IoT and Other RF Device Suppliers Take Note: The FCC's New Authorization and Importation Rules Are Now Effective

The CommLaw Group has issued a client advisory regarding the Federal Communications Commission's new rules for radio frequency equipment authorization.
By Ronald E. Quirk

Importation of RF Devices
To ensure that RF devices brought into the U.S. comply with its technical standards, the FCC imposes specific conditions under which RF devices capable of causing harmful interference may be imported into the country. This generally means that RF equipment must be properly tested, authorized, and labeled before entering the U.S.

The new rules eliminate the requirement that importers complete the FCC Form 740, in which the responsible party was required to declare that its RF equipment complies with FCC rules.

The FCC has expanded the entities permitted to assume regulatory responsibility for RF devices to include a consignee or customs broker. Previously, the importer was usually designated as the responsible party.

While allowing more entities to become responsible parties, the FCC has concurrently imposed new requirements on them: (a) the responsible party for imported equipment subject to SDoC must have a U.S. presence; and (b) the responsible party must retain supporting documentation of compliance and submit it to the FCC upon request.

The new rules also permit an increase in the number of devices that that can be imported for demonstration at trade shows from 200 to 400 for devices used in licensed services, and from 10 to 400 for other types of "pre-authorized" devices, as long as these devices are not offered for sale.

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