FCC Eliminates RF Device Rules

Permanent labels go electronic; Customs form 740 goes away July 19, 2017

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission today did away physical labels and a customs requirement affecting “most radiofrequency devices, such as cellphones or TV receivers, that are imported, marketed, or operated within the United States,” the FCC said.

First, the unanimous approval of this First Report and Order means device makers no longer have to etch or otherwise permanently affix required labeling information such as the FCC ID number, “any other statements or labeling required by the rules governing the operation of the specific class of equipment, according to a July 2015 NRPM on the same docket, No. 15-170. That information can now be displayed electronically, consistent with the “E-LABEL Act.” 

The commission’s action allows required labeling information to be provided to the consumer via the device’s electronic display. This provides an alternative to the requirement for etching or permanent labels on the exterior of devices, and manufacturers expect the use of electronic labelling rather than permanent physical labels to result in a measurable reduction in costs. This action is consistent with the objectives of the Enhance Labeling, Accessing and Branding of Electronic Licenses Act of 2014 or the E-LABEL Act.

“Because of the exponential increase in imported RF devices, this filing requirement has become an unwieldy tool for the FCC and it has placed an increasingly substantial burden on importers,” the commission’s announcement said. “At the same time, the CBP’s revised database and the increasing availability of product information on the Internet and through other means have reduced the practical need for the form.

The commission also combined two separate self-approval processes into the “Suppliers Declaration of Conformity,” and it updated its compliance procedures.

Google, Apple and Intel were among supporters of the changes.

A version of this article was originally posted on TVT, the website of a Radio magazine sister publication.

 

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