Testing, test reports, standards, approvals, compliance levels and Declarations of Compliance are mandatory requirements as per previous arrangements for electrical safety approvals and Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) requirements. The most significant visual change from the A tick and C tick is the logo and the removal of the ACMA Suppliers Number.
The RCM system is not similar to the CE process. The RCM certification system requires that only Australian or New Zealand importers and manufacturers have the authority to sign the ‘Supplier Declaration of Conformity’, and can authorize the placement of the RCM logo onto products.
Manufacturers and exporters outside of Australia and New Zealand do not have authority to apply or place the RCM mark directly onto the product, nor can they sign the RCM Supplier Declaration of Conformity.
Registration of the Australian importers and Australian manufacturers, the labelling of equipment with the RCM logo, the terminology used with electrical safety, and legal responsibility for compliance being with the Australian importers and manufacturers for electrical safety and ACMA matters. For some items, tighter evidence of conformity is required.
The system is based on a common national database used by the Electrical Regulatory Authority Council (ERAC) and the ACMA in Australia, and Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) in NZ for the purpose of registration.
In summary, the ERAC RCM system provides:
- Registration of Australian importers and manufacturers that supply electrical and electronic devices, and
- For those Australian importers and manufacturers that supply mains powered Prescribed Electrical Items (EESS Level 3), the system links those Australian entities with the approved items listed in the National Approval Database.
Electrical Safety, ERAC, and the EESS
EESS (Electrical Equipment Safety System) as established by ERAC
The EESS is a process for registration of In-Scope Electrical Products and Australian / NZ Suppliers.
The process is separate from the existing Electrical Approvals System and Certification Database that holds details of Prescribed Item Approvals and Certificates from recognised certification bodies, and the associated certificate holder’s data (Australian / NZ and international companies).
The EESS process is based on a central system using the National Database (the new EESS Registration System of ERAC) maintaining records of:
- Registered Suppliers (can only be Australian and NZ entities)
- Generic Suppliers Declaration that all Level 1, 2 & 3 products are safe when supplied, plus
- Details of Level 3 and Level 2 In-scope Equipment and associated Equipment Declarations of compliance
Note: there is no compliance agent arrangement for the EESS process. When Level 3 and Level 2 “in-scope” devices are imported from the same international supplier by many Australian or New Zealand importers, each importer must register the device separately. This may mean these devices are registered multiple times.
In-Scope Equipment (EESS Only)
In-scope electrical equipment is low voltage electrical equipment that is:
- rated at greater than 50 V AC RMS or 120V ripple-free DC (extra-low voltage), and
- rated at less than 1000V AC RMS or 1500V ripple-free DC (high voltage), and
- designed or marketed as suitable for household, personal or similar use.
Registration of Level 2 and Level 3 In-Scope Equipment
Responsible Suppliers are required to register any In-scope Equipment they sell or supply on the National Database that is classified as:
- Level 3 (High Risk – Prescribed Items)
- Level 2 (Medium Risk) as listed in AS/NZS 4417.2.
If your device or family of devices are subject to Level 2 or Level 3 electrical safety requirements (EESS), there is an initial registration fee $75 payable, and thereafter there is an ongoing fee of $75 per annum for subsequent years for the device registration.
Level 1 In-Scope Equipment
Level 1 In-scope Equipment (previously called non-prescribed equipment) is not registered on the National Database but is included in the Generic Suppliers Declaration of Compliance. Only compliance folders are required for Level 1 (Low Risk) In-Scope Equipment, to prove it is electrically safe, meets the relevant electrical safety standards and also meets the ACMA requirements, and can then be marked with the RCM.
Test reports are the most common way of proving safety compliance; manufacturers declarations do not prove compliance for safety.
Registration Options for Suppliers
- Responsible Supplier; is a person, company or business that manufacturers in-scope electrical equipment in Australia or New Zealand, or imports in scope electrical equipment into Australia or New Zealand for sale in EESS participating jurisdictions.If you supply devices that are subject to electrical safety requirements (EESS), there is an initial registration fee as a Responsible Supplier of $200 and thereafter, an ongoing fee of $200 per annum for subsequent years.A Responsible Supplier must be a legally identifiable Australian or New Zealand entity holding an Australian Business Number (ABN), or a New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number.
Responsible Suppliers have the main obligation for complying with the Electrical Equipment Safety System. The legislation requires Responsible Suppliers to ensure that the electrical equipment they sell meets relevant standards and is electrically safe.
- Authorised Officer is the person who, within the Responsible Supplier company, has been authorised to make electrical safety declarations on behalf of the company.
- Affiliated Supplier is a company that is a related entity to the company registered as a responsible supplier. Affiliated suppliers are limited to Australia/New Zealand related entities. When registering as a responsible supplier there is now an ‘affiliated supplier’ field, this allows for a responsible supplier to nominate the related New Zealand company for which the responsible supplier is taking responsibility for the equipment supplied by that company (and vice versa if the responsible supplier is a New Zealand registered company).
- Authorised Representative is a person, company or business that has been authorised by the Responsible Supplier to act on their behalf to conduct registrations for Level 2 and Level 3 electrical equipment.As an Authorised Representative for a Registered Supplier, there is an initial registration fee of $200 and thereafter, an ongoing fee of $200 per annum for subsequent years.