What is Type Approval?
Type Approval or Certificate of Conformity is granted to a product that meets a minimum set of regulatory, technical and safety requirements. Generally, type approval is required before a product is allowed to be sold in a particular country, so the requirements for a given product will vary around the world
The use of non-standard radiocommunications equipment including, but not limited to, cordless phones, land mobile transceivers, CB radios and a range of low power appliances, may cause costly interference. Some of the services which may be affected by interference are cellular (mobile) phone services, broadcast radio and television, and two-way radio services, including emergency services.
The use and (sometimes) possession of radiocommunications equipment not specifically designed to comply with Australian standards may be illegal. There are severe penalties for operation, possession for the purpose of operation and supply of radiocommunications equipment that does not comply with applicable Australian standards.
It is illegal to operate any radio transmitter in Australia unless the operation of that transmitter is authorised by a licence issued by the ACMA.
Low power transmitters are generally covered by an ACMA radiocommunications class licence. Spectrum usage and equipment standards vary around the world, and it can be difficult to ensure that equipment purchased overseas complies with an ACMA class licence. The operation of most base stations, mobile and handheld transmitters can only be authorised by an apparatus licence, which incurs additional costs.
Two-way base, mobile and handheld equipment other than those used in the amateur service usually requires the assignment of individual operating frequencies. It is most unlikely that this type of equipment, which may be authorised for use in other countries, could be authorised for use in Australia without at least requiring a frequency change, and in many instances cannot be operated at all. As a result, it is generally impractical to bring such equipment into Australia.
As the Australian market for radiocommunications equipment is relatively small compared to the European, US and Asian markets, all of which have different equipment standards and frequency usage regimes, it is not surprising that the vast majority of equipment for sale overseas is unsuitable for use in Australia. The process for having a single piece of radiocommunications equipment tested for compliance to Australian standards is expensive and impractical.
Radiocommunications equipment approved for use in Australia has the C-Tick compliance mark, showing that it meets mandatory technical standards set by the ACMA.
If radiocommunications equipment is designed to connect to a telecommunications network it must also comply with regulations applicable to telecommunications equipment and be labelled with the A-Tick compliance mark. It is not necessary for such equipment to also bear the C-Tick mark. For such equipment, the A-Tick mark is sufficient indication that the equipment complies with both radiocommunications and telecommunications regulations.
Amateur radio operators
Amateur radio operators visiting Australia may operate an amateur station during their stay providing that they first obtain an appropriate Australian amateur licence. Certain overseas qualifications/licences are recognised for the purpose of issuing an Australian amateur licence. These arrangements reflect reciprocal licensing agreements with other countries and recognition on an individual basis of certain other qualifications.
Visiting overseas amateurs will be allocated an Australian amateur callsign usually associated with the Australian State/Territory in which the licence is obtained. The ACMA permits visiting amateurs to use their home station callsign during voice announcements. This is conditional on the visiting amateur using his or her Australian-allocated callsign as well.