FCC Part 15b DoC and FCC Verification Testing
The Federal Communications Commission requires all digital devices sold in the United States to meet the Unintentional Radiator requirements of 47CFR Part 15B. Part 15B is not a new requirement; however it is often one of the most over-looked requirements exposing the “responsible party” to FCC enforcement and potential fines.
“Unintentional Radiation” is radio frequency noise generated by a device that is not used for telecommunications. This noise could potentially interfere and impact the operation of other devices, and therefore requires testing of the unintentional emissions.
FCC 15B conformity is demonstrated either by a self-declaration process or a Certification. Although a Grant can be issued for a Part 15B unintentional radiator, most Applicants opt for the Suppliers Declaration of Conformity (SDoC). There is no certificate or document received by the Applicant once the testing in completed. Devices, such as radio receivers, which previously fell into the Verification procedure, can now be authorized under the SDoC. While this is a self-approval process, the Rules currently specify that the SDoC testing must still be performed by a lab that has its test site registered with the FCC. It is not necessary to perform the testing at an FCC-recognized accredited testing laboratory; however, an accredited testing laboratory may be used and is recommended by CTL
One special requirement introduced with the creation of the SDoC procedure is the creation of a ‘Responsible Party’. This may be a manufacturer, an assembler (if the equipment is assembled from individual component parts), or an importer. This party is responsible for the compliance of the equipment and must maintain a United States presence. The responsible party assumes the liabilities associated with guaranteeing compliance.
For complete information, kindly refer to the FCC interpretation database under KDB 896810.
Common misconceptions about Verification and Declaration of Conformity (DoC) testing:
- My device doesn’t have a transmitter so I don’t need any testing.
- I’m using an unlicensed radio so I don’t need any testing.
- I’m using a pre-certified module, so I don’t need any testing.
- “Self-Declaration” means testing is optional.