OverSeas Suppliers (OSS)
A Guide To Compliance Arrangements For Overseas Manufactures
Australian Compliance Responsibility
Australian legislation and regulations concerning the supply of any electrical
or electronic product supplied in Australia, place the responsibility for
product compliance with the Australian manufacturer or importer or their
The legislation and regulations do not
permit overseas manufacturers or suppliers who do not have a local Australian
office to assume compliance responsibility for their products being supplied in
Authorisation To Use Compliance Marks
Only Australian organisations may apply for and be registered to use the C-Tick
mark (EMC and Radio) or the A-Tick mark (Telecommunications) and although an EMC
Declaration of Conformity (DoC) may, in some instances, be signed overseas, only
an Australian resident may sign a DoC for a telecommunications device.
Then May Overseas Suppliers Access The Australian Market?
Where an overseas manufacturer or supplier does not have a local office in
Australia, or it is not appropriate or desired that the local office assume
compliance responsibility, each and every Australian importer of the
overseas manufacturer’s or supplier’s product must assume compliance
responsibility for the product they import, and before supplying that product,
the importer must:
Obtain product information
and test reports from the overseas manufacturer or supplier;
Confirm the product
establish a product
Compliance Folder (CF);
sign a DoC; and
authorize in writing the
overseas manufacturer or supplier to label the product with the importers
unique C-Tick or A-Tick label that includes the importers ACMA Supplier Code.
Negatives Of This Regulatory Approach
- The overseas manufacturer or supplier is potentially faced with
interacting with several importers in relation to compliance of their
products and providing each and every importer with identical information so
each and every importer can establish their own product CF. This arrangement
is obviously rather complicated, cumbersome and resource intensive for the
overseas manufacturer or supplier plus adds unnecessary duplication of
- Presents unnecessary obstacles for the importer and therefore makes the
products less attractive from a business point of view (unnecessary
additional resources required and associated costs) because:
- an importer typically would not have the expertise in-house to deal
with product regulatory compliance issues;
- importer needs resources to deal with the compliance issues;
- imposes additional costs on their operations (preparation of CF, back
and forth communications to sort out compliance issues, maintaining an
ACMA Supplier Code of their own etc – all of which must obviously be
passed on via the product sale price.
- The overseas manufacturer or supplier must uniquely label product for each
Australian importer of their product because each importer will have their
own unique ACMA Supplier Code to be used in association with the relevant
compliance mark (i.e. the C-Tick or A-Tick).
Appointment Of An “Agent”
Australian legislation provides for an Australian manufacturer or importer to
appoint an “Agent” by way of a written and signed “Agent Agreement”
between that manufacturer or importer and the “Agent”.
See the ACMA web page http://www.acma.gov.au/ACMAINTER.2097262:STANDARD:1826438300:pc=PC_2067
for further information.
This “Agent Agreement” can appoint to the Agent any degree of compliance
responsibility (i.e. just advise on certain issues or complete responsibility
for product CF and the signing of DoCs etc) for any or all products the local
manufacture or importer may supply to the market.
This agreement may also include provision for the use of the
“Agent’s” own ACMA Supplier Code. This
means the importer is not required to use their own ACMA Supplier Code or apply
to be registered to use the C-Tick or A-Tick compliance mark if they have not
done so already. There is
considerable advantage for the overseas manufacturer or supplier in this
arrangement (explained in more detail below).
NOTE: Where an overseas
manufacturer or supplier has a local office in Australia but that local office
is not the importer of their product (i.e. product is imported directly by
distributors or various importers) the local office could, if desired, enter
into “Agent” agreements with each importer of their product.
How Does The Appointment Of An “Agent” Assist
Overseas Suppliers And Their Importers?
Many overseas manufacturers or suppliers:
|Do not have a local Australian office or a local representative who is
the importer; or|
|Does have a local office or a local representatives but they are not the
importer or do not have the resources or expertise to deal with compliance.|
Considering the regulatory requirements in Australia are such that the
importer or their appointed Agent must be responsible for compliance, an arrangement which assists both overseas manufacturers or suppliers and
Australian importers is one where the
overseas manufacturer or supplier establishes an agreement with Stanimore to:
|be the overseas manufacturer's or supplier's product compliance
representative in Australia (i.e. ensure the products comply with Australian
requirements, build and maintain product Compliance Folders and sign product
compliance Declarations of Conformity etc); and|
|offer Agent services to their importers.|
This type of arrangement also overcomes the
negatives detailed above where each and every importer is required to separately
undertake compliance responsibility for the product they import.
Such an arrangement would involve:
the overseas manufacturer or supplier entering
into a business agreement ("Head Contract")
concerning Australian product compliance Stanimore; and
Importers of the overseas manufacturer’s or
supplier’s product appointing Stanimore as their “Agent”
(by way of signed “Agent Agreement”) in terms of regulatory compliance
for those product
imported from that specific overseas manufacturer or supplier (this is the
only type of Agent agreement recognised under the regulations).
Stanimore’s ”Agency For Equipment
Compliance Arrangements In Australia” agreement (i.e. the business
agreement or "Head Contract") provides for Stanimore acting as the single focal point for
Australian product compliance for an overseas manufacturer or supplier,
effectively acting as the overseas manufacturer’s or supplier’s local office
and representative in terms of product compliance.
Stanimore’s “Australian Importer
Agency For Equipment Compliance Arrangements In Australia”
(i.e. the “Agent Agreement) appoints Stanimore as the importer’s “Agent” in terms
of the importer’s product compliance obligations with respect to products they
import from the particular overseas manufacturer or supplier and specifically
identifies the existence of an independent but related agreement (“Head
Contract”) between that overseas manufacturer or supplier and Stanimore.
Where an overseas manufacturer or supplier enters
into an ”Agency For Equipment Compliance Arrangements In Australia”
agreement with Stanimore and their importers appoint Stanimore as their Agent, the following benefits can be realised:
The advantages of a single point of contact
concerning all Australian product compliance requirements;
Only one set of product information and
documentation etc need be provided for each product;
Importers are relieved of the burden of
product compliance responsibilities with respect to that overseas
manufacturer’s or supplier’s product;
Importers are also relieved of any cost
associated with product compliance as it is the overseas manufacturer or
supplier who is paying (by way of the Stanimore business agreement) for
Stanimore’s time and services in relation to acting as “Agent” to the
importers rather than the importers paying for Stanimore’s services; and
Possibly the greatest benefit of all is that
the overseas manufacturer or supplier will have only one compliance label to
apply across their product range being supplied in Australia (C-Tick or
A-Tick compliance mark with Stanimore’s ACMA Supplier Code) instead of
unique labelling requirements for each importer of their product.
one “Agent Agreement” need be entered into with each importer.
Each Stanimore “Agent Agreement” with any importer includes a listing
of product covered under that agreement ("Equipment Schedule A"). The
agreement product listing can be easily amended to include new or additional
product (including product variations and modifications etc) as and when
required without requiring a new agreement.
Why Shouldn't One Of The
Importers Be An Agent For All The Other Importers?
Stanimore has no competitive bias in terms of who the importers are.
It is preferable from an overseas manufacturer
or supplier point of view to form a relationship with an
independent organisation such as Stanimore
who specialise in providing compliance advice and Agent services rather than an
importer (including distributors). This is
Stanimore are professional and experienced
compliance experts and therefore will be able to advise quickly and clearly what is required
for each product and establish compliance with a minimum of interaction with the overseas
manufacturer or supplier;
importers are not experts in compliance and
therefore are generally likely to require much greater interaction with the overseas
manufacturer or supplier in order to come to terms with what they believe
they need to do for compliance; and
an importer/distributor has a vested interest
in only undertaking activities that assist them in their business rather
than being involved in activities which provide their competition with access to the same
product. As such, they most likely would not be motivated or generally
willing to assume compliance responsibility for product imported by other
importers by providing those competitors with Agent services.
Scope of Stanimore’s
Stanimore provides “Agent” services concerning Australian product regulatory
compliance of electrical or electronic devices in relation to:
EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility);
EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation – effects on
the human body);
Telecommunications (any equipment with
capability to connect to a public telecommunications network)
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