US – FCC Draft Report & Order Updating the Equipment Authorization Rules

united_states_of_americaThe FCC is intending to update the equipment authorization rules as published in its draft R&O (ET Docket 15-170).

The Commission’s Equipment Authorization (EA) program ensures that radiofrequency (RF) devices, everything from smartphones and tablets to cellular base stations to car door openers and anti-theft tags, comply with our technical requirements before they are imported, marketed or operated within the United States.

This First Report and Order would reduce the burden associated with certain equipment authorization rules, provide flexibility to use electronic labelling, and eliminate the requirement to file a form with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for RF devices imported into the United States.

What the First Report and Order Would Do:

  • Streamline the Self-Approval Process. The Commission currently requires manufacturers to self-approve certain devices under one of two processes. The Order would combine those processes into one, called
    the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity. This will both simplify and reduce burdens associated with the
    equipment authorization process.
  • Allow Electronic Labeling. The Commission would provide for the use of electronic labeling for the
    information required under our rules to be displayed on products or otherwise provided with products,
    such as the FCC identification number and compliance statement. Doing so codifies many of the
    Commission’s existing practices and satisfies specific legislative requirements. The use of electronic
    labelling rather than permanent physical labels reduces costs for manufacturers.
  • Ease Burdensome Importation Requirements. The Order would eliminate the requirement to file the
    import declaration for RF devices brought into the United States with CBP. This requirement has become
    increasingly outdated and burdensome in light of current importation and marketing practices, the
    information otherwise collected by CBP itself, and the wealth of information available online. The Order
    would also modify Commission rules to clarify the compliance requirements related to imported devices
    and to provide additional flexibility in certain cases.
  • Update Measurement Procedures and Clarify Standards. The Order would revise Commission
    measurement procedures to streamline and consolidate requirements for devices used in different
    services. This will increase our agility to respond to changes in technology and in industry standards, and
    enhance the general understanding of Commission measurement requirements.