What is interference?
It is pollution of the radio spectrum, caused by unwanted signals from electrical equipment and radio transmitters that harm reception of radio and television broadcasts or other radiocommunications services (e.g. aeronautical navigation, police communications etc). All electrically powered equipment and appliances produce some unwanted radio noise, so limits are imposed to ensure the interference is not harmful.
See also reception problems.
What is EMC compliance?
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) compliance means that an electrical or electronic product has been tested to international standards and is unlikely to cause radio interference.
What is the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM)?
The RCM is a compliance mark indicating that an electrical or electronic product meets the Australian and New Zealand requirements for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC). It indicates that the product is compliant.
What is the C-tick mark?
The C-tick is another compliance mark indicating that an electrical or electronic product meets the Australian and New Zealand requirements for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC). It indicates that the product is compliant, and by use with labelling identifying the supplier, establishes a traceable link to the required compliance documentation.
Which electrical or electrical products should carry the RCM or the C-tick marks?
All electrically-powered equipment comes under the EMC compliance regime and must meet applicable standards. Only those products which present a low risk of interference are not required to show EMC compliance marks.
Typical products that must carry the RCM or the C-tick are:
Kitchen appliances (mains or rechargeable): blenders, cake mixers, coffee grinders, electrical knives, microwave ovens…
Home entertainment systems: TV receivers, Radio receivers, VCR’s, CD and DVD players…
Other household appliances: vacuum cleaners, energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs, clock radios, sewing machines, dehumidifiers, power tools, electric lawnmowers, electric chainsaws, fridges…
Personal Computers and office equipment: PC’s and laptops, scanners, printers, keyboard, mouse, VDU’s, monitors.
What about radio products?
Consumer radio transmitting products must also comply with technical standards. The RCM and the C-tick are not required for all radio products. However, they must be labelled with R-NZ Only with a supplier's identification or the Supplier Code Number.
Typical radio products that must be labelled are:
- Baby monitors
- Wireless alarm systems
- Cordless telephones
- Garage door openers
- Wireless LAN products
- Marine radios
- Walkie-talkie radios
- Wireless microphones
- Wireless keyboards and mice
What is the risk of buying products without the RCM or the C-tick?
The RCM or the C-tick gives assurance that a product complies with EMC requirements and is unlikely to cause interference. Absence of the RCM or C-tick may mean future problems with interference, and not being allowed to continue using the equipment.
Can non-compliant products interfere with your home appliances?
Yes, non-compliant products may interfere with other electrical and electronic products, for example:
Cellphone chargers interfere with televisions
Personal computers interfere with radios
Remote controlled toys interfere with television
Touch-sensitive lamps affecting communications services
Do non-compliant products pose a threat to public safety?
Yes, non-compliant products may pose a risk for the public safety, for example:
Cordless telephones interfere with cellular bands
Wireless microphones interfere with cellular bands
900 MHz wireless equipment interfere with cellular bands
Baby monitors interfere with aeronautical bands
Can I receive an infringement notice for using a non-compliant product?
Yes. Although the primary Ministry concern is with suppliers of non-compliant products, under the Radiocommunications Regulations 2001 the users of non-compliant products can be issued with an infringement notice ($250 for individuals and $1250 for body corporates).