FCC stands for Federal Communications Commission. The FCC certification or FCC mark is a certification mark employed on all electronic products manufactured and sold in the United States. The FCC enforces this requirement, per Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR).
1. What is the Objective of FCC Certification?
All electronic products emit radiation, and hence FCC testing and certification mark ensure that the electromagnetic interference from a device is under the approved limit by the Federal Communications Commission.
2. Classification of Products
Electrical products that require authorisation can be either intentional or unintentional radiators of radiofrequency energy. Intentional radiators are the devices that need to emit radio energy as a part of their operation like mobile phones. While unintentional radiators are devices that radiate energies as an unintentional byproduct of their operations like a digital camera.
3. Testing and Authorisation
Once the products are produced in bulk and are ready for sale, a manufacturer must comply with the following steps in order to register a product in the FCC approved list. FCC provides three options for authorization:
- Declaration of conformity
This option is exercised for electrical products classified as Part 15 digital devices. These devices may or may not contain an electromagnetic interference; if they do contain an electromagnetic interference, then the same has been preapproved and is in line with the requirements for the grant of authorization. On being compliant with the radio frequency requirements, the products can be sold without FCC approval. Examples include wireless microphones, wireless alarm systems, and bluetooth radio devices.
2. Declaration of conformity:
For Part 18 devices (industrial, scientific, and medical devices that emit RF radiation), the norms are stricter. Accredited laboratories are required to measure the frequency and ensure that it meets the requirements. The FCC logo is fixed on the label of the products. For example, a personal computer peripheral.
3. FCC Certification:
The FCC certification is the most stringent authorization. This is required for products that are most likely to interfere with other equipment, signals, and emergency information.
4. Steps to Follow to Get FCC Certification
To obtain FCC certification, the following steps needs to be adhered:
- Before designing the product, reference the FCC guidelines on radio spectrum allocation and select the radio frequency.
- Post selection of radiofrequency, mock tests must be conducted in house to ensure that the product meets the required frequency. These tests do not qualify for certification; nevertheless, they avoid last-minute surprises.
- After the manufacturer is certain that the radiofrequency is as per the requirements, he must register with FCC.
- When the manufacturer registers, he will get an FCC registration number and grantee codes. Then he will need to contact an FCC registered lab.
- For the labs to check the equipment, the manufacturer must deliver a prototype and technical specifications.
- Once the testing is completed, the Telecommunications board will issue a certification. Once this data is uploaded, the product will be listed on the FCC list.
For an Indian manufacturer intending to sell products to the United States, conformity to the regulations of FCC is inevitable. For products that do not meet the FCC approval, rights to sell can be denied.
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