AU/NZ Approvals

  RCM Electrical safety Mark, MEPS

Safety Approval services

Austest has provided clients with literally 1000’s of safety approval certificates for prescribed items (mandatory approval certificates) through to certificates of suitability (voluntary approval certs).

All mains powered electrical products sold or used in Australia must be safe and a basis for determining electrical safety is compliance with AS/NZS3820 (Essential safety requirements for Australia & New Zealand). This standard in itself is not a test standard and references/relies on compliance to relevant product specific safety standards.

In other words, compliance with AS/NZS3820 is achieved when a product complies with the relevant Australian product safety standard. Failure to comply with Australian Safety Requirements may result in fines, product recalls or both. This requirement applies if the item falls into the declared items category or not.

The enforcement of product electrical safety falls with each Australian state, which has enacted electrical safety legislation. Liaison between Australia’s eight States and Territories and New Zealand is performed by ERAC (the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council), while it is accepted that an approval gained in 1 State/Territory is acceptable for sale in all other States/Territories. Examples of electrical safety approval markings are Qxxxx (Queensland), Vxxxx(Victoria), NSWxxxx (New South Wales).

Mandatory safety approval is required for a range of products listed in Appendix E of AS/NZS 4417.2(Marking of electrical products to indicate compliance with regulations – Specific requirements for electrical safety regulatory applications)

Some examples of prescribed electrical equipment:

  • Appliance plugs and connectors
  • AC/DC adapters
  • Battery chargers/savers, for rechargeable cells, including automotive type
  • Blankets
  • Circuit-breakers, miniature over-current
  • Clothes dryers
  • Conditioning and control devices (portable)
  • Many portable Kitchen and Cooking appliances
  • Cord extension sockets
  • Cord-line switches
  • Cords (supply flexible cords)
  • Decorative lighting outfits, including
  • Christmas lights
  • Dishwashing machines
  • Electric fence energisers
  • Extra low voltage power supplies (see power supply units)
  • Fans (portable and fixed)
  • Fluorescent lamp ballasts
  • Hair-care appliances, including:
  • brushes
  • combs
  • curling irons
  • curling wands
  • hair clippers
  • dryers
  • rollers
  • Hand lamps
  • Hand-held portable tools, including:
  • cutters
  • drills
  • grinders
  • planers
  • polishers
  • routers
  • sanders
  • saws
  • trimmers
  • Hedge clippers
  • Immersion heaters (including aquarium immersion heaters)
  • Irons (including fabric steamers)
  • Insect electrocutors
  • Jugs
  • Kettles (see saucepans)
  • Lamp holders (normal bayonet-type or Edison screw type)
  • Lawnmowers
  • Liquid heating appliances,
  • Plugs & Sockets
  • Range hoods
  • Ranges, fixed, including:
  • cooking hobs
  • ovens
  • Razors/ hairclippers
  • Refrigerators and freezers, including wine cellars
  • Residual current devices (safety switches)
  • Room heaters
  • Saucepans, including:
  • deep fryers
  • fry pans
  • woks
  • BBQ’s (indoor and outdoor)
  • Sewing machines
  • Shavers (electric razors)
  • Sockets outlets
  • Soldering irons
  • Switches (wall)
  • Switches (cord line)
  • Television receivers
  • Toasters
  • Transformers, extra-low voltage (see power supply units)
  • Ultra-violet/infra-red therapeutic lamps
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Washing machines
  • Water heaters, unvented storage, instantaneous

If a product does not fall into the declared articles category, voluntary formal approval may be sought, known as a Certificate of Suitability. The application process is similar to that of a declared article and the product testing requirements are identical.

Certificates of Suitability are often used by a supplier to prove compliance and for marketing advantages, while many corporations and Government agencies require approval certificates as part of their purchasing/procurement process.

Austest performs testing of many of these products. Here are the typical ways we provide assistance:

1) If you don’t have an existing test report, we can perform full compliance testing to the required Australian electrical standard. If you’re an exporter, you can often add international versions of the same safety standard for only a minor additional fee.

2) If you have an existing report used to obtain CE mark, such as a CB report or other endorsed test report, we can perform partial testing to the Australian specific deviations. Note if the test report you have is to an EN standard and is not accredited, it can’t be used to obtain an Australian electrical safety approval.

3) If your existing Australian safety approval has expired, we will review your previous report and provide top-up testing to latest amendments to your product specific standard, often avoiding the need for full product retesting.

4) If you have an existing report covering all the Australian test requirements, we can use your report for electrical approval submission and obtain a safety approval certificate on your behalf.  Australian safety approval certificates can be issued in the name of an overseas company, although the RCM mark can only be issued to an Australian supplier or agent.

We are able to provide electrical safety certificates in 2 to 5 days (subject to compliance and required documentation). This 1 week turn-around for certificates comes at NO ADDITIONAL COST. We upload certificates to the ERAC EESS database free of charge so you can link to them as a responsible supplier.

Note the New Zealand Regulations are similar to those of Australia, while New Zealand accept Australian safety approvals. Details of the New Zealand Regulator Requirements can be found here.

RCMRCM, ACMA Compliance Folders

Austest provides comprehensive local compliance services to assist in complying with Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) requirements per the Australian and New Zealand EESS (Electrical Equipment Safety System), and the ACMA telecommunications and EMC requirements. Note the C-Tick and A-Tick marks are now obsolete and were consolidated into the RCM in March 2013.

Electrical and electronic products sold in Australia are required to be marked with RCM by an Australian entity registered with the ACMA to use the mark. As only Australian entities may register for permission to use the RCM, we offer our services as an agent to ensure your products meet the minimum regulatory requirements or as an Australian agent, allow the use of our ACMA supplier code for international customers.

Using our dedicated Approvals Project Tracker, all compliance materials are held on-line for easy download DoC’s and other approval documents. The system also supports the secure uploads of supporting documents such as schematics, manuals and reports that may be required. These documents can be accessed 24/7, allowing engineers or project managers to report at any stage, the progress of their approvals.

MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards)

With an increasing emphasis towards the reduction of business and consumer energy use and by association, our carbon footprint, the Australian (Federal) Government has enacted a range of mandatory minimum energy efficiency levels for a range of products. Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS)cover the following products, with more to be added over the coming years:

  • refrigerators and freezers
  • mains pressure electric storage water heaters
  • small mains pressure electric storage water heaters and low pressure and heat exchanger types
  • three phase electric motors (0.73kW to <185kW)
  • single phase air conditioners (revision proposed for 2010)
  • three phase air conditioners up to 65kW cooling capacity (revision proposed for 2010)
  • ballasts for linear fluorescent lamps
  • linear fluorescent lamps –
  • commercial refrigeration (self-contained and remote systems)
  • Incandescent Lamps –
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps – from November 2009
  • external power supplies
  • Set top boxes
  • Commercial Building Chillers
  • Close Control Air Conditioners
  • transformers and electronic step-down converters for ELV lamps

Apart from testing to a number of the above product standards, Austest provides a MEPS product registration service for a nominal fee. Austest has also prepared a number of “Fact Sheets” explaining MEPS and other Australian approval requirements, contact us for free copies.