Why is FCC Testing Part 15B and 15C in Australia changing? FCC testing in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 15 (47 CFR 15) i.e. FCC Part 15B and Part 15C is going through changes. These Federal Communications Commission changes were initially to be introduced July 2016. Due to many EMC testing laboratories and other regional market pressures, this has been delayed until July 2017. These FCC testing and accreditation changes affect the compliance of any product sold, marketed or distributed in the USA and associated regions.

So what are the FCC testing methods, standard and facility changes?

Over recent years the basic methodologies to test unintentional and intentional radiators has changed. The methods have been revised and previously recognized dated references superseded. It is now required that the dated version of ANSI C63.4 used for testing is now ANSI C63.4-2014 opposed to the older standard ANSI C63.4-2009. Such changes include the Radiated emissions test site itself. Also includes antenna characteristics, Normalized Site Attenuation (NSA), Site Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (SVSWR), and antenna Bore-Sighting technique.

It is now essential that FCC testing and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) testing is performed in accordance with ANSI C63.4-2014 and ANSI C63.10: 2013. EMC Bayswater has a compliant ANSI C63.4: 2014 test site. We are also accredited to ANSI C63.4: 2014, and recognized under the mutual recognition agreement with the Federal Communications Commission.

So how do these FCC regulation changes affect your product compliance?

The route of either verification, Declaration of Conformity (DoC) or Certification is determined from the classification of the product in the relevant description. Please refer to our FCC approvals page for more information about FCC testing and EMC testing for North America

How is your FCC testing currently performed?

The selection of the testing laboratory or how your testing is performed is basically the same as previous years prior. Except they must have suitable calibrated test equipment and a valid test site. Such as an indoor Open Area Test site (iOATS) for radiated emissions that complies with ANSI 63.4: 2014.

VERIFICATION (47 CFR Section 2.902)

Requirements allowed up to July 2017 and after July 2017

Accreditation under a recognized mutual recognition agreement by the FCC is not required.  It is not a need to use a test site that is 2.948 listed (47 CFR 2.948 – Description of measurement facilities). But the test site must be compliant as per the same requirements noted for listing a 2.948 test site. The responsible party must provide a test report. And other information demonstrating compliance with the rules upon request by the Commission. This also may involve showing the compliance of the test site. The testing a laboratory only needs to maintain a record of the facility which includes NSA and other ANSI C63.4-2014 data.
 
Please remember that devices subject to verification must be uniquely identified. In a format which cannot be confused with the FCC identifier required on certified equipment. Verification devices do not apply the FCC logo label. For further information on the FCC product labelling requirements. Please refer to the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) FCC Quick labelling Guide.

 

DECLARATION OF CONFORMITY (47 CFR Section 2.906)

Requirements allowed up to July 2017
 
Full accreditation to the relevant part such as FCC Part 15B, or Part 15C and recognition on the FCC website is required. The best method to determine and verify the suitability of the testing laboratory for your Declaration of Conformity (DoC) testing.
 
Requirements after July 2017
 
Full accreditation to the relevant part such as FCC Part 15B, or Part 15C and recognition on the FCC website is required. Accredited scopes with exclusions such as partial scopes will not be accepted. One exception to this rule is limited testing to upper-frequency ranges, such as a limited scope, example:  FCC Part 15C up to 26.5GHz.

 

CERTIFICATION (47 CFR Section 2.907)

Requirements allowed up to July 2017

There are currently two paths for FCC testing laboratories can take. Firstly the testing facility can be accredited and have FCC recognition directly or through an MRA. Alternatively, the testing facility can have an FCC 2.948 listed test site.

Requirements required for July 2017 onwards

Full accreditation to the relevant part such as FCC Part 15B. Or FCC Part 15C and recognition on the FCC website is required. Accredited scopes with exclusions such as partial scopes will not be accepted. One exception to this rule is limited testing to upper-frequency ranges. Such as a limited frequency range scope, example:  FCC Part 15C up to 26.5GHz.

Conclusion about FCC testing past, present and future

Accredited FCC testing ensures the most risk-free compliance. Through any route be it verification, certification or declaration of Conformity. For products that need certification or declaration of Conformity, it is now time to start considering the transition or asking your laboratory for accreditation. If you cannot meet the cutoff date to complete all the testing and associated paperwork you may wish to re-consider your laboratory choice. For all FCC EMC testing if the test site your using is not ANSI 63.4: 2014 compliant then you should be asking if testing at all is worth it! You’re the responsible party if your selling or marketing the product in the US. And it may be asked of you to prove and provide evidence including the test site used for testing.

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