FCC Eliminates RF Device Rules
Permanent labels go electronic; Customs form 740 goes away
July 13, 2017
– 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.
|Illustration is a visual pun.
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
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.
The commission also eliminated the requirement to file its Form 740 with the
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.
“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.
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.