Each year a sample group of product suppliers are audited for compliance. Your products must meet the performance standards and licence requirements for radio in New Zealand.
Purpose of audits
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) audits of products and suppliers are our way of promoting voluntary compliance.
Audits help us, and you:
- minimise the likelihood of interference across the radio spectrum
- make sure that EMC compliance conditions are met
- promote sound design and engineering of electrical, electronic, and radio products
- strengthen our relationships with the radio industry
- maintain the value and usability of the radio frequency spectrum in New Zealand.
Who gets audited
Any supplier of electrical, electronic or radio products in New Zealand can be audited. This includes:
- retailers and traders
- importers and distributors
You could be selected for an audit if:
- you’re the subject of a complaint
- you supply products with compliance risks
- you supply products with interference risks.
The audit process
Audits can be:
- prearranged with you, and completed in person or online, or
If you’re having a prearranged audit, we’ll send you written notice 10 working days beforehand, either by email or post. One of our Radio Investigators will contact you to arrange a time if they're visiting you in person.
During the audit, the Investigator will check to make sure you've followed all of the steps to compliance.
They'll expect to see:
- evidence of correct product labelling
- a completed and signed Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDOC)
- a product description that clearly identifies the product
- a test report or other documented evidence confirming compliance with an applicable standard
- where appropriate, a product variant statement.
The Investigator may also ask to see product samples. They'll use these to help verify your compliance with the requirements. If you supply radio transmitters, they'll also want to see evidence of a Licence to Supply.
If you’re completing your audit online, you’ll need to provide your compliance documentation by email.
What happens next
Our compliance team will let you know the outcome of your audit when your assessment is complete. If we find evidence of non-compliance, we’ll let you know what the issue is and what you can do to fix it.
Any supplier found to be non-compliant could:
- be given a warning notice
- get an infringement Offence Notice, and a fine of between $250 and $1700
- be prosecuted, and fined between $30,000 and $200,000.
In most cases, you’ll get either a warning notice or an infringement notice. We decide which by looking at what the issue means for the radiocommunications environment.
- the effect it has on safety services
- the impact on the licensing system
- the impact on radiocommunication users
- the impact it has on any businesses involved
- whether the non-compliance results from a fault or from manufacturer, supplier, installer or user action
- whether there’s a previous history of non-compliance or continued offending
- the level of cooperation during our investigation
- the effort made to resolve any issues.
We also look at previous cases to make sure we’re consistent in our findings.
Timeframe for fixing non-compliance
When we set a date for fixing a non-compliance issue, we consider:
- the impact of the issue on radio users and the radio industry, and
- the resourcing needed to take the required action.
If you don’t think you can fix the issue by the date you’re given, contact us to see if you can change it.
Product offences relate to products that:
- don’t comply with an applicable standard or code of practice, or
- are considered prohibited equipment in NZ.
If you supply products like this, you may have to:
- stop using, selling, distributing, manufacturing or importing the product
- recall the product
- refund the price of the product to anyone who bought it.
If you get a warning notice, it will tell you:
- what your compliance issue is
- what you need to do to fix it
- the date you need to fix it by.
The warning notice will include a Declaration of Compliance form. You need to fill it in and return it to us when you fix your compliance issue. You need to do this by the date set out in the warning notice, unless you agree on a new date with us.
We may also do a follow-up audit to confirm that you’ve taken steps to fix your compliance issue or issues. If you don’t, you could get an infringement notice or face prosecution.
An infringement notice will often follow an unresolved warning notice. But, there’s no requirement for us to give you a warning notice first if:
- the effect of the non-compliant situation is considered serious enough, or
- you have a previous history of non-compliance.
An infringement notice will tell you:
- what your infringement offence is
- what steps you need to take to fix it
- the amount you’re being fined
- how to pay your fine
- your rights and obligations.
Your notice will tell you when you need to fix your compliance issue and pay your fine by. If you don’t meet this date, you could get another infringement notice, or you could be prosecuted.
We can choose to prosecute you for non-compliance if:
- it’s considered necessary as a deterrent to further non-compliance
- you don’t respond to an infringement notice.
If you’re convicted, you could get a fine of:
- up to $30,000 as an individual, or
- up to $200,000 if you’re licensed as a company or other body corporate.
You could also be fined up to $1000 a day for every day you continue to be non-compliant. And, in some cases, your equipment could be confiscated.