What to look for when you're buying a product

When you’re buying an electrical or electronic product in New Zealand, make sure it has a compliance mark on it. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it. Using a product that isn’t compliant could mean you cause interference to other services.

Look for a compliance label or mark

To comply with New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act and Regulations, electrical and electronic products must display a compliance label. This shows that they meet the standards set out in the Act and the Regulations, and can be safely used in New Zealand.

Radiocommunications Act 1989(external link)

Radiocommunications Regulations 2001(external link)

When you’re looking to buy an electrical or electronic product, you need to make sure that it has a compliance mark on it. There are two compliance marks that are recognised in NZ.

  • Radio products should be labelled with the R-NZ label.
  • Electrical and electronic products should be labelled with the RCM (Regulatory Compliance Mark).

This image shows a tick inside a partial circle all enclised in a triangle

The Regulatory Compliance Mark

Why we use compliance marks

Compliance marks are an indication that the standards have been meet. Standards are needed to ensure safe and satisfactory products that are fit for their intended use.

The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Radio Standards prescribed by Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) also protect the radio spectrum, minimising interference and allowing effective use of radiocommunications services.

See Product compliance Gazette Notices for these standards.

It’s important to check for a compliance mark, particularly if you’re buying online or overseas.

For example, if you buy a product that was manufactured overseas, it might operate on the wrong frequency here. Using it could mean that you cause interference to other services on that frequency. If you’re found to be causing interference, you could:

  • be fined
  • face prosecution.
  • end up out of pocket, with a product you can’t use.

Note: Some products can’t be bought or used in New Zealand at all, as it's already known that they cause interference to other services here.

Products and equipment you can’t use in NZ

If there’s no compliance mark

If you’re looking to buy a product that doesn’t obviously display a compliance mark on it, check with the retailer. Sometimes it’s not practical to apply a compliance mark to the product, so instead it might be on:

  • the instructions for use, or
  • the product’s guarantee or certificates.

If the retailer can’t confirm the product is compliant with New Zealand standards, don’t buy it.

If you buy a product and find it doesn’t have a compliance mark on it later, go back to the supplier and ask them about compliance marking. If they can’t help, contact us for advice on whether or not you can continue to use the product.

Some products require a licence

You need a licence to use some radio products in New Zealand. Some licences are free, and some you need to pay for.

See Find out which licence you need for more help with this.