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If you’ve ever looked at the label or packaging of an electronic device, you may have seen the phrase “tested to comply with FCC standards” printed somewhere. 

This statement is ubiquitous — you can likely find it on your computer mouse, headphones, and even on PC components. But what does this statement actually mean?

Put simply, the phrase “tested to comply with FCC standards” means that a device has passed compliance testing for FCC regulations, such as FCC Part 15. These regulations are designed to ensure that electronic devices are safe to use and compatible with each other.

We’ve covered more below about what this phrase means, as well as why it’s a good indicator that an electronic device is likely to meet certain performance and quality standards. 

What Does “Tested to Comply With FCC Standards” Mean?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a US government agency responsible for regulating communications via radio, wire, TV and other technologies. The FCC is responsible for ensuring electrical devices meet certain electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards.

Electromagnetic compatibility refers to the ability of electronic devices to function properly with each other. 

All electronic devices produce small amounts of electromagnetic radiation, which is referred to as emissions. These emissions can interfere with other devices and potentially cause damage, false readings, or other performance-related problems.

As our guide to what EMC stands for explains, electromagnetic compatibility is essentially the ability of a device to operate without being affected by these emissions, as well as without the device outputting excessive emissions of its own. 

When a device says that it’s “tested to comply with FCC standards,” it means that it has passed tests for electromagnetic compatibility and conforms to the standards set by the FCC, allowing it to go on sale in the United States.

How FCC Testing & Approval Works

The process of FCC testing and approval varies depending on the type of device, as well as its classification by the FCC. However, testing for FCC compliance generally involves the following steps:

  • Testing for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). This step involves measuring the emissions and electromagnetic immunity of a device in a lab setting.
  • Conformity assessment. Following EMC testing, the device undergoes a conformity assessment to ensure it meets all of the relevant technical standards set by the FCC.
  • Certificate or Declaration of Conformity. Depending on the type of device, it’s either certified by the FCC, or a Declaration of Conformity is issued by the manufacturer.
  • Labeling and documentation. When a device passes FCC testing, it’s labeled with an FCC mark and other information. The manufacturer provides documentation confirming that the device complies with FCC standards. 

FCC Standards & Safe, Reliable Electronic Devices

The FCC’s standards play a key role in ensuring that electronic devices are safe and reliable for end users. FCC standards are important for several reasons:

  • Preventing interference. The main purpose of FCC standards is to prevent electronic devices from interfering with each other. Without these regulations, devices like radios, phones and TV can affect each other’s signals and cause disruptions.
  • Ensuring device safety. The FCC’s standards also involve checking that devices are safe in terms of electromagnetic emissions. High levels of emissions can cause safety issues, particularly in industrial environments.
  • Maintaining quality and reliability. Because of the FCC’s strict standards, the FCC mark and the phrase that a device is “tested to comply with FCC standards” acts as a potential indicator that a device is made to high standards.

Overall, the phrase “tested to comply with FCC standards” is an indicator that a device meets the FCC’s requirements for electromagnetic compatibility. It signifies that the device has been tested and demonstrates that it’s compliant with minimum performance standards. 

This process helps to maintain the reliability of devices we use on a daily basis, both at work and at home.

Contact Us About FCC Testing & Compliance

Do you have an electronic product that requires FCC testing and approval? As an accredited testing laboratory, we can test your device to ensure it complies with FCC standards and help you gain market access in the United States and other countries.

We offer a complete range of lab testing services for electronic devices, including CE testing and compliance.

To request a quote for testing your device, or to talk to our team of engineers and compliance experts, contact us online or call us at 866-540-5287.