FCC Compliance and Certification
The FCC under rule part 15 tells us that most
electronic devices need to either be verified to not cause harmful
emissions or need to be certified to not cause harmful emissions.
The difference between Verification and Certification:
The verification process is typically the creation of a Declaration
of conformity stating that the emissions limits are within the FCC
Part 15 rules. Devices that are not intentional transmitters would
typically get a FCC Part 15 Declaration of Conformity by submitting
their device to an accredited Test Laboratory, having the device
tested, and then receiving a test report and Declaration of Conformity.
The FCC has decided that all devices that are intentional radiators,
in the governed frequency spectrum, must receive a certification.
This is a slightly more complex process where an accredited Test
Lab typically will test the unit; the completed test report must
be submitted to the FCC for approval.
- The complete FCC Certification process will
typically follow these steps:
- The manufacturer will authorize the Test Lab
to apply for a FCC Grantee Code.
- The manufacturer will receive the Grantee code
from the FCC.
- The Manufacturer will
submit their device to an accredited Test Lab for evaluation.
- The appropriate testing will be performed,
per appropriate standards.
- The Test Lab will create a test report which
details the tests performed, results and equipment used.
- The test report, along other documentation,
will be submitted to the FCC for approval.
- The FCC typically takes 8-12 weeks to respond
to certification requests.
Optional steps in the process
The manufacturer may request Confidentiality of the information
from the FCC. This usually involves an additional $155 filing fee.
If Confidentiality is not requested, all documentation will appear
on the FCC website at the time the certification is granted. With
the optional fee, the manufacturer can typically eliminate all design
documents from this posting process.
TCB – Expediting the process
Due to the 8-12 week delay in the certification process, the
FCC realized that a more expedited process was needed. They have
authorized several private organizations to issue certifications.
There are some types of devices that still must be submitted to
the FCC, however in most cases, devices can be approved via a TCB.
Submitting a grant request through a TCB can significantly
improve the time frame for obtaining a certification. In most cases,
it only takes 1-2 weeks to obtain an approval from a TCB.
Note: Once obtaining approval from the TCB, the
manufacturer can begin marketing the device immediately. The FCC
does occasionally audit grants. If the grant is less than thirty
days old and the device is non-compliant, the FCC can set aside
the grant. For grants older then 30 days and is non-compliant, the
FCC will work with the TCB and the Manufacturer to resolve the problem
of non-compliance. After thirty days, the grant cannot be set aside,
but the non-compliance issue still must be resolved.
An independent test laboratory, working closely with a TCB,
can greatly simplify the verification and/or certification process.
Their expertise in understanding the FCC rules, can guide a manufacturer
to a successful certification. In addition, the paper work required
of the manufacturer is significantly reduced. Your time to market
can be substantially reduced by choosing the right independent test
laboratory for your FCC certification.
Our partner laboratory has thousands of successful
certifications. They work closely with the FCC to understand the
appropriate rules and to ensure our clients applications are processed
seamlessly. Each application includes a pre-project review with
the client, regular status updates throughout the test cycle, notification
of any issues or problems, and notification that the grant has been
accepted. We look forward to working with you to ensure your verification
or certification is rapid, successful and stress free.
For additional information on the certification
of low power transmitters in the US, Canada and the European Economic
Community, please follow the link to our power point presentation:
Power Transmitter Certification
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