Global Certification

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established as part of a system to protect the public from products used in the United States. Initially, OSHA entrusted two institutions to carry out safety-related testing and certifications. However, with the growth of the US economy and its industry, the workload dealing with occupational safety and health-related issues skyrocketed, leading to greater demand for various improvements. Accordingly, pursuant to Article 29, Paragraph 1910.7 of the US Federal Regulations (CFR), OSHA expanded the list of Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) to include 17 domestic and international institutions in 1998.


Need for certification

The FCC is in charge of communications in the private sector. To promote the efficient use and management of radio resources, the FCC regulates unnecessary radio waves from major electrical and electronic products to prevent interference with public communications. These regulations are enforced in accordance with the Federal Communications Act. Upon violation, pursuant to the Act, strong sanctions are levied on the overall distribution process, including import, sale, display, and advertisement, of the product. As such, it is impossible to export a product to the US without FCC certification. In other words, FCC certification is essential for companies looking to export a product to the US.

Relevant regulations

Relevant regulations that require FCC certification are stipulated in Code of Federal Register (CFR) Title 47 (Telecommunications).

Table 1 <Related regulations>
Sort Details
Part 2 Frequency Allocations and Radio Treat Matters General Rules and Regulations
Part 15 Radio Frequency Devices
Part 18 Industrial, Scientific and Medical equipment
Part 68 Connect on of Terminal Equipment to the Telephone Network
Part 95 Personal Radio Services
Major products subject to FCC certification include wireless telephones, industrial/scientific/medical high-frequency equipment, transmitters, receivers, personal computers and peripheral devices, broadcast receivers, equipment connected to PSTN (e.g. phones, fax machines, modems), and more.

Type of certification

FCC certification does not apply uniformly to all target devices. Different certification procedures apply for different types of products.

1. Verification
Verification is a certification procedure in which the manufacturer or importer conducts a conformance test for the device, and then keeps/manages the results by itself. Eligible products include office computers, TVs and FM receivers.
2. Certification
Certification is a certification procedure in which the manufacturer submits its test report and an application form from an accredited testing laboratory to the FCC. When selling such product, relevant phrases and the FCC ID must be attached to the product label.
3. Registration
To register a product, a test report and application must be submitted to the FCC - similar to the certification process. Registration is a certification procedure for products used upon connecting to a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
4. Type Approval
Type approval is a certification procedure that is entails direct tested by the FCC testing laboratory. ISM equipment is a good example of a product eligible for type approval.


Certification process

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Declaration of Conformity (DOC)

If a product is tested and approved according to the technical standards set by the FCC, the manufacturer can ship the product upon attaching the certification mark without specific approval from the FCC - attach certification mark based on Declaration of Conformity only.

Declaration of Conformity (DOC)

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In order to use the DOC system, the manufacturer must declare the conformity of its product through a third party in the US upon conducting a standard conformance test at an accredited test lab (accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program). Unlike the existing certification method that follows the Certification system, if the DOC procedure is used, the fact that the product meets the FCC's technical standards should be permanently attached to the product in a location that is clear and easy to see. For products that have passed FCC standards using the DOC system, the FCC may request a third party to take measures linked to the mass production, distribution, and use of the product, including corrections and supplements based on product investigation results and defects. Also, if needed, the FCC may request a sample of the product at any given time. Failure to submit related data may result in fines or administrative sanctions, and test data must be submitted within 14 days, while samples must be submitted within 60 days.

Follow-up management

The Sampling and Measurement Branch system tests products collected from the market for follow-up of all products imported into the US. Recently, the FCC has strengthened its follow-up management every year. If a company/product fails the follow-up management criteria, the FCC revokes the product’s approval, suspends its sale on the market, recalls all products, and levies a fine.