Trust & Safety Blog

Responsibilities for listing radiocommunications devices

To minimise the risk of interference to the radio spectrum that disrupts other users, all electrical, electronic and radio products on sale or in use in New Zealand must comply with Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) standards.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) unit oversees the regulatory compliance framework provided for by the Radiocommunications Act 1989 and its associated Regulations.

They have developed an online guide to assist with identifying that devices meet the EMC.

All electrical, electronic and radio products items listed on Trade Me must meet these standards.

There are several areas where particular attention should be paid to when listing radiocommunications devices on the site:

Dog-tracking devices

Some dog-tracking devices are illegal to sell or operate in New Zealand because they operate on the same radio frequencies as equipment frequently used by people travelling and working in rural areas.

Devices subject to the Radiocommunications Regulations (Prohibited Equipment – Dog Tracking Devices) Notice 2014 are not able to be listed on the site.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following makes and models operating within these frequencies:

  • Garmin Astro 220 system
  • Garmin Astro 320 system
  • Garmin DC 20 collar
  • Garmin DC 30 collar
  • Garmin DC 40 collar
  • SportDOG TEK equipment

This includes parts associated with these devices such as collars and aerials.

RSM can be contacted to discuss dog tracking collars and other prohibited equipment on free phone 0508 RSM INFO (0508 776 463) or by email at info@rsm.govt.nz.

Radio jamming equipment 

A radio jammer is an electronic device that deliberately disrupts or jams reception of radio signals including cell phones and GPS units.

RSM notes that it is illegal to import, manufacture, sell or use a radio jammer in New Zealand except with a licence issued by MBIE. Accordingly, radio jammers are not able to be listed on the site.

View the Radiocommunications Regulations (Prohibited Equipment – Radio Jammer Equipment) Notice 2011.

Amateur only radio transmitters

Radio equipment capable of transmitting on aeronautical, maritime, landmobile or CB/PRS channels - but not meeting the required performance standards for licensing in those services or having the required documentation and labelling - may only be sold to qualified amateur radio operators and used on amateur frequencies.

Listings of this equipment must not suggest that it can be used for purposes other than amateur radio communication and must advise that purchasers will need to provide proof of their amateur qualification.

We ask that the following text be placed in the listing body:

This unit may only be sold to qualified amateur radio operators and used on amateur frequencies. The purchaser will need to provide proof of their amateur qualification.

Low power FM broadcasting transmitters

Radiocommunication transmitters intended for local-area broadcasting and known as low power FM broadcasting short range devices (LPFM) can only operate under a General User Radio Licence.

Information on Low Power FM Broadcasting is contained in the Low Power FM Broadcasting Short Range Devices Notice 2010.

The notice requires that all persons must ensure that they operate in accordance with the terms, conditions and restrictions of the LPFM notice, which are explained in greater detail in the LPFM Additional Information PDF.

The Radio Standards Notice  prescribes unwanted emission limits for LPFM transmitters.

This area can be quite complicated and we do not want people buying FM transmitters that must be individually licensed and using them inappropriately for low powered FM broadcasting.

We require listings offering devices not complying with LPFM requirements to include the following text:

“The purchaser of this equipment must have obtained a licence for FM Broadcasting from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and should ensure that the equipment is suitable for the required transmitter specifications.”

This will assist with making sure LPFM are used correctly.

Walkie Talkies /  CB Radios

Walkie Talkies and CB radios are also subject to rules. Check out this post by RSM for full info about which frequencies walkie talkies can be used on.

Personal Radio Service (PRS)

From 1 December 2012, the sale of “new” of PRS radio equipment operating in the band 476.4MHz to 477.425MHz is limited to equipment that complies with AS/NZS 4365:2011. 

If you have any questions about these issues, feel free to contact Radio Spectrum Management. Trade Me's experience with them is they are focussed on helping people meet the regulatory requirements.

First Person View (FPV) transmitters (5.8GHz)

These transmitters are used to transmit live video from a remote controlled platform, commonly drones. Most of these devices cannot comply with NZ licence condition so members who list these need to be particularly vigilant about compliance. 

Devices that are capable of transmitting outside of the frequency range or conditions stipulated in the 5GHz band of the Short Range Devices (SRD) General User Licence (GUL) present an unacceptable risk to Commercial operations

The SRD GUL for this band can be viewed here.

The usual product compliance requirements apply for all transmitters; please see the various Radiocommunications Notices.

Civil Aviation Authority requirements for drones can be found here. 

Land Mobile radiotelephone

In 2010 New Zealand started a change to more efficient radiotelephones in the land mobile bands.

Users of 25kHz channel analogue radiotelephone equipment are required to move to 12.5kHz channels, providing much more frequency space for additional users.

From  1 November 2015 licensees  need to cease using 25kHz channel equipment, which will not be acceptable from that date.

It is likely that a large amount of 25kHz equipment removed from service may be offered for sale on TradeMe, possibly without warning that it is not suitable for further use.

If you are uncertain if radiotelephone equipment being offered is suitable for licensing you should question the seller or contact RSM at 0508 776463.

It is an offence to sell non-approved radio apparatus. 

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