United States of America (USA)The FCC are responsible for protecting the radio spectrum. Product Safety is regulated by agencies such as the CPSC and NEC.
FCC Certification, FCC Part 15B, FCC Part 15C, FCC Part 18, Intentional Radiator, Unintentional Radiator, MPE, Radio & Wireless Certification, TCB, FCC Authorisation Grant, FCC ID
Global Approvals are experts in FCC Compliance and FCC Certification of electrical and electronic products.
We have expertise in Product Safety covering consumer products (CPSC), equipment used in the workplace (OSHA) and installation of electrical products (NEC).
Other Compliance Requirements
We also have expertise in medical product approvals (FDA) and Energy Efficiency (DoE and EPA) to name a few. If your product is electrical or electronic we have all the answers for US compliance.
FCC ID: WI-EMC691A
This device contains FCC ID: GA1APW2501X. This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.
Global Approvals prepare USA Regulatory and Test Plans, prepare assessment reports, arrange testing (locally or internationally), arrange FCC Certification through overseas TCB’s, arrange local representation if needed and advise on record keeping and labelling requirements.
If your product has been modified, we can help you use the FCC KDB (Knowledge Data Base) to remain legal.
Often USA FCC Certification is completed at the same time as Canadian ISED as US test data and reports are accepted in Canada (conditions apply).
We can provide services for and advise on all aspects of electrical and electronic product compliance in the USA. We provide a single point contact to make the approvals process easy and cost effective.
Q: Do all products require FCC Certification?
A: No. Unintentional Radiators must comply with Part 15B and valid SDoC test reports must be held. Exemptions exist for certain products and conditions. Intentional Radiators (ie transmitters) must be Certified by a third party through a TCB.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The FCC is an independent federal US government agency with a mandate under Congress to regulate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.
The Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) have prime responsibilites to manage the electromagnetic spectrum, manage the Equipment Authorization programs and regulate the operation of unlicensed devices.
Electronic Devices must comply with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 47: Telecommunication Subparts. Subpart 15 is the most commonly applied.
FCC rules govern the intentional and unintenional conduction and radiation of electromagnetic energy. Compliance is mandatory although exemptions exist for certain types of devices under certain conditions.
Knowledge Data Base
The FCC rules are supported by a Knowledge Data Base (KDB) which is intended to assist the public in following Commission requirements.
Devices must be labelled with the appropriate FCC logo, FCC ID (if a transmitter) and compliance statements. The label requirements vary slightly depending on the product classification.
For Unintentional Radiators, test reports must be kept in a compliance folder in case authorities request a copy. For Intentional Radiators, reports are uploaded to the FCC OET Database.
Failure to comply with FCC rules can result in heavy penalties ranging from thousands to millions of dollars. Serious offences can result in imprisonment in a federal penitentiary!
FCC Part 15 Subpart B – Unintentional Radiators
Electrical and electronic devices must comply with applicable parts of CFR 47 FCC Part 15, Subpart B.
Limits are defined for conducted and radiated emissions.
Immunity limits are not defined although responsible parties are advised to consider the proximity and power of licenced radio devices when choosing operating frequencies during equipment design in order to reduce susceptibility for receiving harmful interference.
Immunity testing is a requirement for CE Marking in the EU.
Common devices include:
- Digital Devices
- Audio, Video and Multimedia equipment
- Lighting Equipment
Certain devices are exempt from testing based on their operating frequencies, nature and category. Although, the FCC highly recommends that exempted devices meet the rules.
Suppliers Declaration of Conformity (SDoC)
A valid test report must be held by the responsible party. Testing must be completed on a test site that complies with ANSI C63.4.
Reports must be issued by laboratories with FCC compliant test sites.
Once the necessary test reports have been arranged and compliance has been established the device must be labelled as per the FCC rules.
The legal entity who places the device on the market is known as a Responsible Party and must sign the SDoC report.
Some government departments such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) require EMC testing of medical devices to IEC 60601-1-2. Medical devices are exempt from FCC rules.
TIP: Radiated emissions testing is based on the highest frequency generated or used by the device, including intentional radiators! For example if your device has a Bluetooth module operating at 2.4GHz and a microprocessor clock crystal oscillating at 48MHz radiated emissions testing must be performed to 12.5GHz (5 times 2.4GHz).
FCC Part 15 Subpart C – Intentional Radiators
Radiofrequency Transmitters and Transceivers must be certified against CFR FCC Part 15C. Devices (either stand alone modules, host devices with sub modules or radio devices) must be tested against relevant subparts and the reports submitted, along with documentation (user manual, schematics, example labelling, application forms) to a TCB.
Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB)
TCB’s are authorised by the FCC to issue FCC Equipment Authorisation Grants on their behalf. Once an FCC Certification Grant is issued the device is listed on the FCC OET database. Test reports and certification documentation are available online for the public to download.
Once Grants have been received the deviced must be labelled as per the FCC labelling requirements.
Testing can only be completed by laboratories who are ILAC accredited and recognised by the FCC.
TIP: If you don’t want the world to see details of your device then ensure you apply for short term or long term confidentiality!
Examples of common devices that require FCC certification include:
- Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy Transceivers (2.4GHz) per part 15.247
- Wi-Fi Transceivers (2.4GHz and 5GHz) per part 15.247
- LoRa (915MHz) per part 15.247
- RFID (13.56MHz) per part 15.225
- Garage door openers (433MHz) per part 15.231
- Zigbee Transceivers (2.4GHz) per part 15.247 or part 15.249
- Sigfox Transceivers (915MHz) per part 15.247
Cellular devices must comply with FCC Parts 22, 24 and 27. Host device and certified cellular module combinations must comply with the FCC rules. Radiated Spurious Emissions (RSE) testing is highly recommended to ensure compliance.
TIP: Try to select a radio module that is already FCC certified. Provided you comply with the FCC Grant conditions you should not have to completely re-test it in your host, saving a small fortune!
FCC Grants usually stipulate that a radio transmitter must not be “co-located” within 20cm of another radio transmitter. If they are, then Radiated Spurious Emissions (RSE) testing is required to ensure the two trasmitters are compatible and do not produce intermodulation products (spurious signals or “birdies” as they are sometimes referred to in the Military!).
Maximum Permissable Exposure (MPE)
Intentional radiators must also comply with FCC Part 2.1091 (devices >20cm from the human body or ear, general EMR assessment or testing) or FCC Part 2.1093 (generally devices <20cm from the human body or ear, SAR testing) for MPE. Reports must be submitted with the TCB certification application.
Devices may be exempt from SAR testing even though <20cm from the human body or ear depending on the distance and RF power level.
ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) equipment must comply with Part 18 of the FCC rules.
The rules in this part regulate ISM equipment that emits radio frequency energy in order to prevent harmful interference to authorized radio communication services.
Examples include induction ovens and cooktops, wireless chargers and microwave ovens.
ISM Equipment may be operated on specific frequencies as defined in Subpart 18B.
Operators of equipment that cause harmful interference shall take prompt measures to solve the issue.
Consumer ISM equipment, unless otherwise specified, must be authorized under Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity or Certification procedures.
Telephone Terminal Equipment (TTE) must comply with applicable parts of CFR 47 FCC Part 68.
The rules are intended to protect the telephone network from harm caused by the connection of terminal equipment and associated wiring.
TTE connection to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) can be authorised via two routes:
a) Certification by a TCB or
b) Supplier Declaration of Conformity
A Responsible Party is the entity responsible for compliance of equipment with the applicable standards, rules and regulations.
For equipment authorised under the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) rules a Responsible Party is a manufacturer, assembler of individual parts or importer of equipment. The Responsible Party must be located in the USA.
Global Approvals can arrange a Local Representative Service, contact us to learn more.
For equipment that requires Certification, the party to whom the Equipment Authorisation Grant is issued is the Responsible Party.
Downloads and Links:
FCC Logo artwork
FCC Supplier Declaration of Conformity Template
FCC Part 15 Rules
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
Safety of consumer products is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Consumer Product Safety Act, Title 15, United States Code, Chapter 47.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) requires the Responsible Party for all applicable consumer products to issue a general Certificate of Conformity based on product testing. It must state that the product complies with the applicable standard, regulation, or ban. It must accompany the product and be given to the retailer or distributor.
Responsible Parties must certify that children’s products (age 12 years or younger) comply with all relevant product safety rules. A children’s product certificate must be issued, supported by third party accredited testing.
Specific Products are Regulated under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).
National Electrical Code (NEC)
The NEC covers the installation of electrical products for public or private use and specifies that certain electrical products meet certain standards.
The NEC is not a national standard although it has been adopted by various US states and local authorities. The local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) enforces codes adopted in their jurisdiction, which may be different to the NEC.
The NEC requires all electrical equipment be listed or labeled, usually by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), SGS North America, Intertek or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
AHJ’s usually readily accept listed equipment.
Other Federal Agencies
Electrical and Electronic equipment must comply with the requirements of other US agencies such as:
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Electrical and electronic medical devices are subject to FDA regulations. These devices are classified into three categories:
- Class I – generally do not require Premarket Notification (FDA 510k)
- Class II – generally do require 510k
- Class III – generally require Premarket Approval
Department of Energy (DoE)
The DOE promotes energy conservation. Testing of electrical and electronic products is prescribed to measure energy efficiency, energy use, water use, or estimated annual operating cost.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The ENERGY STAR program is a joint collaboration of the DoE and EPA that sets voluntary energy efficiency specifications for a large range of product categories. To earn the ENERGY STAR label, products must be certified by an EPA recognized third party certification body.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
The OSHA governs approval of Electrical equipment used in the workplace. Generally this equipment has to be approved by recognised test labs (NRTLs).
Individual US states also have their own rules and regulations for Electrical and Electronic Equipment Compliance. Contact us for expert advice.
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