News/Blog

Regulatory Requirements in Australia for Manufacturers in USA

by G&M Compliance (September 3, 2013)

General Information for US Manufacturers

Under the present Australian regulatory regime the regulations that apply, the test reports which are required and the way in which homologation is achieved depends on:

a) the type of product
b) the application of the product and how it is used
c) the channels of distribution

On 1 July 1997 a self-declaratory regime was introduced into Australia for Telecommunications and Radiocommunications equipment. The regulations are now governed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) which was formed by the merger of several agencies effective 1 July 2005.

The entity responsible for compliance with Australian regulations must be domiciled in Australia and is either:
 the Australian Manufacturer;
 the Australian Importer; or
 the authorised Agent of the Australian Importer or Manufacturer;
 the Agent of the US Manufacturer also acting as the authorised Agent of the Australian

Importer of the US Manufacturer’s products

US Manufacturers who have Australian subsidiaries can set up Compliance Folders and utilize in- house staff or contract out the management of Compliance to competent consulting entities. Where a US Manufacturer is exporting direct to either customers or distributors and dealers in Australia, there is a need to protect the Manufacturer’s intellectual property and have the flexibility of changing distribution marketing arrangements without upsetting the compliance and homologation arrangements. In these cases, the Manufacturer should consider appointing an Agent to handle the compliance affairs for him.

Agent Facility

The Agent is the party legally liable in Australia for Compliance with ACA regulations. The Agent facility will enable products to be labelled with one label and one Compliance Folder to be set up, independent of the number of Suppliers. The Agent has a Supplier Code issued by ACMA and this can be applied to goods imported into Australia. ThisLabelaffirmsthatthegoodstotallycomplywiththeACMAregulations.

The Agent will conduct all the necessary communications and documentation procedures required by ACMA of the Importer and by default the Manufacturer.

ACMA requires:

(a) the Exporting Manufacturer to enter into an Agreement with the Agent. This covers the terms and conditions for consulting services to be provided to the Manufacturer, secures confidentiality for the Manufacturer’s intellectual property and similar essential contract conditions. The Manufacturer agrees to pay all the costs related to the initial Compliance and the ongoing compliance activities
(b) a separate agreement between the Agent, the Manufacturer and the Australian based Importers of the Manufacturer’ s products
(c) that the Compliance Folder which contains the engineering documentation and test reports shall also contain copies of the aforementioned agreements.

The ACMA conducts audits of the Compliance Folder documentation and agreements at regular intervals. It also reserves the right to procure equipment imported into the country to ensure that it is appropriately labeled. The ACMA may also order independent test reports to be conducted under its instructions and at the Manufacturer’s cost.

Changes to Regulations

The regulations relating to compliance are being revised so that a single mark the RCM Mark would indicate compliance with Radio communications, telecommunications and Electrical Safety Regulations. This is scheduled to be effective 1 March 2013 applicable to exporters who first enter the Australian market on or after that date. Manufacturers who are already exporting to Australia and labeling their products with the A-tick or C-tick as applicable can continue to do so including any new products until 1 March 2016. Otherwise the changes only impact on acting as Consultants or Agent.

For more information, please contact G&M Compliance, Inc. at 714.628.1020