Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Radiocommunications
Co-operation Programme 2002-2003
Joint Annual Report to Heads of Australian and New Zealand Governments
The purpose of this document is to report on the progress of the cooperation program between Australia and New Zealand to harmonize regulatory frameworks for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and radiocommunications equipment products (RE) under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangements (TTMRA). Included in this document is a request for a 12 month extension to the special exemption period for radiocommunications products. This will enable further negotiations to take place with the objective of extending harmonization to this product sector. A special exemption is not sought for EMC.
The TTMRA was signed by the Commonwealth and the States on 14 June 1996 and by New Zealand on 9 July 1996. The purpose of the TTMRA is to implement mutual recognition principles between parties regarding the sale of goods and the registration of occupations, consistent with the protection of public health and safety, and the environment. Its objective is to eliminate regulatory barriers to the movement of goods and service providers between Australia and New Zealand, promoting trade between the two countries. In developing the TTMRA the parties recognised that in a number of areas, including EMC and radiocommunications, there were different standards and regulatory requirements affecting trade. Special exemptions apply in these areas to allow each country to address the difference and to develop harmonised regulatory arrangements. The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) and the Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand (MED) have responsibility for EMC and RE matters in their respective countries. A joint cooperation program has been operating for some years to progress harmonization of the EMC and radiocommunications regulatory schemes, based on a common suite of standards. The regulatory schemes set performance requirements on electrical and electronic products to control electromagnetic emissions and other parameters, which have potential to interfere with radiocommunications services, or diminish their use. Effective radiocommunications contribute significantly to the operations of industry, commerce, safety-of-life services and the well being of the community at large. Officials participating in the joint cooperation program are listed in Annex 1.
Both Australia and New Zealand mandate EMC and RE standards to protect the public interest in use of the radio spectrum resource. Over a number of years the ACA and the MED advanced a process to develop harmonized schemes which have the following objectives: reduce regulatory barriers to trade; simplify compliance requirements; and lower business compliance costs
Based on these objectives, agreement has been reached on a compliance framework with the following features: harmonized mandatory standards; seamless trans-Tasman supplier registration; recognition of product labelling regardless of whether the product is labelled in Australia or New Zealand; compliance documentation to be held in either Australia or New Zealand; comparable audit and enforcement procedures across the two jurisdictions so that neither nation becomes a favoured market for the initial supply of goods; and comparable penalty provisions for non-compliance.
ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY (EMC)
The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) regulatory schemes in both Australia and New Zealand are now harmonized under the TTMRA. Products subject to the harmonized scheme can now be supplied to both countries without additional regulatory intervention. The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) and the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development (MED) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 7 November 2001 that enunciated agreed principles and processes to ensure continued alignment in EMC regulation. As EMC harmonization has been finalized a special exemption is no longer in place.
The TTMRA harmonization effort moved from EMC to RE in late 2001. The harmonizing of radiocommunications regulatory arrangements is complicated in some areas by historical differences in the use of certain radiofrequency bands, and the need to continually review and revise standards in the light of evolving technology. Nevertheless, areas of common Australia/New Zealand radio frequency usage have been identified and agreement has been reached on implementing regulatory harmonization for ten classes of radio products. This accomplishment in 2002 was a
significant milestone as it set common technical requirements for products, and prescribed common documentary requirements for demonstrating product compliance. The 10 categories of radio products, and associated standards, so far identified for harmonization is: Spread Spectrum Devices UHF Citizen Band Radio Service MF / HF Maritime Mobile Service VHF Maritime Mobile Service Aeronautical Radio Service Emergency Position–Indicating Beacons (EPIRB’s) Satellite Distress Beacons (SDB’s) MF / HF Land Mobile Service VHF Land Mobile Service Radio Paging Service
There are a number of outstanding issues requiring resolution under the current Special Exemption for Radiocommunications. These issues include legislative amendments, adoption of harmonized equipment standards, control of trade in nonharmonized products, and processes for the ongoing maintenance of TTMRA harmonization. 5.1.1 Legislative Amendments The Australian and New Zealand radiocommunications frameworks are being revised to give effect to the agreed harmonization of a number of RE product categories and standards, and compliance regulatory requirements. These are expected to be completed by April 2003. The Australian legislative amendments involve minor changes to subordinate legislation made under sections 162 and 182 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992. The New Zealand legislative amendments involve gazetting revised notices pursuant to regulations made under section 134(1)(g) of the Radiocommunications Act 1989. 5.1.2 Equipment Standards The joint Australian/New Zealand standards development process under the umbrella of Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand is being used to support the TTMRA in regard to RE. As a result of this work, it is expected that the ACA and MED will have adopted a suite of joint standards by the end of 2004. A continuing Special Exemption for RE is required until these processes are finalized. 5.1.3 Coordinating Standards Adoption Processes The issue of coordinating the trans-Tasman standards adoption processes that give legal effect to new standards, is a key requirement for the on-going maintenance of a harmonized framework. It is a feature of technical regulation that from time to time
new standards and amendments to existing standards are produced and product specific regulatory arrangements are dependent on ACA and MED licensing requirements. The possibility of MED contributing to the ACA’s standards development process is under discussion, however, more work is required before this issue is resolved. The prospects are very good for a successful conclusion of this issue by April 2004. 5.1.4 Control of Trade in Non-Harmonized Products Further negotiations are required to arrive at mechanisms to control the trans-Tasman flow of non-harmonized products. Discussions in this area have only recently commenced as efforts to date have concentrated on areas of potential harmony. The resolution of this issue is important for spectrum integrity as non-harmonized equipment may cause interference to radiocommunications and broadcasting in both Australia and New Zealand. It is most unlikely that this issue will be resolved before April 2003. 5.1.5 Trans-Tasman frequency allocation differences The prospects for harmonizing product types and regulatory requirements where significant differences exist in radio spectrum usage between Australia and New Zealand are poor. Work is continuing to define these product types with the intention of seeking Permanent Special Exemptions. 5.1.6 Timetable The timetable for finalization of the Special Exemption, through either harmonization or exemption of RE product classes, is: 6. April 2003 - Legislative Amendments; April 2004 - Control of Trade in Non-Harmonized RE Products; April 2004 – Co-ordination of RE Standards Adoption Processes; and December 2004 – Finalized RE Harmonization and Permanent Exemptions RECOMMENDATION
The Minister for Communications and Information Technology in Australia, and the Minister of Communications in New Zealand, recommend that the Heads of Government: note that the EMC regulatory arrangements in Australia and New Zealand were harmonized on 7 November 2001; and note that radiocommunications regulatory provisions will be harmonized by April 2003; and note that control of trade in non-harmonized products, and co-ordination of standards adoption processes, will be finalized by April 2004; and note that, because of frequency allocation differences, harmonization on some categories of radio equipment will not be possible and will likely need to be the subject of a Permanent Exemption under the TTMRA; and agree to a further special exemption for a period of 12 months from 30 April 2003 to achieve the greatest possible level of Trans-Tasman regulatory harmonization in radiocommunications equipment.
LIST OF PARTICIPATING OFFICIALS
Australian Communications Authority PO Box 78 BELCONNEN ACT 2616 Mr Ian McAlister Manager, Radiocommunications Standards Telephone: +61-2-6219-5451 Facsimile: +61-2-6219-5133 Email: email@example.com Mr Noel Higgins Radiocommunications Standards Telephone: +61-3-9963-6818 Facsimile: +61-3-9963-6970 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mr Peter Cunningham Radiocommunications Standards Telephone: +61-3-9963-6820 Facsimile: +61-3-9963-6970 Email email@example.com
Ministry of Economic Development PO Box 2847 WELLINGTON NZ Mr Wayne Wedderspoon Senior Planning Analyst Radio Spectrum Planning Group Telephone: +64-4-474-2936 Facsimile: +64-4-499-0969 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org