US – FCC makes changes to the authorization procedures for radio devices

The FCC has published Report and Order 17-93 that makes changes to the authorization procedures for most radio devices. According to the FCC press release:



WASHINGTON, July 13, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission today streamlined and modernized the authorization requirements for most radiofrequency devices, such as cell phones or TV receivers, that are imported, marketed, or operated within the United States. This decision continues the FCC’s ongoing efforts to provide greater flexibility and reduce the burdens associated with certain equipment authorization rules.


The Commission’s action allows required labeling information to be provided to the consumer via the device’s electronic display. This provides an alternative to the requirement for etching or permanent labels on the exterior of devices, and manufacturers expect the use of electronic labelling rather than permanent physical labels to result in a measurable reduction in costs. This action is consistent with the objectives of the Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic Licenses Act of 2014 or the E-LABEL Act.
The Commission also eliminates the requirement to file with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the FCC Form 740 – the FCC’s unique import declaration for RF devices brought into the United States. Because of the exponential increase in imported RF devices, this filing requirement has become an unwieldy tool for the FCC and it has placed an increasingly substantial burden on importers. At the same time, the CBP’s revised database and the increasing availability of product information on the Internet and through other means have reduced the practical need for the form.
The Commission is also combining two separate self-approval procedures into one, which will help reduce confusion as to which process applies to any given product. The new combined process is called the Suppliers Declaration of Conformity and will allow device manufacturers to bring products to market in a more efficient manner while continuing to ensure compliance with the equipment authorization program.


Lastly, the First Report and Order updates specific measurement procedures and clarifies certain standards that may be relied on for demonstrating that equipment complies with the rules. These changes allow the Commission to better and more quickly respond to changes in technology and international standards, and will aid the development of and speed the approval for new RF devices.


Action by the Commission July 13, 2017 by First Report and Order (FCC 17-93). Chairman Pai and Commissioners Clyburn and O’Rielly approving and issuing separate statements.


ET Docket No. 15-170


Full details can be found here.