Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Standards/Other as made
This standard replaces the Telecommunications Technical Standard (Information Technology Equipment – Safety, Part 1: General Requirements – AS/NZS 60950.1:2011) 2011, to reflect the latest technical requirements for particular customer equipment.
Administered by: Communications and the Arts
Registered 11 Dec 2018
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR12-Feb-2019
Tabled Senate12-Feb-2019

 

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Approved by the Australian Communications and Media Authority

Telecommunications Act 1997

Telecommunications (Customer Equipment Safety) Technical Standard 2018

Authority

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) has made the Telecommunications (Customer Equipment Safety) Technical Standard 2018 (the new Standard) under subsection 376(1) of the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act) and subsection 33(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (the AIA).

Subsection 376(1) of the Act provides that the ACMA may, by written instrument, make a technical standard relating to specified customer equipment or specified customer cabling.

Subsection 33(3) of the AIA relevantly provides that where an Act confers a power to make a legislative instrument, the power shall be construed as including a power exercisable in the like manner and subject to the like conditions (if any) to repeal, rescind, revoke, amend, or vary any such instrument.

Purpose and operation of the new Standard

Technical standards made under section 376 of the Act are to consist only of such requirements as are necessary or convenient to achieve one or more of the objectives set out in subsection 376(2) of the Act.  These objectives include:

·         protecting the integrity of a telecommunications network or a facility;

·         protecting the health and safety of persons who are reasonably likely to be affected by the operation of a telecommunications network or a facility;

·         ensuring that customer equipment can be used to give access to an emergency call service; and

·         ensuring, for the purposes of the supply of a standard telephone service or other carriage service, the interoperability of customer equipment with a telecommunications network. 

Section 377 of the Act provides that, in making a technical standard under section 376, the ACMA may apply, adopt or incorporate (with or without modification) any matter contained in a standard proposed or approved by Standards Australia or by any other body or association, either as in force or existing at a particular time or as in force or existing from time to time.

The Telecommunications Technical Standard (Information Technology Equipment – Safety, Part 1: General Requirements – AS/NZS 60950.1:2011) 2011 (the 2011 ACMA Standard) adopted an industry standard published by Standards Australia, the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 60950.1:2011 – Information technology equipment – Safety, Part 1: General requirements (the 2011 industry standard), which sets out general safety requirements for information technology related customer equipment.

In 2015, Standards Australia revised the 2011 industry standard and replaced it with the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 60950.1:2015 – Information technology equipment – Safety, Part 1: General requirements (the 2015 industry standard).

In 2018, Standards Australia published a new industry standard, the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 62368.1:2018 – Audio/video, information and communication technology equipment – Part 1: Safety requirements (the 2018 industry standard), to establish minimum safety requirements for the design, construction and operation of electronic equipment within the field of audio, video, information and communication technology, and business and office equipment.  These requirements are intended to ensure the safety of operators and other people who may come into contact with such equipment and, where specifically stated, maintenance and service personnel.

The 2018 industry standard is intended to replace the 2015 industry standard completely four years after 15 February 2018.  During that period, a relevant item of customer equipment may, under the 2018 industry standard, comply with either the 2015 industry standard or the 2018 industry standard. 

The ACMA has made the new Standard to repeal and replace the 2011 ACMA Standard to reflect the latest technical requirements for particular customer equipment.

The new Standard:

·         applies to any item of customer equipment that is designed or intended for connection to a telecommunications network, but only if there are one or more other technical standards that are applicable technical standards (within the meaning of section 8 of the Telecommunications (Labelling Notice for Customer Equipment and Customer Cabling) Instrument 2015 (the Labelling Notice)) in relation to the equipment;

·         adopts the 2015 industry standard and the 2018 industry standard as in force at the times specified in the new Standard;

·         generally requires an item to comply with an adopted industry standard, in relation to the item, as in force at one of the times specified for the item;

·         provides an ACMA transition period[1] for the replacement of the 2015 industry standard,[2] as well as an ACMA transition period for any amendment or a replacement of the 2018 industry standard;[3] and

·         includes savings and transitional arrangements for items manufactured, imported or modified before the commencement of the new Standard and other related items.

A provision-by-provision description of the new Standard is set out in the notes at Attachment A.

The new Standard is a disallowable legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003 (the LA).  

Documents incorporated by reference

The new Standard incorporates the following Acts, legislative instruments and other documents by reference, or otherwise refers to them:

·         the Act;

·         the AIA;

·         the LA;

·         the 2011 ACMA Standard;

·         the Labelling Notice;

·         the 2011 industry standard;

·         the 2015 industry standard;  

·         the 2018 industry standard.

The Acts referred to above are incorporated as in force from time to time, in accordance with section 10 of the AIA and subsection 13(1) of the LA.  The 2011 ACMA Standard is incorporated as in force immediately before the commencement of the new Standard and the Labelling Notice is incorporated as in force from time to time, in accordance with section 589 of the Act and subsection 14(1) of the LA.  All Commonwealth Acts and legislative instruments are registered on the Federal Register of Legislation (http://www.legislation.gov.au).

The new Standard only refers to the 2011 industry standard in the context of its being an industry standard which was adopted by the 2011 ACMA Standard and later replaced.   

The 2015 industry standard and the 2018 industry standard are incorporated as in force at the times specified in the new Standard, in accordance with sections 377 and 589 of the Act. (Those times include when an item is manufactured or modified in Australia or imported, and immediately before or at the commencement of an ACMA transition period.)  Copies of the industry standards could, at the time of making the new Standard, be obtained for a fee from SAI Global Pty Limited’s website (https://infostore.saiglobal.com) or may be viewed at an office of the ACMA on request and subject to licensing conditions.

Consultation

Before the new Standard was made, the ACMA was satisfied that consultation was undertaken to the extent appropriate and reasonably practicable, in accordance with section 17 of the LA. 

Subsection 378(1) of the Act requires that, before making a technical standard under section 376, the ACMA must, so far as is practicable, try to ensure that interested persons have had an adequate opportunity to make representations about the proposed standard and that due consideration has been given to any representations made.  Subsection 378(5) of the Act provides that interested persons are not taken to have had an adequate opportunity unless there was a consultation period of at least 60 days.

The ACMA consulted with industry stakeholders and the general public during the period 29 June 2018 to 2 September 2018 on a proposal to make the new Standard, another technical standard, and consequential and other amendments to the Labelling Notice.  Drafts of the technical standards, a marked-up version of the proposed amendments to the Labelling Notice and explanatory information, together with an invitation to comment, were published on the ACMA’s website.  Interested parties were also notified of the consultation process and invited to comment.

The ACMA received one submission in response to the consultation.  There were no specific comments in relation to the proposal to make the new Standard.  The submission sought clarification of the ACMA’s general approach to incorporating industry standards.[4]  A detailed response was provided to the person who made the submission.

Regulatory impact assessment

A preliminary assessment of the proposal to make the new Standard was conducted by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR), based on information provided by the ACMA, for the purposes of determining whether a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) would be required.  OBPR advised that a RIS would not be required because the new Standard was expected to have a minor and machinery regulatory impact on businesses, community organisations or individuals (OBPR reference number 23591).

Statement of compatibility with human rights

Subsection 9(1) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 requires the rule-maker in relation to a legislative instrument to which section 42 (disallowance) of the LA applies to cause a statement of compatibility with human rights to be prepared in respect of that legislative instrument. 

The statement of compatibility set out below has been prepared to meet that requirement.

Overview of the new Standard

As noted above, the new Standard repeals and replaces the 2011 ACMA Standard and adopts the 2015 industry standard and 2018 industry standard to reflect the latest technical requirements for particular customer equipment.

The new Standard applies to any item of customer equipment that is designed or intended for connection to a telecommunications network, but only if there are one or more other technical standards that are applicable technical standards (within the meaning of section 8 of the Labelling Notice) in relation to the equipment.

The new Standard generally requires an item to comply with an adopted industry standard, in relation to the item, as in force at one of the times specified for the item.

Where a technical standard is an applicable technical standard in relation to an item, the item must be labelled before it is supplied to the Australian market indicating whether the item meets the requirement of the technical standard.  The item cannot be connected to a telecommunications network or a facility unless the item complies with each applicable technical standard in relation to the item.

Human rights implications

The ACMA has assessed whether the new Standard is compatible with human rights, being the rights and freedoms recognised or declared by the international instruments listed in subsection 3(1) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 as they apply to Australia.

Having considered the likely impact of the new Standard and the nature of the applicable rights and freedoms, the ACMA has formed the view that the new Standard does not engage any of those rights or freedoms.

Conclusion

The new Standard is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.


                                                                  

Attachment A

Notes to the Telecommunications (Customer Equipment Safety) Technical Standard 2018

Part 1–Preliminary

Section 1         Name

This section provides for the new Standard to be cited as the Telecommunications (Customer Equipment Safety) Technical Standard 2018.  

This section also provides that the new Standard may also be cited as the Customer Equipment Safety Standard 2018.

Section 2         Commencement

This section provides for the new Standard to commence at the start of the day after it is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. 

The Federal Register of Legislation may be accessed at www.legislation.gov.au.

Section 3         Authority

This section identifies the provision of the Act that authorises the making of the new Standard, namely subsection 376(1) of the Act.

Section 4         Repeal of the Telecommunications Technical Standard (Information Technology Equipment – Safety, Part 1: General Requirements – AS/NZS 60950.1:2011) 2011

This section repeals the Telecommunications Technical Standard (Information Technology Equipment – Safety, Part 1: General Requirements – AS/NZS 60950.1:2011) 2011 (F2011L00684).

Section 5         Background

Subsection 5(1) provides that the new Standard applies to particular customer equipment (referred to as an “item”), as provided by section 12.

Subsection 5(2) provides, in accordance with subsection 376(2) of the Act, that the new Standard only consists of such requirements as are necessary or convenient for:

·         protecting the integrity of a telecommunications network or a facility;

·         protecting the health or safety of persons who:

§  operate;

§  work on;

§  use services supplied by means of; or

§  are otherwise reasonably likely to be affected by the operation of;

a telecommunications network or a facility;

·         ensuring that customer equipment can be used to give access to an emergency call service; and

·         ensuring, for the purposes of the supply of a standard telephone service, the interoperability of customer equipment with a telecommunications network to which the equipment is, or is proposed to be, connected.

Part 2–Interpretation

Section 6         Definitions

This section defines a number of key terms used throughout the new Standard. 

A number of other expressions used in the new Standard are defined in the Act (see the note at the end of this section).

Section 7         References to other legislative instruments

This section provides that in the new Standard, unless the contrary intention appears, a reference to any other legislative instrument is a reference to that other legislative instrument as in force from time to time.

Section 8         ACMA transition period

This section defines the term “ACMA transition period”. 

There is an ACMA transition period for the replacement of the 2015 industry standard, which is the period commencing on the day the new Standard commences and ending on 15 February 2022. 

There is also an ACMA transition period if the 2018 industry standard is amended or replaced.  In that event, the ACMA transition period is:

·         in a case where industry has determined a transition period for the amendment or replacement of the 2018 industry standard (see the notes to section 9) – a period that is the same as the transition period so determined; or

·         in any other case – a period of two years commencing on the day the 2018 industry standard is amended or replaced.

The intent of this section is to ensure that a manufacturer or importer of an item is allowed sufficient time to comply with any applicable requirements of the new Standard which may be affected by an amendment or replacement of an adopted industry standard, and that the time allowed is consistent with any transition period determined by industry in that regard.

Section 9         Industry transition period

This section defines the term “industry transition period”. 

There is an industry transition period for an amendment or a replacement of the 2018 industry standard if:

·         industry has determined, in the instrument that amends or replaces the industry standard, arrangements to deal with any issues of a transitional nature that may arise as a result of the amendment or replacement of the industry standard;

·         the arrangements are for a specified period commencing on the day the industry standard is amended or replaced (the specified period); and

·         the arrangements have the effect of allowing a relevant item to comply with:

§  the industry standard as in force immediately before the commencement of the specified period; or

§  the industry standard, or the replacement standard, as in force at the commencement of the specified period.

In such a case, the industry transition period is the specified period (see the notes to section 8).

For the purposes of this section, a “relevant item” is an item that is manufactured or modified in Australia, or imported, during the specified period.

Section 10       Class of items

This section deals with the following concepts:

·         when an item is “included in a class of items”;

·         when an item is an “original item” in relation to a class of items;

·         when a modified item is “included in a class of items”;

·         when an item is an “original modified item” in relation to a class of items.

These matters are significant in determining whether an item is compliant with the requirements of the new Standard.  If an original item of a class of items is compliant with the requirements of the new Standard, all other items of the class will be treated as compliant with those requirements (irrespective of when the items were manufactured or imported or whether their compliance relates to an adopted industry standard that has since been amended or replaced).

Under paragraph 10(1)(a), an item (other than a modified item) is “included in a class of items” if the item is identical to each other item of the class (irrespective of when the items were manufactured or imported) and has the same manufacturer or importer as each other item.  Under paragraph 10(1)(b), the “original item”, in relation to the class, is the item of the class that was the first to be manufactured in Australia or imported.

Under paragraph 10(2)(a), a modified item is “included in a class of items” if the modification which resulted in that item is identical to the modification which resulted in each other item of the class (irrespective of when the items were so modified); the modified item is, in all other respects, identical to each other item (irrespective of when the items were manufactured or imported); and the modified item has the same manufacturer or importer as each other item.  Under paragraph 10(2)(b), the “original modified item”, in relation to the class, is the item of the class that was the first to be so modified in Australia or imported.

Section 11       Time a modified item is made

This section provides that a reference to “the time a modified item is made” is a reference to the time of making of the modification which results in that item. 

This section makes it clear that the appropriate time for determining the applicable requirements of the new Standard for a modified item is not when the item was originally manufactured in its unmodified form, but when it was subsequently modified.

Part 3–Application and requirements

Section 12       Application of this technical standard

This section specifies the customer equipment to which the new Standard applies.

The new Standard applies to customer equipment that is designed or intended for connection to a telecommunications network, but only if there are one or more other technical standards that are applicable technical standards in relation to the equipment.

See section 8 of, and the table in Schedule 1 to, the Labelling Notice to find out whether there are any other technical standards that are applicable technical standards in relation to the equipment.

Section 13       Requirements

This section specifies the requirements which items must meet in order to comply with the new Standard.

Subsection 13(1) provides that an item (other than a modified item) must meet the requirements of at least one subsection of section 14.

Subsection 13(2) provides that a modified item must meet the requirements of at least one subsection of section 15.

Subsection 13(3) provides that neither subsection 13(1) or (2) applies to an item if, under section 16 (the savings and transitional arrangements), the item is taken to comply with the new Standard.

Section 14       Standard for items (other than modified items)

This section specifies the requirements which items (other than modified items) must meet in order to comply with the new Standard.  (As noted above, items are not required to meet these requirements if, under section 16, they are taken to comply with the new Standard.)

An item is only required to meet the requirements of one of the subsections.  The subsections cover the different cases in which an item may be manufactured in Australia or imported.  Those cases include:

·         where the item is manufactured in Australia or imported at a time an adopted industry standard is in force;

·         where the item is manufactured in Australia or imported during or after an ACMA transition period for an amendment or a replacement of an adopted industry standard; and

·         where the item is included in a class of items.

Each subsection requires an item to comply with an adopted industry standard, referred to in that subsection, which is incorporated as in force at a time that is appropriate for the item in the circumstances of the case.  This recognises that, over time, an adopted industry standard may be amended or replaced and ensures that a manufacturer or importer of an item is allowed sufficient time to transition to any amended adopted industry standard or a replacement standard. 

Subsection 14(1) deals with a case where an item is manufactured in Australia or imported during an ACMA transition period for the replacement of the 2015 industry standard.  In that case, the item meets the requirements of the subsection if the item complies with either:

·         the 2015 industry standard as in force immediately before the commencement of the transition period; or

·         the 2018 industry standard as in force at the commencement of the transition period.

Under subsection 14(2), an item meets the requirements of the subsection if the item complies with the 2018 industry standard as in force at the time the item is manufactured in Australia or imported.

Subsection 14(3) deals with a case where an item is manufactured in Australia or imported during an ACMA transition period for an amendment or a replacement of the 2018 industry standard.  In that case, the item meets the requirements of the subsection if the item complies with either:

·         the 2018 industry standard as in force immediately before the commencement of the transition period; or

·         the 2018 industry standard, or a replacement standard, as in force at the commencement of the transition period.

This recognises that changes to an adopted industry standard may occur at a time disadvantageous to a manufacturer or importer of an item (where, for example, development and testing of the item has been predicated on an adopted industry standard as in force before any amendment or a replacement of the adopted industry standard).

Subsection 14(4) deals with a case where there are overlapping ACMA transition periods in relation to the 2018 industry standard and an item is manufactured in Australia or imported during the period of overlap.  (An overlap could occur if the 2018 industry standard is amended or replaced during an ACMA transition period for an earlier amendment of the 2018 industry standard.)  In that case, the item meets the requirements of the subsection if the item complies with any of the following:

·         the 2018 industry standard as in force immediately before the commencement of the earliest of those transition periods;

·         the 2018 industry standard as in force at the commencement of any one of those transition periods;

·         a replacement standard as in force at the commencement of the transition period for that replacement of the 2018 industry standard.

Subsection 14(5) deals with a case where an item is manufactured in Australia or imported after an ACMA transition period for the replacement of the 2018 industry standard.  In that case, the item meets the requirements of the subsection if the item complies with the replacement standard as in force at the commencement of the transition period.

Subsection 14(6) deals with a case where an item is included in a class of items.  In that case, the item meets the requirements of the subsection if the original item of the class meets the requirements of another subsection of section 14.  The subsection ensures that if an original item of a class of items is compliant with those requirements, all other items of the class will also be treated as compliant with the requirements (irrespective of when the items were manufactured or imported or whether their compliance relates to an adopted industry standard that has since been amended or replaced).

Section 15       Standard for modified items

This section specifies the requirements which modified items must meet in order to comply with the new Standard.  (As noted above, items are not required to meet these requirements if, under section 16, they are taken to comply with the new Standard.)

This section operates in a very similar way to section 14.  Set out below are the key differences. 

The requirements under section 15 refer to the time a modified item is made in Australia (see section 11) or imported, whereas the requirements under section 14 refer to the time an item is manufactured in Australia or imported.

Subsection 15(7) deals with a case where a modified item would have been included in a class of items but for the making of the modification which resulted in that item.  In that case, the item meets the requirements of the subsection if:

·         the original item, or (in the case of a class of modified items) the original modified item of the class:

§  complies with the 2015 industry standard, the 2018 industry standard, or a replacement standard, as in force at a particular time mentioned in another subsection of section 15; and

§  otherwise meets the requirements of that subsection; and

·         the modification is not material.

Subsection 15(8) provides that a modification is “material” if the modification could reasonably be expected to affect whether the modified item complies with the same standard with which the original item, or original modified item, of the class complies.


 

Part 4–Savings and transitional arrangements

Section 16       Items manufactured, imported or modified before commencement and other related items

This section provides savings and transitional arrangements for items manufactured, imported or modified before the commencement of the new Standard and other related items. 

These arrangements cover items that had to comply with the 2011 ACMA Standard immediately before its repeal and, if any of those items is an original item or original modified item of a class of items, the other items of the class.  

Subsection 16(1) defines the key terms used in this section.

The terms include:

·          “Australian/New Zealand Standard” which has the same meaning as in the 2011 ACMA Standard; and

·         “old technical standard” which is defined to mean the 2011 ACMA Standard as in force immediately before the commencement of the new Standard.

The Australian/New Zealand Standard is the industry standard that was adopted by the 2011 ACMA Standard, that is the 2011 industry standard.  That industry standard was replaced by the 2015 industry standard.  Under the 2011 ACMA Standard, there was a transition period of one year for the replacement of the 2011 industry standard, which ended before the commencement of the new Standard.

Under subsection 16(2), an item (other than a modified item) is taken to comply with the new Standard if the item was manufactured in Australia or imported before the commencement of the new Standard and the item complies with the old technical standard.

Under subsection 16(3), an item (other than a modified item) is taken to comply with the new Standard if the item:

·         was manufactured in Australia or imported one year or more after the replacement of the Australian/New Zealand Standard but before the commencement of the new Standard; and

·         complies with the 2015 industry standard as in force at the time the item was manufactured in Australia or imported.

This ensures that, even though the old standard did not adopt the 2015 industry standard as in force at the time the item was manufactured in Australia or imported, the item is still taken to be compliant with the new Standard.

Under subsection 16(4), an item (other than a modified item) is taken to comply with the new Standard if:

·         the item is included in a class of items;

·         the original item of the class was manufactured in Australia or imported before the commencement of the new Standard; and

·         under subsection 16(2) or (3), the original item is taken to comply with the new Standard.

This ensures that if, under these savings and transitional arrangements, an original item of the class is taken to comply with the new Standard, all other items of the class will also be taken to comply with the new Standard (irrespective of when the items were manufactured or imported or whether their compliance relates to an adopted industry standard that has since been amended or replaced).

Subsections 16(5) to (7) apply in relation to modified items and operate in a very similar way to subsections 16(2) to (4).  The key difference is that subsections 16(5) to (7) refer to the time a modified item is made in Australia (see section 11) or imported, whereas subsections 16(2) to (4) refer to the time an item is manufactured in Australia or imported.



[1]  During an ACMA transition period, certain items may meet the requirements of the new Standard by complying with the adopted industry standard as in force immediately before the commencement of the transition period or the adopted industry standard (or a replacement standard) as in force at the commencement of the transition period.

[2]  The ACMA transition period for the replacement of the 2015 industry standard commences on the day the new Standard commences and ends on 15 February 2022.

[3]  An ACMA transition period for any amendment or a replacement of the 2018 industry standard is the same as any transition period determined by industry for that amendment or replacement or a period of two years commencing on the day the industry standard is amended or replaced.

[4] The ACMA’s general approach, in making a technical standard, is to incorporate an industry standard as in force at the time the technical standard is made and to incorporate any amendments to or a single replacement of the industry standard.  If a replacement standard is made, the ACMA conducts a review of that new industry standard to ensure that it will continue to supply appropriate policy and regulatory outcomes.  If the ACMA is satisfied of such matters, it remakes the technical standard which incorporates the new industry standard as in force at the time the technical standard is remade and incorporates any amendments to or a single replacement of that industry standard.