All about Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Certification

The Federal Communications Commission or FCC is a certification mark given to electronic devices manufactured and sold in the United States. It does not certify the quality of the product but the mark implies that the electromagnetic waves from the product is approved. There is a limit of radiation which should not be exceeded to acquire this certification

Topics covered in this article are:

1. What is FCC Certification and its purpose?

2. Categories of products certified

3. Implications of FCC Certification internationally

4. Process of obtaining FCC Certification

5. How can anyone obtain FCC Certification?

1. What is FCC Certification and its purpose?

The FCC Certification is a mark is a standard in the United States for products that emit electromagnetic energy. These electromagnetic interference may affect the users and the surroundings. In order to keep the users safe and to meet the guidelines set, this certification is given

2. Categories of products certified

There are different types of radiation emitted by different devices. Some products emit radiation as a part of working of the device while some products emit radiation unintentionally like digital cameras. Regulations have been established on electromagnetic interference under FCC Rules. Products classified under Part 15 and Part 18 are mandatory to be certified i.e, computers, television receivers etc.

3. Implication of FCC Certificates internationally

FCC Rules are applicable only on products manufactured and sold in the US. Many countries have their own standard for verification such as CCC certification for China, KC mark for South Korea. Still many of the products have FCC mark irrespective of country it is sold in. These marks do not have any legal significance in countries other than the United States and no verification can be made to confirm the specifications.

4. Process of obtaining FCC Certification

The process of getting the FCC Certificate is different for each device depending on the power and type of radiation emitted. After determining the type of product, the verification shall be done accordingly.

i. Verification

Verification is a method of obtaining the certification. This is an easiest method used in case of digital products that are classified under Part 15 of FCC Rules. The products under Part 15 need not have the FCC mark on the product physically but the verification is mandatory

ii. Declaration of Conformity

Declaration of Conformity is also a method of obtaining FCC Certification. Only certain specific products that are classified under Part 18 and products considered as personal computers use DOC compliance. The certification is given by an accredited laboratory and the testing must be conducted as per the laboratory requirements. The products undergone DOC process must show the FCC logo on the devices

iii. Certification

This process is complicated compared to other two compliance's. This type of classification is done only on the products which emit high level of electromagnetic radiation and as a result cause harm on the users. An official Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) conducts the verification after the test results are obtained.

5. How can anyone obtain FCC Certification?

If any manufacturer wants to market their products in the US market, FCC Certification can be obtained. There are many testing companies which are authorised to issue the certificates.

· The manufacturer must specify under which radio frequency the product falls.

· Testing will be done on the frequency to ensure that the product meets the specified frequency. These are only mock tests done prior to actual testing

· After the mock test, registration with FCC can be done. The product shall be tested in a laboratory to check its type and specifications

· If the verification meets the set standards, the certification shall be issued on the product by the Telecommunications Board

The certification can be obtained through different testing companies. The FCC mark shall be of no significance in any place other than the US. Products like mobile phones, IT equipment's, power transmitters etc are few products which require FCC Certification

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