ACMA Warn of Cheap Walkie Talkie Non-Compliance

ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority are warning importers, retailers and consumers to beware of cheap 2-way radios from overseas.

This commonly used and popular product is easily bought online, but a recent spate of problems has triggered this warning from the authority.

A person holds a walkie talkie inside a blurred room

Reserved frequency breaches

The issue stems from the pre-programmed frequencies that the radios are supplied with. Users in Australia are not allowed to operate on certain frequencies which are permanently reserved for emergency and other critical services.

Before an Australian supplier can sell a walkie talkie, the device must meet:

  • technical performance standards
  • labelling and record keeping requirements in the Radiocommunications Equipment (General) Rules 2021 and Radiocommunications (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Standard 2017).

Compliant devices should be labelled with the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM).

ACMA states that the penalties for using or supplying a non-compliant 2-way radio device are serious. You could receive fines of over $400,000 and possibly up to 2 years in prison.

If you are in any doubt about the compliance with Australian standards of any device you may be importing or manufacturing, please seek expert advice.

This communication (including any attachment) has been prepared by BWES and is based on the available information at the time of publication and is believed to be true and accurate. The information contained in this communication should be used as a guide only and may cease to apply if applicable regulation or the product’s design or application is altered. BWES does not take responsibility for any Injury, Loss for damage suffered by any party’s interpretation or decisions made by any party on the information provided in this communication.