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Certifications for domestic devices  

Authorization Methods

Marketing RF Devices

Definitions

Telecommunication Certification Bodies (TCBs) have been appointed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve equipment as required under Title 47, Part 2 of the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR).

In essence, this gives you, the manufacturer or responsible party, additional options for product approvals by allowing you to choose a TCB that has been designated, or, if desired, go directly through the commission for a grant of certification.

This section offers you access to information about the authorization methods as well as direct online filing of an application for certification. To file an application for certification, please login or sign up using the appropriate links.

Information presented here is derived from FCC CFR Title 47. Please see the FCC CFR web page for access to the official rules.

The following is from FCC CFR, Title 47, Part 2, Subpart J:

2.901 Basis and Purpose. - (a) In order to carry out its responsibilities under the Communications Act and the various treaties and international regulations, and in order to promote efficient use of the radio spectrum 'see RF energy definition', the 'Federal Communications' Commission has developed technical standards for radio frequency equipment and parts or components thereof. The technical standards applicable to individual types of equipment are found in that part of the rules governing the service wherein the equipment is to be operated. In addition to the technical standards provided, the rules governing the service may require that such equipment be verified by the manufacturer or importer, be authorized under a Declaration of Conformity, or receive an equipment authorization from the Commission by one of the following procedures: certification or registration. 'registration now obsolete'

Please note, text formatted like 'Sample', above, indicates clarification added by CETCB for readability proposes.

 

AUTHORIZATION METHODS:

For intentional radiators:
Equipment authorization of intentional radiators -

Intentional radiators operated as carrier current systems and devices operated under the provisions of CFR Title 47, Part 15.211, 15.213 and 15.221, shall be verified pursuant to the procedures in Subpart J of Part 2 (CFR 47) prior to marketing.

Except as otherwise exempted in Title 47, Part 15.201(c) and Part 15.23, all intentional radiators operating under the provisions of Part 15 subpart C shall be certificated pursuant to the procedures in subpart J of Part 2 of CFR Title 47 prior to marketing.
(Above from Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.201(a)&(b).)

For unintentional radiators:
Equipment authorization of unintentional radiators - Except as otherwise exempted in CFR Title 47 Parts 15.23, 15.103 and 15.113, unintentional radiators shall be authorized prior to the initiation of marketing, as follows:

Type of device Equipment authorization required
TV broadcast receiver Verification
FM broadcast receiver Verification
CB receiver Declaration of Conformity or Certification
Super regenerative receiver Declaration of Conformity or Certification
Scanning receiver Certification
Radar detectors Certification
All other receivers subject to Part 15 Declaration of Conformity or Certification
TV interface device Declaration of Conformity or Certification
Cable system terminal device (CSTD) Declaration of Conformity
Stand-alone cable input selector switch Verification
Class B personal computers and peripherals Declaration of Conformity or Certification.1
CPU boards and internal power supplies used with Class B personal computers Declaration of Conformity or Certification.1
Class B personal computers assembled using authorized CPU boards or power supplies Declaration of Conformity
Class B external switching power supplies Verification
Other Class B digital devices and peripherals Verification
Class A digital devices, peripherals and external switching power supplies Verification
Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL) Certification
All other devices Verification

Note to table: Where the above table indicates more than one category of authorization for a device, the party responsible for compliance has the option to select the type of authorization.

1 Applications for this equipment will no longer be accepted by the Commission once domestic Telecommunication Certification
Bodies are available to certificate the equipment. See § 2.960 of CFR title 47.
(Above text and table from Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.101)

 

MARKETING RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES:

This section contains excerpts from CFR Title 47, Part 2.803 paragraphs (a) through (c). Other exceptions and details can be obtained from the original text at the www.access.gpo.gov web site.

Marketing of radio frequency devices prior to equipment authorization:

(a) Except as provided elsewhere in CFR Title 47, Part 2 subpart I, no person shall sell or lease, or offer for sale or lease (including advertising for sale or lease), or import, ship, or distribute for the purpose of selling or leasing or offering for sale or lease, any radio frequency device unless:

  1. In the case of a device subject to certification, such device has been authorized in accordance with the rules in CFR Title 47, Part 2 and is properly identified and labeled as required by Part 2.925 and other relevant sections; or
  2. In the case of a device that is not required to have a grant of equipment authorization issued, but which must comply with the specified technical standards prior to use, such device also complies with all applicable administrative (including verification of the equipment or authorization under a Declaration of Conformity, where required), technical, labeling and identification requirements specified in CFR Title 47, Part 2.

(b) The Provisions of paragraph (a) do not prohibit conditional sales contracts between manufacturers and wholesalers or retailers where delivery is contingent upon compliance with the applicable equipment authorization and technical requirements, nor do they prohibit agreements between such parties to produce new products, manufactured in accordance with designated specifications.

(c) notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b), (d) and (f), a radio frequency device may be advertised or displayed, e.g. at a trade show or exhibition, prior to equipment authorization or, for devices not subject to the equipment authorization requirements, prior to a determination of compliance with the applicable technical requirements provided that the advertising contains, and the display is accompanied by a conspicuous notice worded as follows:

"This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained."

 

DEFINITIONS:

Cable system terminal device (CSTD):
A TV interface device that serves, as its primary function, to connect a cable system operated under Part 76 of CFR Title 47 to a TV broadcast receiver or other subscriber premise equipment. Any device which functions as a CSTD in one of its operating modes must comply with the technical requirements for such devices when operating in that mode.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(e).)

Carrier current systems:
A system, or part of a system, that transmits radio frequency energy by conduction over the electric power lines. A carrier current system can be designed such that the signals are received by conduction directly from connection to the electric power lines (unintentional radiator) or the signals are received over-the-air due to radiation of the radio frequency signals from the electric power lines (intentional radiators)
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(f).)

CB receiver:
Any receiver that operates in the Personal Radio Service on frequencies allocated for Citizens Band (CB) Radio Service stations as well as any receiver provided with a separate band specifically designed to receive the transmissions of CB stations in the Personal Radio Services. This includes the following (1) a CB receiver sold as a separate unit of equipment (2) the receiver section of a CB transceiver (3) a converter to be used with any receiver for the purpose of receiving CB transmissions and (4) a multiband receiver that includes a band labeled "CB" or "11-meter" in which such band can be separately selected, except that an Amateur Radio Services receiver that was manufactured prior to January 1, 1960, and which includes an 11-meter band shall not be considered to be a CB receiver.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(g).)

Certification:
Certification is an equipment authorization issued by the Commission, based on representations and test data submitted by the applicant.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 2.907)

Class A digital device:
A digital device that is marketed for use in a commercial, industrial or business environment, exclusive of a device which is marketed for use by the general public or is intended to be used in the home.

(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(h).)

Class B digital device:
A digital device that is marketed for use in a residential environment notwithstanding use in commercial, business and industrial environments. Examples of such devices include, but are not limited to, personal computers, calculators, and similar electronic devices that are marketed for use by the general public.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(i).)

CPU board:
A circuit board that contains a microprocessor, or frequency determining circuitry for the microprocessor, the primary function of which is to execute user-provided programming, but not including:
(1) A circuit board that contains only a microprocessor intended to operate under the primary control or instruction of a microprocessor external to such a circuit board; or
(2) A circuit board that is a dedicated controller for a storage or input/output device.

(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(bb).)

Declaration of Conformity:
A Declaration of Conformity is a procedure where the responsible party, as defined in Part 2.909, makes measurements or takes other necessary steps to ensure that the equipment complies with the appropriate technical standards. Submittal of a sample unit or representative data to the Commission demonstrating compliance is not required unless specifically requested pursuant to Part 2.1076.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 2.906)

FCC Part 15:
FCC part 15 sets out the regulations under which an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator may be operated without an individual license. FCC part 15 also contains the technical specifications, administrative requirements and other conditions relating to the marketing of Part 15 devices. Click here for the complete FCC part 15 rules online.

Intentional Radiator:
An intentional radiator is any device that intentionally generates and emits radio frequency energy by radiation or induction.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(o).)

Peripheral device:
An input/output unit of a system that feeds data into and/or receives data from the central processing unit of a digital device. Peripherals to a digital device include any device that is connected external to the digital device, any device internal to the digital device that connects the digital device to an external device by wire or cable, and any circuit board designed for interchangeable mounting, internally or externally, that increases the operating or processing speed of a digital device, e.g., "turbo" cards and "enhancement" boards. Examples of peripheral devices include terminals, printers, external floppy disk drives and other data storage devices, video monitors, keyboards, interface boards, external memory expansion cards, and other input/output devices that may or may not contain digital circuitry. This definition does not include CPU boards, as defined in paragraph (bb) of CFR Title 47 Part 15.3, even though a CPU board may connect to an external keyboard or other components.

(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(r).)

Personal computer:
An electronic computer that is marketed for use in the home, notwithstanding business applications. Such computers are considered Class B digital devices. Computers which use a standard TV receiver as a display device or meet all of the following conditions are considered examples of personal computers:

  1. Marketed through a retail outlet or direct mail order catalog.
  2. Notices of sale or advertisements are distributed or directed to the general public or hobbyist users rather than restricted to commercial users.
  3. Operates on a battery or 120 volt electrical supply.


If the responsible party can demonstrate that because of price or performance the computer is not suitable for residential or hobbyist use, it may request that the computer be considered to fall outside of the scope of this definition for personal computers.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(s).)

Radar detector:
A receiver designed to signal the presence of radio signals used for determining the speed of motor vehicles. This definition does not encompass the receiver incorporated within a radar transceiver certified under the Commission's rules.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(ee).)

Radio Frequency Device (RF Device):
A radio frequency device is any device, which in its operation is capable of emitting radio frequency energy by radiation, conduction, or other means. Radio frequency devices include, but are not limited to:

  1. The various types of radio communication transmitting devices described throughout CFR Title 47
  2. The incidental, unintentional and intentional radiators defined in CFR Title 47, Part 15
  3. The industrial, scientific and medical equipment described in CFR Title 47, Part 18
  4. Any part or component thereof, which in use emits radio frequency energy by radiation, conduction, or other means.

(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 2.801)

Radio Frequency (RF) energy:
Electromagnetic energy at any frequency in the radio spectrum between 9 kHz and 3,000,000 MHz
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(u).)

Responsible party:
Please see FCC CFR Title 47, Part 2.909 for the complete definition of responsible party.

Scanning receiver:
This is a receiver that automatically switches among two or more frequencies in the range of 30 to 960 MHz and that is capable of stopping at and receiving a radio signal detected on a frequency. Receivers designed solely for the reception of the broadcast signals under Part 73 of CFR Title 47, for the reception of NOAA broadcast weather band signals, or for operation as part of a licensed service are not included in this definition.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(v).)

Television (TV) broadcast receiver:
A device designed to receive television pictures that are broadcast simultaneously with sound on the television channels authorized under Part 73 of CFR Title 47.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(w).)

TV interface device:
An unintentional radiator that produces or translates in frequency a radio frequency carrier modulated by a video signal derived from an external or internal signal source, and which feeds the modulated radio frequency energy by conduction to the antenna terminals or other non-baseband input connections of a television broadcast receiver. A TV interface device may include a stand-alone RF modulator, or a composite device consisting of an RF modulator, video source and other components devices. Examples of TV interface devices are video cassette recorders and terminal devices attached to a cable system or used with a Master Antenna (including those used for central distribution video devices in apartment or office buildings).

(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(y).)

Unintentional Radiator:
An unintentional radiator is any device that intentionally generates radio frequency energy for use within the device, or that sends radio frequency signals by conduction to associated equipment via connecting wiring, but which is not intended to emit RF energy by radiation or induction.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 15.3(z).)

Verification:
Verification is a procedure where the manufacturer makes measurements or takes the necessary steps to insure that the equipment complies with the appropriate technical standards. Submittal of a sample unit or representative data to the Commission demonstrating compliance is not required unless specifically requested by the Commission pursuant to Part 2.957.
(As defined in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), title 47 Part 2.902)

Access Broadband over Power Line (Access BPL):
A carrier current system installed and operated on an electric utility service as an unintentional radiator that sends radio frequency energy on frequencies between 1.705 MHz and 80 MHz over medium voltage lines or over low voltage lines to provide broadband communications and is located on the supply side of the utility service's points of interconnection with customer premises. Access BPL does not include power line carrier systems as defined in §15.3(t) or In-House BPL as defined in §15.3(gg).