Often a report assessment is required to determine if the applicable AS/NZS standard was used and if the report format contains all of the required information.
If a product has a CE marking, the importer is still required to hold a compliance folder, fill out a Declaration of Conformity and affix the C-Tick label to the product. Suppliers looking to export to Europe must comply with the European EMC and Low Voltage Directives and affix the CE mark.