What Is RCM?

The RCM (Regulatory Compliance Mark) is a symbol signifying that a supplier has taken the necessary steps to have a product comply with the electrical safety and/or electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) legislative requirements. It’s intended as an easy way for consumers to identify products which have met certain electrical standards.

Products that are labelled with overseas markings (for example, ‘CE’ mark or FCC approval) cannot automatically be lawfully supplied in Australia.

This further means that an individual who imports a charger or cable from overseas may not be insured if something goes wrong. In our experience a product may look the same as one sold by a local reseller but may have completely different internals and may not perform as expected.

Local companies typically spend thousands of dollars on local compliance which overseas companies simply do not perform. So while the product from Alibaba or eBay may look attractive, consider if the product will be safe and compliant with local standards. Or, to put it another way, if you use this product and it causes damage to people, vehicles or structures, will your insurance company still cover you?

The ACMA regulatory framework for products supplied to the Australian market includes regulatory arrangements covering:

  • telecommunications customer equipment (CE) and customer cabling (CC)
  • radiocommunications devices
  • electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) performance of electrical and electronic devices, vehicles and devices with internal combustion engines
  • electromagnetic energy (EME) from radio transmitters.

The ACMA’s four labelling notices impose obligations on a supplier, including the requirement to comply with technical standard/s, maintain compliance records and apply the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) to the product.

Compliance mark for products supplied in Australia

For all ACMA regulatory arrangements, the compliance label is the RCM.

An overseas compliance mark on a product DOES NOT indicate that the product:

  • complies with any of the Australian regulatory arrangements
  • can be automatically labelled with the RCM compliance label
  • can be supplied in Australia without the RCM compliance label.

Evidence of compliance

In limited situations, overseas compliance documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate compliance with Australian requirements. However, even in such situations, the product must still meet Australian labelling requirements and be labelled with the RCM.

A supplier should first refer to the applicable labelling notice/s to determine which technical standard/s are applicable to their product. This will indicate if international compliance documentation may be used to establish compliance for the product to be supplied in Australia.

A supplier may need to engage the services of an independent consultant and/or a test laboratory to determine if the overseas test reports or other documentation are suitable for use in Australia (to demonstrate compliance with Australian requirements). For example:

If the overseas test reports or other documentation are sufficient to demonstrate compliance with Australian requirements, the product may be labelled with the RCM.