Clarification on C-tick

Clarification on C-tick

Confusion has arisen for some readers over a statement made in the last issue of ARN (page one), which suggested that if components used in a PC comply with the C-tick standards, the PC might not comply.

A spokesperson from the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) said if components used in the assembly of a PC carried the C-tick compliance, the assembler was "entitled to rely on the presumption that the fully-assembled PC would comply".

So, if the motherboard, disk drives, power supply and network cards each carry a C-tick, the assembler should be reasonably confident the fully assembled PC will comply.

The ACA took over the work of both the Spectrum Management Agency and the Australian Telecommunications Authority (AUSTEL) on July 1 to become the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).

C-tick compliance became mandatory from January 1 this year. The ACA is now responsible for the C-tick scheme.

Products which were offered for sale prior to January 1 1997 are considered to be existing products and are not required to comply until January 1 1999.

Existing products will need to comply if still offered for sale after January 1 1999. From January 1 1999 all products offered for sale in the residential, commercial and light industry environments will be required to comply with the framework.

To ensure compliance with the EMC framework, suppliers must satisfy four basic requirements. They must establish sound technical grounds for product compliance; make and hold a Declaration of Conformity; prepare and keep a Compliance Folder; and label the product with the "C-tick" mark.

Once these basic requirements are fulfilled, the product can be offered for sale on the Australian market.

Although the EMC framework is based on industry self-regulation, the ACA will back this up with a program of random audits, as well as investigation of complaints of interference.

Individuals targeted too

In addition to the penalties that apply to the supply of non-standard devices, penalties may apply, under the EMC framework, to both indiv-iduals and companies that fail to prepare and maintain a Compliance Folder in accordance with a notice issued by the ACA under the Radiocommunications Act, 1992. In addition, suppliers that breach those requirements may be subject to prosecution under other legislation (such as the Trade Practices Act, Trade Marks Act, Crimes Act).

Further details on the C-tick scheme are available from the ACA's Web site at www.austel.

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