[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 86 (Friday, May 3, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 25916-25938]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-10315]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 0, 2, 15 and 68

[ET Docket No. 13-44; FCC 13-19]


Authorization of Radiofrequency Equipment

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This document proposes certain changes to the Commission's 
equipment authorization processes to ensure that they continue to 
operate efficiently and effectively. In particular, it addresses the 
role of TCBs in certifying RF equipment and post-market surveillance, 
as well as the Commission's role in assessing TCB performance. It also 
addresses the role of test laboratories in the RF equipment approval 
process, including accreditation of test labs and the Commission's 
recognition of laboratory accreditation bodies, and measurement 
procedures used to determine RF equipment compliance. The Commission 
believes that the changes proposed will enable new and

[[Page 25917]]

innovative products to be brought to market as quickly as possible, 
thus promoting competition in the provision of RF equipment, while at 
the same time protecting against interference among radio services and 
devices using the RF spectrum.

DATES: Comments must be filed on or before June 17, 2013, and reply 
comments must be filed on or before July 17, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hugh Van Tuyl, Office of Engineering 
and Technology, (202) 418-7506, email: Hugh.VanTuyl@fcc.gov, TTY (202) 
418-2989.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ET Docket No. 13-44 
and RM-11652, by any of the following methods:
     Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting 
comments.
     Mail: Hugh Van Tuyl, Office of Engineering and Technology, 
Room 7-A162, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th SW., 
Washington, DC 20554.
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202-418-
0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Proposed Rule Making, ET Docket No. 13-44, FCC 13-19, adopted 
February 12, 2013, and released February 15, 2013. The full text of 
this document is available for inspection and copying during normal 
business hours in the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th 
Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text of this document 
also may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy 
and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street SW., Room, CY-B402, Washington, DC 
20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov.
    Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 
CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply 
comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this 
document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic 
Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in 
Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.
     Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must 
file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket 
or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers 
must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial 
overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service 
mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, 
Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
     All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings 
for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 
445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours 
are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together 
with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be 
disposed of before entering the building.
     Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
     U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority 
mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.
    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (tty).

Summary of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    1. The Commission is responsible for an equipment authorization 
program for radiofrequency (RF) devices under part 2 of its rules. This 
program is one of the primary means that the Commission uses to ensure 
that the multitude of RF devices used in the United States operate 
effectively without causing harmful interference and otherwise comply 
with the Commission rules. All RF devices subject to equipment 
authorization must comply with the Commission's technical requirement 
before they can be imported or marketed. The Commission or a 
Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) must approve some of these 
devices before they can be imported or marketed, while others do not 
require such approval. The Commission last comprehensively reviewed its 
equipment authorization program more than ten years ago. The rapid 
innovation in equipment design since that time has led to ever-
accelerating growth in the number of parties applying for equipment 
approval. The Commission therefore believes that the time is now right 
for us to comprehensively review our equipment authorization processes 
to ensure that they continue to enable this growth and innovation in 
the wireless equipment market. In May of 2012, the Commission began 
this reform process by issuing an Order to increase the supply of 
available grantee codes. With this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(NPRM), the Commission continues its work to review and reform the 
equipment authorization processes and rules.
    2. The NPRM proposes certain changes to the Commission's part 2 
equipment authorization processes to ensure that they continue to 
operate efficiently and effectively. In particular, it addresses the 
role of TCBs in certifying RF equipment and post-market surveillance, 
as well as the Commission's role in assessing TCB performance. The NPRM 
also addressed the role of test laboratories in the RF equipment 
approval process, including accreditation of test labs and the 
Commission's recognition of laboratory accreditation bodies, and 
measurement procedures used to determine RF equipment compliance. 
Finally, it proposes certain modifications to the rules regarding TCBs 
that approve terminal equipment under part 68 of the rules that are 
consistent with our proposed modifications to the rules for TCBs that 
approve RF equipment. Specifically the Commission proposes to recognize 
the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) as the 
organization that designates TCBs in the United States and to modify 
the rules to reference the current International Organization for 
Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 
guides used to accredit TCBs.
    3. The current RF equipment authorization procedures have evolved 
over the course of more than 35 years. The last complete review of the 
equipment authorization procedures was conducted more than 10 years 
ago. In the Equipment Authorization Procedures Order of 1998, 63 FR 
36591, July 7, 1998, the Commission reduced and consolidated the 
equipment approval processes for RF equipment to

[[Page 25918]]

three types--certification, Declaration of Conformity (DoC), and 
verification; relaxed the equipment authorization requirement from 
certification to Declaration of Conformity for certain part 15 
unintentional radiators and part 18 consumer industrial, scientific, 
and medical (ISM) equipment; relaxed the equipment authorization 
requirement from notification to verification for certain transmitters 
operated in licensed services; and provided for electronic filing of 
applications for equipment authorization. These actions were designed 
to reduce the burden of the equipment authorization program on 
manufacturers.
    4. Subsequently, in the Streamlining II Order, the Commission 
amended its equipment authorization rules to further streamline the 
equipment authorization process by allowing accredited independent 
certification bodies, called Telecommunication Certification Bodies 
(TCBs), to approve most types of equipment that require certification. 
The Commission took this action pursuant to its authority under Section 
302(e) of the Communications Act, which permits it to delegate 
equipment testing and certification to private organizations. It 
established the TCB program to provide manufacturers with an 
alternative to obtaining certification from the Commission, and to 
facilitate the more rapid introduction of RF equipment in the market. 
TCBs approve equipment under the certification procedure based on an 
application that provides all of the information specified in part 2. 
The TCB processes the application to determine whether the product 
meets the Commission's requirements and issues a grant of equipment 
authorization through the Commission's Equipment Authorization System 
(EAS). The grant identifies the approving TCB and the Commission as the 
issuing authority. While the Commission continues to process most types 
of certification applications, TCBs now issue the vast majority of 
grants of certification. In order to ensure that the TCBs' evaluations 
are properly performed, the Commission holds mandatory monthly 
conference calls and semi-annual workshops with all TCBs to discuss 
recent interpretations, policy changes and any other issues or concerns 
related to the TCB program. The Commission also performs audits on TCB 
approvals to ensure that TCBs operate in accordance with our rules. If 
such audits reveal concerns about a particular TCB's performance, the 
Commission may initiate action to verify the TCB's technical competence 
and may revoke the recognition of a TCB that does not operate in 
accordance with the rules.
    5. TCBs, which may be located in the United States or in certain 
foreign countries, all have the same responsibilities regardless of 
their location. However, their location dictates the method by which 
they are designated. TCBs within the United States are designated by 
the Commission after demonstrating that they are accredited to meet the 
applicable requirements by NIST or its designated accrediting 
organization. Certification bodies located outside of the United States 
can be recognized as a TCB only under the terms of a Mutual Recognition 
Agreement (MRA) between a foreign country and the United States 
government. Each MRA specifies an authority, typically a government 
entity that designates TCBs in the country or countries covered by the 
MRA. The Commission then recognizes the designated TCBs. No TCBs are 
designated in countries that do not have an MRA with the United States. 
Manufacturers in such countries have to obtain product certification at 
a designated TCB in another country.
    6. The specific provisions of the three current RF equipment 
authorization procedures are described below.
    Certification is an equipment authorization issued by the 
Commission or by a designated TCB based on an application and test data 
submitted by the responsible party (e.g., the manufacturer or 
importer). The Commission or a TCB may re-test a sample of a device to 
verify that it complies with the rules before granting approval for the 
equipment to be marketed. The certification procedure is typically 
applied to RF equipment that has a greater risk of non-compliance, such 
as equipment employing new technology for which the testing methodology 
is not well defined, or that poses a higher risk of interference. 
Examples of devices subject to certification include, but are not 
limited to, mobile phones; wireless local area networking equipment, 
remote control transmitters; land mobile radio transmitters; wireless 
medical telemetry transmitters; cordless telephones; and walkie-
talkies. All certified equipment is listed in a Commission database, 
regardless of whether it is approved by the Commission or a TCB.
    Declaration of Conformity (DoC) is a procedure that requires the 
party responsible for compliance to follow certain measurement 
requirements and/or take other necessary steps to ensure that the 
equipment complies with the appropriate technical standards. A 
compliance information statement must be supplied with the product, 
identifying the product and a responsible party within the United 
States, and containing the statement specified in Sec.  15.19(a)(3). 
The responsible party is not required to file an equipment 
authorization application with the Commission or a TCB, or to submit a 
sample unit or test data unless specifically requested. However, the 
responsible party must submit to the Commission upon request records of 
the original design drawings and specifications, the procedures used 
for production inspection and testing, a report of RF emission 
measurements, the compliance information statement, and a sample of the 
device. The DoC authorization procedure is typically required for types 
of RF equipment that have a good record of compliance, where the 
testing methodology is clearly defined and recognized by the 
Commission, and there is a low risk of interference. Examples of 
devices subject to a DoC include personal computers and peripherals, 
consumer ISM equipment such as microwave ovens and RF light bulbs, 
radio receivers and TV interface devices. Equipment authorized under 
the DoC procedure is not listed in a Commission database.
    Verification is a procedure under which the party responsible for 
compliance relies on measurements that it or another party makes to 
ensure that the equipment complies with the appropriate technical 
standards. Under the verification procedure, the responsible party is 
not required to file an application with the Commission. Submission of 
a sample unit or representative data to the Commission demonstrating 
compliance is not required unless specifically requested by the 
Commission. The responsible party must submit to the Commission upon 
request records of the original design drawings and specifications, the 
procedures used for production inspection and testing, a report of RF 
emission measurements, and a sample of the device. Verification, which 
is the least burdensome equipment authorization procedure, is applied 
to types of RF equipment that have an excellent record of compliance, 
the testing methodology is well known and understood, and there is low 
risk of interference. Examples of devices subject to verification 
include non-consumer ISM equipment; TV and FM receivers; and business 
computer equipment. Devices subject to verification must be uniquely 
identified in a format which cannot be confused with the FCC identifier 
required on

[[Page 25919]]

certified equipment. Equipment authorized under the verification 
procedure is not listed in a Commission database.
    7. RF equipment subject to any of the equipment authorization 
procedures described must generally be tested for compliance with the 
Commission's technical rules. The Commission has general requirements 
on the qualifications of laboratories that perform compliance testing, 
and certain specific requirements on laboratories that test equipment 
under particular rule parts or authorization procedures. For example, 
equipment authorized under the DoC procedure must be tested by a 
laboratory that is accredited as meeting the requirements of ISO/IEC 
Standard 17025, General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration 
and Testing Laboratories, by a Commission-recognized accreditation 
organization. Laboratories that test equipment subject to certification 
under parts 15 and 18 of the rules are not required to be accredited, 
but must be on a list maintained by the Commission. Equipment 
authorized pursuant to certification under rule parts other than parts 
15 or 18, or any equipment authorized under verification, may be tested 
by the manufacturer or by an independent testing laboratory that is not 
required to be accredited or listed with the Commission. The Commission 
may conduct post-market testing of equipment authorized under any of 
the three procedures to ensure that equipment on the market complies 
with the Commission's technical requirements. Additionally, TCBs are 
required to perform post-market surveillance on a certain percentage of 
products they have certified.
    Given the changes in RF devices, technologies, and manufacturing 
methods that have occurred since the Commission last comprehensively 
reviewed its equipment authorization procedures, we believe that it is 
time to revisit the equipment authorization procedures to ensure that 
they are appropriate for the types of equipment being marketed today 
and for the increasingly intensive use of the airwaves. We are 
initiating this proceeding to explore improvements that can be made to 
our RF equipment authorization processes to efficiently achieve the 
goals of preventing interference to communications services without 
hindering the rapid introduction of new and innovative products to the 
market.
    8. In particular, the Commission proposed that it will no longer 
conduct evaluations for initially approving RF equipment requiring 
certification under the procedures in part 2 of the rules, and that 
TCBs will approve all such equipment in the first instance, including 
equipment on the ``exclusion list'' that only the Commission may 
currently approve. The Commission also proposed to clarify and modify 
the rules on TCB responsibilities. Specifically, it proposed to codify 
the ``permit-but-ask'' procedure that TCBs must use when certifying new 
technologies when testing protocols have not been established, clarify 
the responsibility of TCBs to perform post-market surveillance of 
products they have approved, and specify steps that can be taken if a 
TCB's performance were found to be deficient. The Commission also 
proposed to require accreditation of all laboratories that test 
equipment subject to the part 2 certification procedure, and to codify 
the existing procedure through which the Commission can recognize new 
laboratory accreditation bodies. In addition, it proposed to 
incorporate the latest versions of the industry standards for measuring 
equipment into the rules and address how to update these standards more 
quickly in the future. Finally, the Commission proposed to modify the 
rules to reference the current ISO/IEC standards used to accredit TCBs 
that approve RF equipment under part 2 of the Commission's rules and 
terminal equipment under part 68 of the Commission's rules. The 
specific issues and proposals on which it seeks comments are discussed 
in detail in the NPRM. The Commission believes that the changes 
proposed will enable new and innovative products to be brought to 
market as quickly as possible, thus promoting competition in the 
provision of RF equipment, while at the same time protecting against 
interference among radio services and devices using the RF spectrum.
    9. Many of the changes proposed herein are administrative in nature 
and the Commission believes that there would be minimal or no costs 
associated with them. It recognizes that certain proposed changes, such 
as requiring laboratories to become accredited, would result in some 
increased costs. The Commission expects that the benefits of the 
proposed changes would be greater than the additional costs that would 
be incurred. The Commission seeks comment on the costs and benefits of 
the rule changes proposed, along with data supporting commenters' 
assessments.

A. TCB Program

1. Certification of RF Equipment
    10. One goal of the Commission in allowing TCBs to perform 
equipment approvals was to enable it to discontinue processing routine 
applications when TCBs were available to perform the work. The 
Commission, however, did not commit to ending its role in issuing 
equipment authorizations altogether. The Commission concluded at that 
time that it was unnecessary for it to continue approving certification 
applications for personal computers and peripherals, since that 
equipment could be authorized through the DoC procedure. It found that 
processing these voluntarily filed applications was not an efficient 
use of its resources, and stated that once domestic TCBs were available 
to process applications for personal computer equipment for those 
applicants who chose to use the certification process rather than DoC, 
the Commission would stop accepting these applications. The Commission 
issued a public notice in September 2000 announcing that it would no 
longer accept applications for personal computer equipment. However, 
the Commission has continued to accept applications for all other types 
of equipment during the implementation of the TCB program. This 
practice has provided a smooth transition to TCB certification of 
equipment authorization applications, and ensured that at least one 
entity is available to certify all types of equipment.
    11. Under the current rules, a TCB is not permitted to certify 
equipment for which Commission rules or requirements do not exist or 
for which the application of the rules or requirements are unclear. In 
some rulemaking proceedings, the Commission has identified specific 
categories of equipment that TCBs are not allowed to certify, such as 
TV bands devices and split modular transmitters. OET maintains an up-
to-date list of the types of equipment that a TCB is not allowed to 
certify and publishes this ``exclusion list'' on the Commission's 
Knowledge DataBase (KDB) system. To enable TCBs to certify more types 
of devices, OET has established a ``permit-but-ask'' procedure that 
allows TCBs to review applications for certification of equipment that 
would otherwise be excluded from approval by a TCB. These procedures 
allow the prospective applicant and TCB to seek guidance prior to 
filing the application for certification. Based on information 
submitted from the initiating party in a permit-but-ask request, the 
Commission provides guidance on test methods and

[[Page 25920]]

the applicability of the Commission's technical requirements specific 
to the device for which authorization is to be requested. This is an 
electronic inquiry/response process that is linked to the electronic 
equipment authorization system. The TCB then reviews the application 
for certification based on the guidance received from the Commission. 
Once a TCB has completed a review of equipment covered by the permit-
but-ask procedure, it confirms with OET that appropriate measures have 
been taken to demonstrate compliance with the guidance provided by OET 
prior to issuing a grant of certification. The appropriate measures 
include seeking guidance on proper test procedures, applying 
interpretations of technical rules or applying specific review 
procedures as provided by the Commission staff prior to the final 
approval.
    12. The Commission maintains a database of all RF equipment 
certified by the Commission and TCBs. This database allows the 
Commission to verify that a device is approved without having to 
contact the TCB that approved the device to obtain the records 
demonstrating compliance with the FCC requirements. The database also 
allows the Commission to monitor the activities of TCBs to determine 
how many approvals are issued for each type of equipment. Further, this 
database provides a single publicly available source of information 
that parties can use to verify approvals and obtain copies of 
applications for and grants of certification.
    13. Proposals. Now that the TCB program is well-established, the 
Commission proposes that the Commission no longer directly issue any 
grants of equipment authorization, and instead allow TCBs to authorize 
all products subject to certification. This proposal will allow the 
Commission staff to concentrate on enforcing the rules, providing the 
necessary oversight and guidance to the TCBs, performing post-market 
surveillance and auditing random samples of products approved by the 
TCBs. The Commission notes that during Fiscal Year 2011, TCBs certified 
approximately 98% of the products submitted for approval under the 
Commission's RF equipment authorization program. It also proposes to 
provide TCBs with specific authority to dismiss equipment authorization 
applications under the same circumstances that the Commission may 
dismiss applications. Specifically, the Commission proposes that a TCB 
shall dismiss an application that is not in accordance with the 
provisions of Subpart 2 or if requested by the applicant, and the TCB 
may dismiss an application if the applicant fails to provide additional 
information or test samples requested by the TCB. The dismissal of an 
application would be without prejudice to the applicant filing a new 
application under the same FCC identification number with additional or 
corrected information. An applicant could appeal a TCB's dismissal of 
an application to the Commission if it believed that the TCB acted in 
error, and the Commission could change a TCB's action that it finds 
erroneous. However, the Commission is not proposing to provide TCBs 
with authority to deny applications, which it believes is a function 
that should be reserved for the Commission. A TCB could recommend 
denial of an application to the Commission which would determine if 
such action is warranted. A TCB would continue to have authority to 
rescind a grant within 30 days as the rules currently allow for both 
TCBs and the Commission, but we are proposing to change the term 
``rescind'' to ``set aside'' for consistency with the part 1 rules. The 
Commission does not expect that this proposal will have any impact on 
applicant's costs because TCBs already certify approximately 98% of all 
RF equipment. Further, the benefits are significant because applicants 
for equipment certification would be able to have all types of devices 
approved by a TCB and obtain approvals more quickly. The Commission 
seeks comment on these proposals.
    14. The Commission proposes to eliminate the exclusion list and 
instead codify a procedure that TCBs will use when they require 
guidance from the Commission to certify a product for which the rules, 
requirements or measurement procedures are not clear. It proposes to 
call this the pre-approval guidance procedure. Under this procedure, 
the Commission will identify the types of devices or types of testing 
for which a TCB will be required to consult with the Commission before 
granting certification. These may include, for example, devices 
operating under the Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS), Ultra Wide Band 
(UWB) and TV Bands Device (TVBD) rules under which the Commission is 
the only equipment approval body at the present time. Under our 
proposed procedure, the Commission would have to give its concurrence 
before a TCB could grant an application. The Commission also would 
advise a TCB if additional information or equipment testing is required 
or if the equipment cannot be approved because it does not comply with 
the Commission's rules. In this manner, although ultimately the 
authorization is granted by a TCB, the Commission will continue to 
exercise the necessary control and oversight of particular areas of the 
rules until such time that it determines these areas can be considered 
routine and these additional oversight procedures will not be needed. 
The Commission expects that having TCBs process applications for 
equipment currently on the exclusion list under the proposed pre-
approval guidance procedure will speed processing because TCBs will 
perform all of the routine application review, while OET will need to 
review only those portions of an application that require additional 
oversight. We seek comment on this proposal.
    15. The current permit-but-ask process does not fully integrate the 
inquiry/response function in the KDB with the application processing 
function in the Equipment Authorization System (EAS). This process 
requires a TCB to first send a request through the KDB for Commission 
guidance on processing an application on the permit-but-ask list. The 
TCB then uploads files for Commission review using the EAS, which is a 
separate system from the KDB. Any further communications between the 
Commission and a TCB are made using the KDB. Therefore, both the 
Commission and TCBs must cross reference application files and related 
communications that are stored on different electronic systems. As a 
result, the process has sometimes been time consuming for applicants 
and TCBs. The Commission intends to fully integrate the pre-approval 
guidance procedure with the EAS, thereby improving Commission response 
time while continuing to provide necessary guidance for new equipment 
representing new technologies.
    16. Under the present process, the Commission may test a sample of 
certain types of equipment before it gives a TCB permission to issue a 
grant of certification. For example, for equipment subject to the 
Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) requirements in part 15, subpart E, 
the Commission requires a sample of the equipment being considered for 
certification be tested at the Commission's Laboratory prior to the 
grant of certification being issued. The Commission proposes to provide 
that the pre-approval guidance procedure include the option for the 
Commission to conduct pre-grant sample testing to ensure that the 
Commission is able to request samples of devices to verify their 
compliance with the rules. The Commission seeks comment on this 
proposal.

[[Page 25921]]

    17. In summary, the proposed pre-approval guidance procedure would 
function as follows:
    1. The Commission will issue a KDB publication identifying the 
categories of equipment or types of testing that come under the pre-
approval guidance procedure. This list will include devices currently 
on the exclusion and permit-but-ask lists.
    2. The TCB will perform an initial review of the application and 
determine the issues on which it needs to obtain guidance from the 
Commission. It will then contact the Commission to obtain guidance on 
those issues by electronically submitting relevant exhibits.
    3. The TCB will review the application in accordance with the 
Commission's guidance to determine whether the equipment complies with 
the Commission's rules.
    4. The Commission may request and test a sample before the 
application can be granted.
    5. The TCB will electronically submit all exhibits to the 
Commission along with a recommendation to grant or dismiss the 
application.
    6. The Commission will give its concurrence for the TCB to grant 
the application if it determines that the equipment complies with the 
rules. The Commission will advise the TCB if additional information or 
equipment testing is required, or if the equipment cannot be approved 
because it does not comply with the Commission's rules.

The Commission seeks comment on this proposed procedure and on any 
additions or modifications that may be required.

    18. Under the current rules, an application for certification of RF 
equipment is made by filing FCC Form 731 and the supporting information 
required by the rules, including a measurement report, instruction 
manuals, and equipment photographs and diagrams. For equipment 
certified by the Commission, the application form and supporting 
information must be filed electronically with the EAS at the URL 
specified in the rules. For equipment certified by TCBs, the applicant 
files the information required by Form 731 and all required exhibits 
directly with a TCB. The Commission's rules also require that 
applicants, to be eligible for any instrument of authorization from the 
Commission, must certify that they comply with the Implementation of 
the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 and are responsible for ensuring that 
statements made in an application for authorization are true and 
correct to the best of their knowledge and belief. Signatures required 
on the application may be in electronic format.
    19. The Commission proposes to modify its rules to clarify the 
responsibilities of applicants for equipment authorization and of the 
TCBs that will process these applications through the Commission's 
electronic systems. It proposes to modify Sec.  2.911 to state that 
applicants shall send a written, signed request for equipment 
authorization to a TCB. The Commission would continue to permit 
signatures in electronic format. It also proposes to modify the rule to 
make explicit that applicants provide the TCB with the information 
required by Form 731 in writing or electronic format, including all 
exhibits that the TCB requires to process the application and to 
complete Form 731 in the Commission electronic system. For example, 
applicants would have to provide the TCB with an FCC Registration 
Number (FRN) and a grantee code if these have already been assigned to 
the applicant by the Commission. The Commission further proposes that 
an applicant must provide the TCB with signed written certifications 
stating that it complies with Implementation of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act 
of 1988 and that all statements made in the application are correct to 
the best of its knowledge and belief. Additionally, the Commission 
proposes that the TCB must submit the applicant's certifications as 
exhibits when it uploads Form 731 applications to the Commission. The 
Commission is also proposing to incorporate into Sec.  2.911 the 
requirement from Sec.  2.913 that applications must be accompanied by 
the appropriate fees since new applicants for certification must submit 
a fee to obtain a grantee code, and this function could be handled by a 
TCB if an applicant authorizes a TCB to do so. However, because that is 
the only equipment authorization fee listed in Sec.  1.1103 of the 
rules that a TCB or an applicant might need to submit to the 
Commission, the Commission proposes to modify Sec.  1.1103 to eliminate 
equipment authorization fees that would no longer be collected by the 
Commission if TCBs approve all equipment subject to certification. The 
Commission does not expect that these proposals will be burdensome 
because TCBs should already be obtaining the required certifications 
and any other information that they need from applicants to complete 
their Form 731. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals.
    20. The rules currently require that a TCB supply the Commission 
with electronic copies of FCC Form 731 and the grant of equipment 
authorization for each RF device certified by the TCB. The rules do not 
require TCBs to submit other supporting information from the 
certification application, but they specify that the Commission can 
request the complete application and exhibits from a TCB if it needs 
additional information about a particular device. In order for the 
Commission to effectively perform its program oversight and enforcement 
role, it is necessary to have the TCB submit a complete copy of the 
certification application to the database, including all the 
photographs, user manuals and test reports. The Commission therefore 
routinely request that TCBs submit complete information for each 
certification application that they approve.
    21. The Commission proposes to amend Sec.  2.926(g)(1) of the rules 
to require that TCBs provide the Commission with a complete copy of 
each certification application that they process, including all 
exhibits required by the Commission's rules, prior to issuance of a 
grant of certification or dismissal of the application. The TCB would 
grant or dismiss equipment authorization applications through the 
Commission's electronic EAS. The Commission also proposes to move to 
this section the language concerning the confidentiality of application 
exhibits from Sec.  2.962(g)(4) and remove the remainder of Sec.  
2.962(g)(4) as unnecessary since it refers to full applications being 
sent to the Commission upon request. These proposed changes will codify 
the current Commission practice of obtaining complete information for 
all equipment certified by TCBs prior to the issuance of a grant, and 
will provide notice to the Commission and other TCBs concerning which 
applications were dismissed. The changes would not result in any 
significantly increased burden for TCBs because they already supply the 
complete application and all exhibits to the Commission for equipment 
that they approve, and the Commission expects that the number of 
dismissed applications that they would have to submit to the Commission 
will be small in comparison to those they grant. The Commission seeks 
comment on these proposals.
    22. The Commission also proposes to make a number of minor 
revisions to the part 2 rules to reflect the fact that TCBs would 
approve all RF equipment subject to the part 2 certification 
requirement. In particular, the Commission notes that the following 
sections refer to certification applications being processed by the 
Commission and

[[Page 25922]]

propose to modify the language in these sections to reflect the 
Commission's proposals that TCBs will process all certification 
applications: 2.901 (Basis and purpose), 2.907 (Certification), 2.909 
(Responsible party), 2.915 (Grant of application), 2.917 (Dismissal of 
application), 2.919 (Denial of application), 2.921 (Hearing on 
application), 2.924 (Marketing of electrically identical equipment * * 
*), 2.925 (Identification of equipment), 2.926 (FCC identifier), 2.927 
(Limitations on grants), 2.929 (Changes in name, address, ownership or 
control of grantee), 2.932 (Modification of equipment), 2.933 (Change 
in identification of equipment), 2.947 (Measurement procedure), and 
2.1043 (Changes in certificated equipment). The Commission seeks 
comment on this proposal and whether there are any other sections in 
part 2 or other rule parts that need to be modified if TCBs approve all 
RF equipment requiring certification.
2. Post Market Surveillance
    23. TCBs must be accredited to demonstrate that they comply with 
the Commission's TCB qualification criteria based on ISO/IEC Guide 65, 
General requirements for bodies operating product certification 
systems. Section 2.962(g)(2) states that, in accordance with ISO/IEC 
Guide 65, a TCB is required to conduct appropriate post-market 
surveillance activities on equipment that it certifies. This rule 
section requires that these activities be based on ``type testing'' 
(i.e., sample testing) of samples of the product types that the TCB has 
certified. Other types of surveillance activities of a product that has 
been certified are permitted provided they are no more onerous than 
type testing. This rule section also states that the Commission may at 
any time request a list of products certified by a certification body 
and request copies of product evaluation reports. In addition, the 
Commission may request that a TCB perform post-market surveillance of a 
specific product it has certified. The Commission has authority to 
require grantees of certification to submit samples for testing at the 
FCC Laboratory, but there is no rule that specifically states that a 
TCB may request samples directly from the grantee of certification.
    24. OET has delegated authority under the Commission's rules to 
develop the procedures that TCBs will use for performing post-market 
surveillance. OET has provided information to TCBs on performing post-
market surveillance in KDB Publication No. 610077. This publication 
requires TCBs to develop a sample test plan and describes the criteria 
TCBs must use in selecting samples. TCBs must perform post-market 
surveillance testing on at least five percent of the products that they 
certify each year. This publication also describes how TCBs should 
obtain and evaluate samples and requires that they submit a report on 
their findings to OET.
    25. Proposals. The Commission proposes to modify the rules on post-
market surveillance to more clearly define the responsibilities of 
TCBs. Specifically, it proposes to modify Sec.  2.962 to indicate that 
OET publishes a KDB on TCB post-market surveillance requirements, and 
that this document provides specific information such as the number and 
types of samples that a TCB must test. The Commission also proposes to 
provide TCBs with clear authority to request samples of equipment that 
they have certified directly from the grantee of certification. In this 
regard, the Commission notes that there are currently six different 
sections in part 2 of the rules that address the submission of 
equipment samples for testing, so it is proposing to merge these and 
create a single rule section that addresses equipment sample requests.
    26. OET may want TCBs to perform post-market surveillance on 
specific devices or categories of equipment due to concerns about 
interference or equipment non-compliance. In such cases, the Commission 
proposes that OET would send a sample request directly to the grantee 
of certification and request that the grantee submit the sample 
directly to the TCB that performed the original certification for 
evaluation. OET will also notify the TCB that it has requested that the 
grantee submit a sample, and that the TCB must test the device. Any 
equipment samples requested by the Commission for testing by a TCB 
would be included in the minimum required post-market surveillance 
testing by the TCB. The Commission also proposes that failure of a 
grantee to submit a sample to a TCB within 21 days may be cause for the 
Commission to take actions such as suspending action on other 
applications for equipment authorization submitted by that grantee or 
issuing monetary forfeitures pursuant to Sec.  1.80 of this chapter. 
The Commission may consider extensions of time upon submission of a 
showing of good cause.
    27. The Commission proposes that, if the TCB determines that the 
equipment does not comply with the Commission's requirements for such 
devices, the TCB shall immediately notify the grantee and the 
Commission in writing. The Commission also proposes that the grantee 
must provide the TCB with information on the corrective action that it 
has taken to bring the equipment into compliance and that the TCB will 
have 30 days to submit a report on these actions to the Commission. It 
further proposes to require that TCBs submit periodic reports of their 
post-market surveillance activities and findings by a date determined 
by OET, but the Commission is are not proposing to specify the date in 
the rules to provide OET with the flexibility to modify it if 
necessary. The Commission does not expect that these proposals will 
impose any new costs on TCBs or grantees of certification because TCBs 
must already perform post-market surveillance testing on at least 5% of 
the devices they approve, and grantees are already required to supply a 
test sample upon request.
    28. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals. It also seeks 
comment on how we would coordinate sample requests to ensure that the 
Commission and TCBs do not send duplicate requests for the same device 
or requests for more samples than the TCB is required to test. The 
Commission further seek comment on whether there should be cross-
checking among TCBs, so that a TCB would test some equipment that 
another TCB approved. If so, how would it determine which sampled 
equipment is to be tested by which TCB? If a TCB is required to test a 
sample device approved by a different TCB, who should bear the cost of 
testing and reporting? The Commission we also seeks comment on ways 
that the Commission could obtain samples from the retail market that 
are part of the oversight process. For example, could the grantee 
provide a voucher that the Commission could use to obtain a sample from 
a retail outlet of its choosing, or could the grantee arrange for the 
Commission to pick a sample at random from a distributor? The 
Commission notes that in some cases, it may need special test software 
so that it can verify a device's compliance with the rules. The 
Commission seeks comment on how it should obtain any special test 
software for use with unmodified production devices that it obtains 
from the market. The Commission further seeks comment on whether its 
proposals would impose any new costs on TCBs or grantees, and if so, 
whether the benefits of the proposals outweigh the costs.
3. Assessing TCB Performance
    29. Because the Commission is proposing to allow TCBs to approve 
all

[[Page 25923]]

RF equipment that is subject to certification, it will become 
increasingly important to ensure that recognized TCBs continue to meet 
all relevant Commission requirements and that we minimize the 
possibility that equipment could be certified without fully complying 
with our technical rules. For an organization to be recognized as a 
TCB, the Commission requires that it be accredited to demonstrate 
compliance with ISO/IEC Guide 65 for operating a certification body. 
The rules currently provide that TCBs within the United States may be 
designated by the Commission after demonstrating that they are 
accredited in accordance with this guide by NIST or its recognized 
accrediting organization. NIST recognizes ANSI and A2LA to accredit 
prospective TCBs. TCBs outside the United States must be accredited and 
designated by an authority recognized under the terms of an MRA, and 
their designation must be recognized by the Commission. In addition, a 
TCB must demonstrate expert knowledge of the regulations for each 
product type for which it seeks recognition; recognize when 
interpretations of the rules or test procedures are necessary and 
demonstrate knowledge of how to obtain current and correct 
interpretations; and participate in consultative activities identified 
by the Commission to establish a common understanding and 
interpretation of the regulations. A prospective TCB must demonstrate 
its knowledge and expertise to the organization that performs the 
accreditation for compliance with ISO/IEC Guide 65. The Commission has 
prepared a checklist of the subject areas that accreditors must assess.
    30. If the Commission has concerns regarding the performance of a 
TCB, it may initiate action to verify the TCB's current technical 
competence and conformity with the designation and recognition 
requirements. In particular, the rules state that the Commission will 
withdraw designation of a domestic TCB if the TCB's accreditation is 
withdrawn, if the Commission determines there is just cause for 
withdrawing the designation, or if the TCB no longer wants the 
designation. The rules state that the Commission will provide a 
domestic TCB with a 30-day notice of its intention to withdraw the 
TCB's designation and provide it with an opportunity to respond. In the 
case of TCBs recognized pursuant to an MRA, each MRA describes a 
procedure for the Commission to follow to challenge a TCB's technical 
competence with the specified designating authority. The Commission's 
rules state that it will provide a TCB recognized under an MRA at least 
30 days to respond in cases of disputes with respect to its designation 
or recognition and that it will consult with the United States Trade 
Representative (USTR) as necessary. The Commission's Enforcement Bureau 
may also investigate cases involving possible misconduct by TCBs and 
will take appropriate actions as required.
    31. At present, the rules describe procedures only for the 
withdrawal of the designation or recognition of a TCB and do not 
specify any less severe actions that the Commission could take if it 
has concerns about the performance of a particular TCB. If an 
organization wishes to reapply to be a TCB following withdrawal of its 
designation or recognition, it must complete a new evaluation and 
accreditation process to determine if it meets the designation 
criteria, which can be a lengthy and complex process. Based on the 
Commission's experience with the TCB program, it has found cases where 
it has had concerns about a TCB's performance, but did not believe that 
revoking its authority to certify equipment would be an appropriate 
remedy. For example, such cases could result when a TCB misinterpreted 
the rules or measurement procedures, failed to familiarize itself with 
the latest Commission guidance documents, or did not realize when it 
needed to obtain additional guidance from the Commission. The 
Commission may discover concerns about TCB performance when auditing 
granted applications and discovering that applications are missing 
required exhibits or that the Commission can not determine whether the 
equipment complies with all requirements in the rules. The Commission 
believes that cases such as these could be appropriately addressed in 
some instances by simply having the TCB take corrective action, such as 
additional consultation with the Commission and better staff training.
    32. Proposals. As an initial matter, the Commission proposes to 
modify the rules to clarify the role of NIST in designating domestic 
TCBs. By way of background, there are three steps that an entity must 
follow to become a TCB. First, a prospective TCB must obtain 
accreditation from a Commission-recognized organization to demonstrate 
that it complies with the requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17025 and 
Guide 65. Second, a prospective TCB must apply to the government agency 
that has the authority to designate TCBs (``designating authority'') in 
the country where the TCB is located and demonstrate that it complies 
with all of the Commission's requirements to become a TCB. Third, the 
designation of the prospective TCB must be recognized by the 
Commission, which places the names of TCBs acceptable for performing 
equipment certification on a publicly available list. Under the current 
rules, NIST is the accreditor for TCBs in the United States, and the 
Commission is the designating authority. NIST may also allow other 
qualified organizations to accredit TCBs.
    33. The current practice for designating TCBs in the United States 
is for prospective TCBs to apply directly to NIST after being 
accredited to ISO/IEC Standard 17025 and Guide 65 by a recognized 
accreditor. NIST evaluates the qualifications of prospective TCBs to 
ensure that they comply with all of the Commission's TCB requirements. 
NIST then forwards to the Commission information about the TCBs it 
found compliant with the Commission's requirements. Therefore, NIST 
effectively operates as the designating authority for TCBs within the 
United States. Consistent with this practice, the Commission proposes 
to modify Sec. Sec.  2.960(b) and 68.160(b) of the rules to recognize 
NIST as the designating authority for TCBs within the United States. 
NIST would continue to have authority to designate other organizations 
to accredit TCBs as it does now. To ensure effective oversight of the 
TCB program, the Commission proposes that an organization designated by 
NIST as a TCB would have to be recognized by the Commission before it 
could function as a TCB, and that the Commission could withdraw its 
recognition of a TCB designated by NIST that does not operate in 
accordance with the rules. This change would make the designation and 
recognition requirements for domestic and foreign TCBs more consistent, 
in that in both cases the Commission would rely on other organizations 
to accredit and designate TCBs, but the Commission would have to 
recognize the designated TCBs before they could operate, and the 
Commission could withdraw its recognition of a TCB that exhibits 
serious performance problems. The Commission does not expect that these 
proposals would result in any additional costs on TCBs or other parties 
since the proposals would merely codify the existing practices that 
have evolved over time. The Commission seeks comment on these 
proposals.
    34. The Commission also proposes to amend the rules to provide 
additional measures that the Commission could

[[Page 25924]]

take to address TCB performance issues that are less severe than the 
complete withdrawal of a TCB's designation or recognition. These 
proposed measures are designed to address performance issues that can 
be resolved through relatively simple corrective measures by a TCB, and 
are not intended to limit the Commission's ability to act quickly if 
serious misconduct by a TCB were to occur. Specifically, the Commission 
proposes that it will first notify a TCB in writing when it has 
evidence that the TCB is not approving equipment in accordance with the 
Commission's rules and policies and request that it correct any 
apparent deficiencies. The Commission may monitor all grants by a TCB 
during the time it provides for it to respond to us, and the Commission 
would set aside any grants found to be in error within the 30 day time 
period provided in the rules. If a TCB does not demonstrate that it has 
satisfactorily resolved the performance issues identified by the 
Commission, it is proposes that the Commission may temporarily require 
that all certification applications filed with that TCB be processed 
using the pre-approval guidance procedure for a period of at least 30 
days. This would provide the Commission an opportunity to review all of 
that TCB's applications prior to grant to ascertain whether it has 
corrected the identified performance deficiencies. The Commission 
further proposes that it will provide a TCB with a 30-day notice of its 
intent to require that applications be processed under the pre-approval 
guidance procedure unless the Commission finds good cause to require a 
more immediate implementation of this protective measure. A shorter 
time frame may be appropriate, for example, in cases where the 
Commission discovers that a TCB has a pattern of approving equipment 
that is non-compliant with the rules, particularly equipment that has a 
high potential for causing harmful interference. The Commission also 
proposed that when a TCB demonstrates to the Commission that it is 
processing equipment approval applications in accordance with the 
rules, it would no longer be required to use the pre-approval guidance 
procedure for all equipment, just the equipment on the pre-approval 
guidance list. The Commission further proposed that these procedures 
would apply equally to both domestic and foreign TCBs.
    35. In cases where a TCB continues to exhibit performance 
deficiencies after the Commission requests that it take corrective 
action, it has been proposed that the Commission may request that the 
designating authority and accreditation body investigate and take 
appropriate steps as needed. This could include, for example, limiting 
the scope of the TCB's accreditation, or withdrawing the accreditation. 
The Commission proposes that in such cases it would limit the scope of 
equipment that a TCB could approve if the accrediting body limited the 
scope of a TCB's accreditation, and that the Commission would no longer 
recognize a TCB if its accreditation is withdrawn. The Commission 
further proposes that it would no longer recognize the designation of a 
TCB, either foreign or domestic, if good cause exists, e.g., a TCB 
shows a pattern of approving equipment that is clearly not in 
compliance with the rules. It is also proposed that the Commission 
would provide a TCB with at least 60 days notice of its intention to 
withdraw or limit the scope of its recognition and provide the TCB with 
an opportunity to respond. During that time, the Commission would 
monitor all grants issued by the TCB and would set aside any grants 
within 30 days that were issued in error. In the case of a TCB 
recognized pursuant to the terms of an MRA, the Commission would 
provide more than 60 days notice if required by the MRA and consult 
with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) as 
necessary concerning any trade issues that arise. In addition, the 
Commission proposed that if a TCB's status is revoked, any equipment 
certifications previously approved by the TCB would continue to be 
valid unless specifically set aside or revoked by the Commission. 
However, a TCB would not be permitted to act on any certification 
applications that it was processing but had not yet approved at the 
time its operating status was revoked.
    36. The Commission also proposed certain other modifications to 
clarify the part 2 rules for TCBs. Specifically, it proposed to modify 
Sec.  2.962(e)(1) to specify the recognition requirements for both 
foreign and domestic TCBs. This section currently specifies the 
recognition requirements for only domestic TCBs. The Commission also 
proposed to move the text in Sec.  2.962(h) concerning disputes over 
the recognition of foreign TCBs to Sec.  2.962(e) because it more 
appropriately fits in that paragraph which addresses the recognition of 
TCBs.
    37. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals. In particular, 
it seeks comment on whether the steps being proposed are appropriate, 
and whether there are other measures the Commission could take to 
ensure that TCBs operate in accordance with the rules. For example, 
should the Commission instead prohibit a TCB from approving any 
equipment for a limited time period when performance issues arise? If 
the Commission were to prohibit a TCB from approving equipment for a 
certain time, it seeks comment on how it could determine when the TCB 
has corrected its performance problems. The Commission also seeks 
comment on whether it needs to more clearly define the circumstances 
under which it would take actions such as requiring all of a TCB's 
applications to be processed under the pre-approval guidance procedure. 
If so, what should those circumstances be?
4. TCB Accreditation
    38. The Commission's rules require that TCBs that approve either RF 
equipment under part 2 or terminal equipment under part 68 of the 
Commission's rules meet the accreditation standards in specific ISO/IEC 
standards. An entity recognized as a TCB must be accredited as meeting 
all appropriate specifications in ISO/IEC Guide 65, General 
requirements for bodies operating product certification systems, for 
the scope of equipment that it will certify. An organization 
accrediting a prospective TCB to Guide 65 must be capable of meeting 
the requirements and conditions of ISO/IEC Guide 61, General 
requirements for assessment and accreditation of certification/
registration bodies. TCBs also must be accredited as meeting the 
requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17025, General Requirements for the 
Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories. The organization 
accrediting a TCB or testing laboratory to ISO/IEC 17025 must be 
approved by OET to perform such accreditation based on ISO/IEC Guide 
58, Calibration and testing laboratory accreditation systems--General 
requirements for operation and recognition. A TCB that approves RF 
equipment under part 2 must be reassessed for continuing accreditation 
at intervals not to exceed two years.
    39. Subsequent to the adoption of the rules specifying these 
requirements, several ISO/IEC guides were updated. Specifically, ISO/
IEC Guides 58 and 61 were updated and combined into a single new 
standard, ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment--General requirements 
for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. ISO/
IEC 17011 was prepared by the ISO Committee on conformity assessment 
(CASCO) because the work performed by accreditation bodies accrediting 
testing laboratories and

[[Page 25925]]

certification bodies is quite similar, and the two separate standards 
had two sets of largely repetitious but slightly differing requirements 
for evaluating laboratory and certification body functions. In 
addition, ISO/IEC Guide 65 was replaced with a revised version 
designated ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment--Requirements for 
bodies certifying products, processes and services.
    40. Proposal. The Commission proposes to modify the rules in parts 
2 and 68 to replace the references to Guide 58 and Guide 61 with 
references to ISO/IEC 17011, and to replace the references to Guide 65 
with references to ISO/IEC 17065. Consistent with the revised ISO/IEC 
17065, the Commission also proposed to change the term ``sub-
contractors'' with ``external resources'' in the parts 2 and 68 rules. 
The Commission believes that these changes will not have any 
significant impact on accrediting organizations or TCBs because the 
revised guides are substantially similar to the ISO/IEC guides 
currently specified in the rules. The Commission also proposed to 
update Sec.  68.162 to correct the outdated references to ISO/IEC Guide 
25 which is now designated ISO/IEC 17025. The Commission is not, 
however, proposing to change the requirement that TCBs that approve RF 
equipment must be reassessed every two years. The Commission seeks 
comment on these proposals. The Commission is also proposing to give 
OET delegated authority to update references to measurement procedures 
and other industry standards in parts 2, 5, 15 and 18 of the rules in 
the future.

B. Test Laboratories

1. Accreditation of Test Laboratories
    41. Equipment subject to certification under parts 15 and 18 of the 
rules-i.e. unlicensed devices and industrial, scientific and medical 
equipment--must be tested at a laboratory that meets one of two 
criteria: the laboratory must have either (a) filed a description of 
its facilities with the Commission in accordance with the requirements 
of Sec.  2.948 of the rules, or (b) been accredited under ISO/IEC 17025 
and recognized by the Commission. The Sec.  2.948 filing process 
requires a party to submit a description of its facilities to the 
Commission that includes the location of the test site, a physical 
description of the site that includes drawings and photographs, a 
description of the structures that support the device being measured 
and test instrumentation, the measuring equipment used and information 
on its calibration, a statement as to whether the site is available to 
do measurements for the public for a fee, and site attenuation data 
taken in accordance with ANSI C63.4-2001. The Sec.  2.948 listing is 
based solely on a Commission review of the documentation submitted.
    42. In contrast to the Sec.  2.948 filing process, laboratory 
accreditation involves an extensive review of documentation and onsite 
visits by representative(s) of the accrediting body. Laboratory 
accreditation bodies assess a variety of aspects of a laboratory, 
including the technical competence of staff; the validity and 
appropriateness of test methods; traceability of measurements and 
calibration to national standards; suitability, calibration and 
maintenance of the testing environment; sampling, handling and 
transportation of test items; and quality assurance of test and 
calibration data. The accreditation of a laboratory outside the United 
States is considered acceptable only if it is located in a country that 
has an MRA with the United States or is accredited by an organization 
that has entered into an arrangement between accrediting organizations 
that is recognized by the Commission. The Commission maintains a list 
of laboratories that includes those that have filed a description under 
Sec.  2.948 and those laboratories accredited under ISO/IEC 17025 for 
which the accrediting organization has submitted information to the 
Commission. An accredited test laboratory must be reassessed at 
intervals not to exceed two years.
    43. Unlike parts 15 and 18 equipment rules, the Commission's rules 
do not require that equipment authorized to operate in licensed 
services be tested at either a Sec.  2.948 listed laboratory or at an 
accredited and recognized laboratory. However, because many of the 
testing laboratories that perform measurements on equipment operating 
under the licensed radio service requirements also test equipment 
subject to parts 15 and 18, their test facilities are already 
accredited.
    44. Proposal. The Commission proposed to end the listing program 
for laboratories that test equipment certified under parts 15 and 18 of 
the rules. Instead, it proposed to require that all laboratories that 
test equipment subject to certification and DoC under any rule part be 
accredited to ISO/IEC 17025. This would be a change from the current 
rules under which only devices subject to DoC must be tested at an 
accredited laboratory. The Commission believes that this change is 
appropriate for several reasons. First, because it is proposing to 
cease Commission certification of RF devices and rely on TCBs to 
approve all such equipment, the Commission believes that it should at 
the same time take measures to continue to ensure the quality of the 
TCB program. Requiring laboratories that perform certification testing 
to be accredited will provide a higher degree of confidence for both 
the Commission and TCBs that testing was done in accordance with the 
applicable standards than the current listing procedure provides. As 
noted, laboratory accreditation is based on a rigorous third party 
review of laboratory functions and capabilities, including the 
technical competence of its staff and quality assurance methods, and 
includes onsite inspections by the accrediting organization. In 
contrast, the Sec.  2.948 listing program is based solely on a desk 
review of certain laboratory characteristics. The Commission expects 
that requiring all laboratories that perform certification testing to 
be accredited will improve both the quality and consistency of test 
results. The Commission therefore believes that requiring laboratory 
accreditation is part of a balanced approach in allowing TCBs to 
certify all RF equipment while ensuring the quality of the results.
    45. The Commission is proposing to retain the requirement in Sec.  
2.948 that test laboratories compile a description of their measurement 
facilities, and propose to require that they supply this information to 
a laboratory accreditation body or to the Commission upon request. This 
description will assist a laboratory accreditation body in evaluating 
the suitability of a laboratory's facilities for performing 
measurements. It will also help the Commission determine whether a 
laboratory that tests equipment subject to verification, and which is 
not required to be accredited, has suitable measurement facilities. The 
Commission also proposed to retain the requirement that accredited 
laboratories must be reassessed at least every two years to ensure 
continued compliance with the accreditation requirements.
    46. It is also proposed that the Commission will maintain a list of 
accredited laboratories that are acceptable for testing equipment 
subject to our certification and DoC procedures. Under this proposal, 
laboratories will be accredited to test certain scopes of equipment, 
such as low power transmitters, unintentional radiators and 
transmitters used in various licensed services. The Commission believes 
that a list of accredited laboratories and the types of equipment they 
can test will assist us in our oversight of TCBs and will assist 
manufacturers in selecting an

[[Page 25926]]

appropriate testing facility. The Commission proposed to include 
accredited laboratories outside the United States on the list only if 
it recognizes their accreditation under the terms of an MRA or other 
agreement. The Commission is aware that some test laboratories are 
located in countries that do not have an MRA with the United States. In 
this regard, it proposes to modify Sec.  2.948(e)(2) to provide that if 
a laboratory is located in a country that does not have an MRA with the 
United States, then it must be accredited by an organization recognized 
by the Commission for performing accreditations in the country where 
the laboratory is located. The Commission describes proposals for 
Commission recognition of additional laboratory accreditation bodies in 
the following information.
    47. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals. In particular, 
it seeks comment on whether it is appropriate and necessary to require 
accreditation of laboratories that perform certification testing and 
whether such a requirement would be unduly burdensome. The Commission 
also seeks comment on whether it should allow an accredited laboratory 
to subcontract part of its work to another laboratory. If so, is there 
any reason why it should not also require the subcontractor to be 
accredited? The Commission also seeks comment on whether it should 
eliminate the Sec.  2.948 test site listing process. The Commission 
further seeks comment on the information that should be included in the 
list of accredited laboratories if it requires accreditation of 
laboratories that perform certification testing. In addition, the 
Commission seeks comment on steps it could take to recognize the 
accreditation of test laboratories outside of the United States in 
countries that do not have an MRA with the United States. For example, 
should the Commission recognize accreditations made through an 
organization such as the International Laboratory Accreditation 
Cooperation (ILAC) for laboratories in countries without an MRA with 
the United States?
    48. The Commission recognizes that there is a cost in terms of time 
and money for a laboratory to become accredited, but it believes the 
benefits of increased certainty that equipment tested by an accredited 
laboratory will comply with the Commission's technical requirements 
outweigh this burden. As noted, many laboratories that perform 
certification testing of part 15 and part 18 equipment as well as many 
laboratories that test equipment used in licensed services are already 
accredited. Thus, our proposal will not impact those laboratories. 
However, the Commission seeks comment on the costs that its proposals 
would impose on currently unaccredited laboratories, and whether the 
benefits of our proposals outweigh the costs. The Commission furthers 
seek comment on the impact of this proposal on laboratories outside the 
United States, particularly those in countries without an MRA with the 
United States.
2. Selection of New Laboratory Accreditation Bodies
    49. Under Sec.  2.948(d) of the rules, any entity seeking 
recognition from the Commission as an accreditation body for test 
laboratories must obtain the approval of OET. OET considers recognition 
of entities as accreditation bodies based on requirements established 
by ISO and IEC. The rules currently refer to requirements in ISO/IEC 
Guide 58 for laboratory accreditation, but as discussed, the Commission 
is proposing modify the rules to reference ISO/IEC Guide 17011 that 
superseded Guide 58. Under Guide 17011, the accrediting entity must be 
competent to (1) assess a test laboratory's compliance with applicable 
ISO/IEC standards for operating a testing laboratory and conducting 
tests; and (2) assess the laboratory's ability to perform testing in 
support of the applicable technical regulations. The accreditation body 
is required to (1) Review the qualifications of a test laboratory's 
test personnel, management systems, recordkeeping and reporting 
practices; (2) send recognized experts to observe testing at the 
laboratory; and (3) verify the testing laboratory's competence to 
perform tests in accordance with Commission-related measurement 
procedures.
    50. On August 12, 2010 OET issued a public notice providing 
guidance on the type of information that an applicant that desires to 
be recognized by the Commission as a laboratory accreditation body 
should provide in support of its application. Specifically, OET stated 
that an applicant must submit to the Chief of OET a letter requesting 
such recognition and that the letter must include information on the 
applicant's qualifications; OET further indicated that it will make a 
determination based on the information provided in support of the 
letter of request. It stated that the following types of information 
would provide the ``best evidence'' of an applicant's credentials and 
qualifications to perform accreditation of laboratories that test 
equipment to Commission requirements, consistent with the requirements 
of Sec.  2.948(d) of the Commission's rules for accreditation bodies 
and for test laboratories:
    1. Successful completion of a ISO/IEC 17011 peer review, such as 
being a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation 
Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement or other equivalent 
laboratory accreditation agreement;
    2. Experience with the accreditation of electromagnetic 
compatibility (EMC), radio and telecom testing laboratories to ISO/IEC 
17025. This can be demonstrated by having OET staff participate in a 
witness audit of the accreditation body performing an assessment of an 
EMC/Radio/Telecom testing laboratory; or by having OET staff review the 
report generated by the NIST laboratory accreditation evaluation 
program conducted to support the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 
(APEC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Conformity Assessment of 
Telecommunications Equipment. An applicant that offers other evidence 
has the burden of demonstrating that the information would enable OET 
to evaluate its experience with the accreditation of EMC, radio and 
telecom testing laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025.
    3. Accreditation personnel/assessors with specific technical 
experience in the Commission equipment authorization rules and 
requirements; and
    4. Procedures and policies developed for the accreditation of 
testing laboratories for FCC equipment authorization programs.
    51. Proposal. The Commission proposes to codify the criteria from 
the August 12, 2010 public notice into the rules as the method that OET 
will use to determine the acceptability of new laboratory accreditation 
bodies. OET developed these criteria during the process of selecting a 
new laboratory accreditation body, and we believe they represent an 
appropriate method for determining the acceptability of new 
accreditation bodies. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.
3. Test Site Validation
    52. A measurement facility that is used for measuring radiated 
emissions from equipment subject to parts 15 and 18 of the rules must 
meet the site validation requirements in ANSI C63.4-2001. Radiated 
emission measurements above 1 GHz are required for many devices subject 
to parts 15 and 18. However, ANSI C63.4-2001 does not have specific 
site validation criteria for test facilities used for making radiated 
emissions above 1 GHz. Rather, it states that facilities determined to 
be suitable

[[Page 25927]]

for performing measurements in the frequency range 30 MHz to 1 GHz are 
considered suitable for performing measurements in the frequency range 
1 GHz to 40 GHz.
    53. ANSI C63.4-2009, American National Standard for Methods of 
Measurement of Radio-Noise Emissions from Low-Voltage Electrical and 
Electronic Equipment in the Range of 9 kHz to 40 GHz, provides two 
options for test site validation for facilities used to make radiated 
emission measurements above 1 GHz. Specifically, it states that 
facilities suitable for measurements in the frequency range 30 MHz to 1 
GHz are considered suitable for measurements in the frequency range 1 
GHz to 40 GHz when used with RF absorbing material covering the ground 
plane such that either: (1) The site validation criterion called out in 
CISPR 16-1-4:2007 (CISPR 16) is met; or (2) a minimum area of the 
ground plane is covered, i.e., 2.4 m by 2.4 m (for a 3 m test 
distance), between the antenna and the Equipment Under Test (EUT) using 
RF absorbing material with a minimum-rated attenuation of 20 dB (for 
normal incidence) up to 18 GHz.
    54. Proposal. The Commission proposed to require that test 
facilities used to make radiated emission measurements on equipment 
authorized under any rule part meet the site validation requirements in 
sections 5.4.4 through 5.5 of ANSI C63.4-2009. The Commission also 
proposed that if the measurement site will be used for measuring 
radiated emissions in the range of 1 GHz to 40 GHz, the site must meet 
the first alternative specified in Sec.  5.5 of this procedure which 
states that RF absorbing material must cover the ground plane such that 
the site validation criterion called out in CISPR 16 is met. The 
Commission believes that requiring a site to meet the CISPR 16 site 
validation criteria at frequencies above 1 GHz will provide better 
accuracy and repeatability of measurements than simply covering a 
minimum area of its ground plane. Consistent with Sec.  5.4.4.2 of ANSI 
C63.4-2009 and Sec.  2.948(a)(2), the Commission proposed that 
compliance with the site validation criterion shall be confirmed no 
less than once every three years. The Commission believes that these 
proposals will ensure that a test site is suitable for performing 
accurate, repeatable measurements at all frequencies for which 
measurements are required. The Commission seeks comment on these 
proposals. It also seeks comment on how many laboratories would need to 
modify their sites to comply with the ANSI C63.4-2009 and CISPR 16 site 
validation criteria that we are proposing, and the costs of 
implementing this change.

C. Measurement Procedures

1. Part 15 Devices
    55. The Commission requires that most devices subject to the part 
15 technical requirements be tested to demonstrate compliance with 
these requirements before they can be imported into or marketed within 
the United States. Section 15.31(a) of the rules specifies the 
measurement procedures that the Commission uses to determine equipment 
compliance with the part 15 technical requirements. This section states 
that the Commission will measure emissions from most intentional and 
unintentional radiators using the standard published by the American 
National Standards Institute, Inc. Accredited Standards Committee C63 
(ANSI ASC 63), titled ANSI C63.4-2003, American National Standard for 
Methods of Measurement of Radio-Noise Emissions from Low-Voltage 
Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the Range of 9 KHz to 40 GHz 
(ANSI C63.4 standard).
    56. The Commission has issued a number of public notices, 
interpretations and advisories on measurement standards for intentional 
radiators to supplement the test procedures given in the ANSI C63.4 
standard. This additional guidance has been necessitated by the growing 
number of intentional radiators being developed and the resulting 
number of questions from test laboratories seeking guidance on how to 
properly measure these devices for FCC compliance. To assist 
manufacturers in complying with the Commission's rules, the Commission 
staff worked with ANSI ASC C63 and its members, including 
manufacturers, the Telecommunication Certification Body Council (TCBC), 
telecommunication industry representatives and test laboratory staff, 
to develop a new standard, ANSI C63.10-2009, American National Standard 
for Testing Unlicensed Wireless Devices (ANSI C63.10-2009), for use in 
the measurement of intentional radiators in a wide range of frequency 
bands. This new standard consolidates the various measurement 
procedures that the Commission staff has already allowed for 
intentional radiators without substantive modification and does not add 
any new requirements for compliance testing.
    57. ANSI ASC C63 also released a revised version of the ANSI C63.4 
standard, ANSI C63.4-2009, American National Standard for Methods of 
Measurement of Radio-Noise Emissions from Low-Voltage Electrical and 
Electronic Equipment in the Range of 9 KHz to 40 GHz. Because ANSI ASC 
C63 developed a separate document that contains the measurement 
procedures for intentional radiators (ANSI C63.10-2009 as discussed 
above), the new ANSI C63.4-2009 addresses only unintentional radiators, 
rather than both intentional and unintentional radiators as did the 
previous version. The other changes to this standard from the 2003 
version are discussed in more detail. OET issued a public notice on 
November 25, 2009, indicating that it would accept applications for 
certification of equipment tested either to the ANSI C63.4-2003 
procedure currently specified in the rules or to the revised ANSI 
C63.4-2009 and new ANSI C63.10-2009 procedures.
    58. On September 27, 2011, ANSI ASC C63 filed a petition for rule 
making requesting that the Commission modify Sec. Sec.  15.31(a)(3) and 
15.38(b)(6) of the rules to remove the references to C63.4-2003 and 
replace them with references to C63.4-2009 and C63.10-2009. It argues 
that continued use of the C63.4-2003 standard will lead to confusion, 
inconsistency and a lack of repeatability in product testing. It states 
that its reasons for developing the 2009 version of the standard were 
to remove ambiguities, clarify the text in response to requests for 
interpretations, and to add new material concerning the calibration of 
test equipment and testing new types of devices. ANSI ASC C63 states 
that the following changes are incorporated into the new version:
     Specifying a single method of antenna calibration, rather 
than the two different methods specified in the 2003 version. Because 
the method specified in the 2009 version is different than either of 
the previous two methods, test laboratories may need to recalibrate 
their antennas if the Commission requires use of the new version.
     Clarifying the requirements that receivers and spectrum 
analyzers must meet and providing more detailed information on the 
proper use of spectrum analyzers.
     Requiring test laboratories to document any special 
software used to exercise the equipment under test.
     Requiring test laboratories to determine the effect of 
temperature changes on measurement cable losses.
     Eliminating the requirement for minimum measuring 
equipment sensitivity.
     Providing more guidance on testing wall-mounted and 
ceiling-mounted devices.

[[Page 25928]]

     Moving the test site validation procedure from the body of 
the document to an appendix.
     Specifying criteria for determining measuring site 
validity at frequencies above 1 GHz.
     Updating the requirement for the information to be 
displayed on a video display during testing.

On January 12, 2012, the Commission released a public notice inviting 
comment on the ANSI ASC C63 petition. The Information Technology 
Industry Council (ITI) filed comments, and ANSI ASC C63 filed reply 
comments.

    59. Proposal. The Commission proposes to incorporate ANSI C63.10-
2009 into the rules as the procedure the Commission will use for 
determining the compliance of intentional radiators and ANSI C63.4-2009 
as the procedure the Commission will use for determining the compliance 
of unintentional radiators. The Commission believes that the various 
clarifications and improvements from the previous version of ANSI C63.4 
will advance the Commission's objective of ensuring compliance with its 
technical requirements as well as decreasing the burden on equipment 
manufacturers, thus promoting the timely introduction of innovative new 
products. Consistent with the Commission's previous actions with 
respect to ANSI C63.4, the Commission is proposing to exclude the use 
of the sections in C63.4-2009 that allow the use of rod antennas for 
electric field measurements below 30 MHz, an artificial hand for 
holding handheld devices, an absorber clamp for radio noise power 
measurements, and relaxation of the limits for transient emissions. The 
Commission previously found that there was insufficient evidence that 
rod antennas, artificial hands or absorber clamps produce accurate, 
repeatable measurements, and it found that short duration emissions can 
produce as much nuisance to radio communications as continuous 
emissions. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals.
    60. The Commission is not proposing to incorporate CISPR 22 into 
the rules for measuring equipment subject to part 15 as requested by 
ITI. CISPR 22 addresses measurements only up to 6 GHz, whereas our 
rules require measurements at higher frequencies in some cases. Also, 
CISPR 22 is applicable only to information technology equipment (called 
digital devices in the Commission's rules), while C63.4-2009 is 
applicable to all types of unintentional radiators under part 15 of our 
rules, including digital devices. The Commission also believes that the 
C63.4-2009 measurement procedure for frequencies above 1 GHz is more 
appropriate than the CISPR 22 procedure. Specifically, at frequencies 
above 1 GHz, C63.4-2009 requires varying the receive antenna height to 
determine the maximum level of emissions from a device under test, 
whereas CISPR 22 specifies a fixed receive antenna height that may not 
determine the maximum emission levels. However, the Commission 
recognizes that ITI has raised certain specific concerns about C63.4-
2009 that merit consideration and it seeks comment on these concerns. 
Specifically, is the 2009 version of C63.4 more burdensome than 
previous editions as ITI alleges, and if so, do the benefits of these 
increased burdens (e.g., increased accuracy and/or consistency of test 
results) outweigh their costs? Do certain changes in the 2009 revision 
cause problems for manufacturers and/or test laboratories, such as a 
restriction on the use of hybrid antennas or the 2 dB rule? Would the 
references to undated standards in C63.4-2009 force parties to comply 
with future changes to those standards with no opportunity for comment 
and no transition period? Should the Commission accept the 
interpretations of C63.4-2009 and C63.10-2009 on ANSI's Web site? Could 
the Commission address ITI's concerns about C63.4-2009 and C63.10-2009 
by not incorporating certain sections of these standards into the 
rules? If so, which particular sections should not be incorporated and 
why? In addition, the Commission notes that ANSI ASC C63 is currently 
working on revised versions to both C63.4-2009 and C63.10-2009. The 
Commission seeks comment on whether there are any significant 
differences between the 2009 versions of these standards and the latest 
drafts, and whether any of the changes in these drafts would address 
ITI's concerns.
2. Delegated Authority To Update Measurement Procedures
    61. The Commission incorporates industry standards into parts 2 and 
15 of the rules for various purposes. For example, Sec.  15.38 lists 
the measurement procedures and other standards that are incorporated by 
reference into part 15 of the rules. In addition, part 2 references 
various ISO/IEC standards related to the accreditation of laboratories 
and certification bodies. Industry groups that develop standards revise 
them periodically. In some cases revisions could contain major changes 
from a previous version, while in other cases revisions of standards 
may contain only minor updates that pose no significant changes for 
evaluation of compliance with the rules. The Commission's part 0 rules 
delegate authority to the Chief of OET to perform certain functions, 
but require that orders making non-editorial revisions to the rules be 
referred to the Commission for action. Updating a rule to reference a 
revised standard is not considered an editorial revision, so such a 
change requires a Commission action.
    62. The Commission proposes to delegate to the Chief of OET the 
authority to update references to industry standards in parts 2, 5, 15 
and 18 of the rules, for which OET is responsible. It further proposes 
that this authority be limited to updating versions of standards that 
are already referenced into the rules and not to incorporate a new 
standard into the rules, and that it be further limited to the approval 
of changes to the technical standards that do not raise major 
compliance issues. To meet the statutory requirements of the 
Administrative Procedure Act (APA), OET would first issue a notice that 
would be published in the Federal Register seeking comment on the 
proposed change to the rules. The Commission would continue to act on 
rule changes that incorporate a new standard into the rules or raise 
major compliance issues. The Commission believes that these proposals 
would allow us to more quickly update the rules to reflect the release 
of revised industry standards. The Commission seeks comment on these 
proposals.
3. Other Issues
    63. Test set-up information. The Commission is proposing to amend 
Sec.  2.1033 of the rules to require that applications for 
certification include photographs or diagrams of the test set-up for 
each of the required types of tests applicable to the device for which 
certification is requested. These tests may include, for example, 
radiated emissions, AC line conducted emissions, conducted power, RF 
safety (SAR), or compliance with the hearing aid compatibility (HAC) 
requirements. The rules do not currently require that a certification 
application include this information, while test set-up photographs or 
diagrams are required with the information that responsible parties 
must retain for equipment subject to DoC or verification. The 
Commission believes that photographs or diagrams of the test set-up 
should be required with an application for certification for 
consistency with our other authorization processes and to allow us to 
determine whether a test laboratory or TCB tested equipment in 
accordance with the applicable

[[Page 25929]]

measurement procedures. The Commission proposed that diagrams or 
photographs must show enough detail to confirm other information 
contained in the test report, and that any photographs must be focused 
originals without glare or dark spots and must clearly show the test 
configuration used. The Commission believes that the cost of this 
proposed requirement is negligible because it merely requires a test 
laboratory or TCB to take a minimal number of additional photographs 
during testing or draw some relatively simple diagrams and include 
those with the test report submitted with the application for 
certification. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.
    64. Rule corrections. The Commission is proposing to correct two 
minor discrepancies in part 15 concerning measurement procedures. 
Specifically, it is proposing to remove Sec.  15.109(g)(4) as 
unnecessary because it merely references former Sec.  15.107(e) that 
was deleted in 2002. The Commission is also proposing to delete as 
unnecessary the note in Sec.  15.31(a)(3) that states digital devices 
meeting the limits in Sec. Sec.  15.107(e) and 15.109(g) must be tested 
using the ANSI C63.4 procedure. As noted, Sec.  15.107(e) is no longer 
in the rules, and Sec.  15.109(g) already makes clear that digital 
devices tested for compliance with the limits in that section must be 
tested in accordance with the ANSI C63.4 procedure. The Commission 
seeks comment on these proposals.

D. Transition Period

    65. Two of the proposals in this Notice would make changes to the 
requirements for test laboratories that the Commission believes may 
take some time for currently operating laboratories to meet. These 
proposals are that: (1) All laboratories must be accredited if they 
test equipment authorized through the certification procedure, and (2) 
laboratories that perform measurements at frequencies above 1 GHz must 
comply with the site validation criteria in ANSI C63.4-2009. The 
Commission proposes several provisions to implement these changes and 
to facilitate the transition for currently listed laboratories that do 
not meet these proposed requirements. First, it proposes that we will 
cease accepting applications for unaccredited laboratories under the 
Sec.  2.948 listing program as of the effective date of final rules. 
After that date, any new laboratory that wishes to be added to our list 
of laboratories that can perform testing in support of certification 
applications must be accredited. The Commission would continue 
processing applications for Sec.  2.948 listing of unaccredited 
laboratories that were pending as of the effective date of the rules. 
If such applications were approved, the laboratories would be treated 
in the same manner as laboratories that were already listed on the 
effective date of the rules. Second, the Commission proposed that 
unaccredited laboratories that are listed as of the effective date of 
the rules may continue to perform testing in support of certification 
applications until one year after the publication of final rules in the 
Federal Register. After that date, they must be accredited or cease 
performing testing in support of certification applications unless they 
become accredited. Third, the Commission proposes that all laboratories 
listed with the Commission as of the effective date of the rules, both 
accredited and unaccredited, must comply with the site validation 
criteria in ANSI C63.4-2009 no later than one year after publication of 
final rules in the Federal Register. New laboratories that wish to be 
listed after the effective date of the rules must comply with the ANSI 
C63.4-2009 site validation criteria, and must be accredited as 
described. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    66. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA),\1\ the Commission has prepared this present Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the 
policies and rules proposed in this Notice of Proposed Rule Making 
(NPRM). Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments 
must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the 
deadlines for comments on the NPRM provided in the item. The Commission 
will send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel 
for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).\2\ In 
addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in 
the Federal Register.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, has been 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996 (SBREFA), Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
    \2\ See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
    \3\ See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
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A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    67. The Commission operates an equipment authorization program for 
radiofrequency (RF) devices under part 2 of its rules. This program is 
one of the primary means that the Commission uses to ensure that the 
multitude of RF devices used in the United States operate effectively 
without causing harmful interference and otherwise comply with the 
Commission's rules. Certain radio frequency (RF) devices must be 
approved by the Commission or a Telecommunication Certification Body 
(TCB) before they can be imported or marketed, while other RF devices 
do not require approval by the Commission or a TCB.
    68. The Commission last comprehensively reviewed its equipment 
authorization program over ten years ago. The rapid innovation in 
equipment design since that time has led to ever-accelerating growth in 
the number of parties applying for equipment approval. We therefore 
believe that the time is now right for us to review our equipment 
authorization processes to ensure that they continue to enable this 
growth and innovation in the wireless equipment market.

B. Legal Basis

    69. The proposed action is taken pursuant to Sections 4(i), 301, 
302, 303(e), 303(f), 303(r), 304 and 307 of the Communications Act of 
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 301, 302, 303(e), 303(f), 303(r), 
304 and 307.

C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which 
the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    70. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where 
feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.\4\ The RFA generally 
defines the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the 
terms ``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small 
governmental jurisdiction.'' \5\ In addition, the term ``small 
business'' has the same meaning as the term ``small business concern'' 
under the Small Business Act.\6\ A ``small business concern'' is one 
which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in 
its field

[[Page 25930]]

of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by 
the Small Business Administration (SBA).\7\ Radio and Television 
Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. The 
Census Bureau defines this category as follows: ``This industry 
comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and 
television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of 
products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving 
antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular 
phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television 
studio and broadcasting equipment.'' \8\ The SBA has developed a small 
business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and 
Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: all such 
firms having 750 or fewer employees. According to Census Bureau data 
for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category 
that operated for part or all of the entire year. Of this total, 912 
had less than 500 employees and 17 had more than 1000 employees.\9\ 
Thus, under that size standard, the majority of firms can be considered 
small.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).
    \5\ See 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
    \6\ See 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the 
definition of ``small-business concern'' in the Small Business Act, 
15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory 
definition of a small business applies ``unless an agency, after 
consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes 
one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the 
activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the 
Federal Register.''
    \7\ See 15 U.S.C. 632.
    \8\ The NAICS Code for this service 334220. See 13 CFR 121/201. 
See alsohttp://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-geo_id=&-_skip=300&-ds_name=EC0731SG2&-_lang=en.
    \9\  See http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=&-fds_name=EC0700A1&-_skip=4500&-ds_name=EC0731SG3&-_lang=en.
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D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    71. RF equipment must be authorized through one of three 
authorization procedures described below. The Notice does not propose 
to change these authorization procedures, but it does propose changes 
in the administrative requirements for laboratories that test equipment 
and TCBs that approve equipment. These changes are described in the 
following.
    Certification is an equipment authorization issued by the 
Commission or by a designated TCB based on an application and test data 
submitted by the responsible party (e.g., the manufacturer or 
importer).\10\ The Commission or a TCB may test a sample of a device to 
verify that it complies with the rules before granting approval for the 
equipment to be marketed. Examples of devices subject to certification 
include, but are not limited to, mobile phones; wireless local area 
networking equipment, remote control transmitters; land mobile radio 
transmitters; wireless medical telemetry transmitters; cordless 
telephones; and walkie-talkies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ See 47 CFR 2.907.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Declaration of Conformity (DoC) is a procedure that requires the 
party responsible for compliance to follow certain measurement 
requirements and/or take other necessary steps to ensure that the 
equipment complies with the appropriate technical standards.\11\ A 
compliance information statement must be supplied with the product 
which identifies the product and a responsible party within the United 
States and which contains the statement specified in Section 
15.19(a)(3).\12\ The responsible party is not required to file an 
equipment authorization application with the Commission or a TCB, or to 
submit a sample unit or test data unless specifically requested.\13\ 
Examples of devices subject to DoC include personal computers and 
peripherals, consumer ISM equipment such as microwave ovens and RF 
light bulbs, radio receivers and TV interface devices.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ See 47 CFR 2.906. The party responsible for compliance is 
defined in 47 CFR 2.909.
    \12\ See 47 CFR 2.1077 and 15.19(a)(3).
    \13\ See 47 CFR 2.956.
    \14\ See 47 CFR 15.101(a) and 18.203(a). Although the Commission 
rules require Class B personal computers and peripherals to be 
authorized under either the DoC or certification procedure, the 
Commission does not certify such equipment. Manufacturers may only 
obtain certification for Class B personal computers and peripherals 
through a TCB. See FCC Will No Longer Accept Equipment Authorization 
Applications For Class B Computers and Peripherals That Can Be Self-
Approved, Public Notice, 15 FCC Rcd. 25484 (rel. September 29, 
2000).
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    Verification is a procedure under which the party responsible for 
compliance relies on measurements that it or another party makes to 
ensure that the equipment complies with the appropriate technical 
standards.\15\ Under the verification procedure, the responsible party 
is not required to file an application with the Commission. Submittal 
of a sample unit or representative data to the Commission demonstrating 
compliance is not required unless specifically requested by the 
Commission.\16\ Examples of devices subject to verification include 
non-consumer ISM equipment; TV and FM receivers; and business computer 
equipment.\17\ Devices subject to verification must be uniquely 
identified in a format which cannot be confused with the FCC identifier 
required on certified equipment.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ See 47 CFR 2.909(b) and 2.953.
    \16\ See 47 CFR 2.956.
    \17\ See 47 CFR 15.101(a) and 18.203(b).
    \18\ See 47 CFR 2.954.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    72. RF equipment subject to any of the equipment authorization 
procedures described above must be tested for compliance with the 
Commission's technical rules. Equipment authorized under the DoC 
procedure must be tested by a laboratory that is accredited as meeting 
the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization/
International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) Standard 17025, 
General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing 
Laboratories, by a Commission-recognized accreditation 
organization.\19\ Laboratories that test equipment subject to 
certification under Parts 15 and 18 of the rules are not required to be 
accredited, but must be on a list maintained by the Commission.\20\ 
Equipment authorized pursuant to certification under rule parts other 
than Parts 15 or 18, or any equipment authorized under verification, 
may be tested by the manufacturer or by an independent testing 
laboratory that is not required to be accredited or listed with the 
Commission.\21\ The Commission may conduct post-market testing of 
equipment authorized under any of the three procedures to ensure that 
equipment on the market complies with the Commission's technical 
requirements.\22\ Additionally, TCBs are required to perform post-
market surveillance on a certain percentage of products they have 
certified.\23\
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    \19\ See 47 CFR 2.948(a)(3), (d). DoC-authorized devices must be 
tested by a test laboratory that has been accredited by the National 
Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) or the American 
Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), or by an accredited 
laboratory designated by the Commission under the terms of a 
negotiated MRA. See 47 CFR 2.948(a)(3), (d), (e).
    \20\ See 47 CFR 2.948(a)(2). To become listed with the 
Commission, a testing laboratory must file a description of its 
measurement facilities with the Commission's Laboratory. An 
accredited laboratory may become listed by filing certain 
information about itself, but does not need to file a complete 
description of its measurement facilities.
    \21\ See 47 CFR 2.947, 2.948(a)(1).
    \22\ See 47 CFR 2.946 and 2.1076.
    \23\ See 47 CFR 2.962(g)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    73. The Notice proposes that the Commission will cease approving RF 
equipment authorized under the certification procedure and allow TCBs 
to perform all equipment certification. Equipment manufacturers would 
therefore have to obtain equipment approval through a TCB and would no 
longer have the option of obtaining equipment approval from the 
Commission. The Notice also proposes to give TCBs clear authority to 
request samples of equipment from the

[[Page 25931]]

manufacturer, so manufactures would be required to provide a sample of 
equipment to TCBs upon request.
    74. The Notice proposes that all laboratories that test equipment 
that will be approved under the certification procedure must be 
accredited by a Commission-recognized organization. This would be a 
change from the current requirement under which only laboratories that 
test equipment under the DoC procedure must be accredited. Thus, 
parties wishing to obtain equipment certification would have to ensure 
that their equipment is tested at an accredited laboratory. The 
Commission plans to publish a list of accredited laboratories that may 
test RF equipment that will be certified.

E. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    75. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, 
specifically small business, alternatives that it has considered in 
reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four 
alternatives (among others): ``(1) the establishment of differing 
compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into 
account the resources available to small entities; (2) the 
clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and 
reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) the 
use of performance rather than design standards; and (4) an exemption 
from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for such small 
entities.'' \24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ See 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    76. The Commission proposed several modifications to the 
administrative requirements for test laboratories and TCBs that it 
believes will make the equipment authorization program more efficient 
and effective, thus benefiting small entities. Specifically, the 
Commission proposed that TCBs will approve all equipment, including 
equipment that TCBs may not currently approve because it incorporates 
new technology or requires measurements for which the procedures are 
not yet clearly defined. To more efficiently implement this change, it 
also proposes to integrate a new procedure into our equipment 
authorization system that will enable TCBs to obtain guidance from the 
Commission on testing or other certification issues. The Commission 
expects that these changes will reduce the time required for 
manufacturers to obtain equipment approval.
    77. Our proposals to require accreditation of test laboratories 
that perform certification testing and establish additional measures to 
address TCB performance will ensure the continuing quality of the TCB 
program. This will benefit equipment manufacturers by ensuring that all 
TCBs operate in accordance with the Commission's rules, thus providing 
a clear path to market and a level playing field for all manufacturers, 
both large and small.

F. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rules

    78. None.

Ordering Clauses

    79. Pursuant to Sections 1, 4(i), 7(a), 301, 303(f), 303(g), 
303(r), 307(e) and 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 
47 U.S.C. Sections 151, 154(i), 157(a), 301, 303(f), 303(g), 303(r), 
307(e), and 332, this Notice of Proposed Rule Making is adopted.
    80. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 
Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Notice of 
Proposed Rule Making, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 0

    Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

47 CFR Part 2

    Communications equipment, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

47 CFR Part 15

    Communications equipment, Radio, and Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

47 CFR Part 68

    Communications equipment and Reporting and recordkeeping.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

Proposed Rules

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend parts 0, 2, 15 and 68 of 
Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 0--COMMISSION ORGANIZATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 0 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 155, 
225, unless otherwise noted.

0
2. Section 0.241 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (f) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  0.241  Authority delegated.

    (a) * * *
    (1) Notices of proposed rulemaking and of inquiry and final orders 
in rulemaking proceedings, inquiry proceedings and non-editorial orders 
making changes, except that:
    (i) The Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology is 
delegated authority, together with the Chief of the Wireless 
Telecommunications Bureau, to adopt certain technical standards 
applicable to hearing aid compatibility under Sec.  20.19 of this 
chapter, as specified in Sec.  20.19(k) of this chapter.
    (ii) The Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology is 
delegated authority, by notice-and-comment rulemaking if required by 
statute or otherwise in the public interest, to issue an order amending 
parts 2, 5, 15, and 18 of this chapter that reference industry 
standards to specify revised versions of the standards. This delegation 
is limited to modifying rules to reference revisions to standards that 
are already in the rules and not to incorporate a new standard into the 
rules, and is limited to the approval of changes to the technical 
standards that do not raise major compliance issues.
* * * * *
    (f) The Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology is 
authorized to enter into agreements with the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology and other accreditation bodies to perform 
accreditation of test laboratories pursuant to Sec.  2.948(e) of this 
chapter. In addition, the Chief is authorized to make determinations 
regarding the continued acceptability of individual accrediting 
organizations and accredited laboratories.
* * * * *

PART 2--FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL 
RULES AND REGULATIONS

0
3. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise 
noted.

0
4. Section 2.906 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  2.906  Declaration of Conformity.

    (a) A Declaration of Conformity is a procedure where the 
responsible party, as defined in Sec.  2.909, makes

[[Page 25932]]

measurements or takes other necessary steps to ensure that the 
equipment complies with the appropriate technical standards. Submittal 
of a sample unit or representative data to the Commission demonstrating 
compliance is not required unless specifically requested pursuant to 
Sec.  2.945.
* * * * *
0
5. Section 2.910 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  2.910  Incorporation by reference.

    (a) The materials listed in this section are incorporated by 
reference in this part. These incorporations by reference were approved 
by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. These materials are incorporated as they 
exist on the date of the approval, and notice of any change in these 
materials will be published in the Federal Register. The materials are 
available for purchase at the corresponding addresses as noted, and all 
are available for inspection at the Federal Communications Commission, 
445 12th St. SW., Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, 
Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-0270, and at the National Archives and 
Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of 
this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
    (b) The following material is available for purchase from at least 
one of the following addresses: Global Engineering Documents, 15 
Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112, (800) 854-7179, or at http://global.ihs.com; or American National Standards Institute, 25 West 43rd 
Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, (212) 642-4900, or at http://webstore.ansi.org/ansidocstore/default.asp.
    (1) ANSI C63.4-2009: ``Methods of Measurement of Radio-Noise 
Emissions from Low-Voltage Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the 
Range of 9 kHz to 40 GHz,'' 2009, sections 5.4.4 through 5.5 IBR 
approved for Sec.  2.948.
    (2) CISPR 16-1-4:2007: ``Specification for radio disturbance and 
immunity measuring apparatus and methods--Part 1-4: Radio disturbance 
and immunity measuring apparatus--Ancillary equipment--Radiated 
disturbances'', IBR approved for Sec.  2.948.
    (c) The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 1, 
ch. De la Voie-Creuse, CP 56, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland; 
www.iso.org; Tel.: +41 22 749 01 11; Fax: +41 22 733 34 30; email: 
central@iso.org. (ISO publications can also be purchased from the 
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) through its NSSN operation 
(www.nssn.org), at Customer Service, American National Standards 
Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, New York NY 10036, telephone (212) 642-
4900.)
    (1) ISO/IEC 17011:2004, ``Conformity assessment--General 
requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment 
bodies,'' IBR approved for Sec. Sec.  2.948, 2.949, and 2.960.
    (2) ISO/IEC 17025:2005, ``General Requirements for the Competence 
of Calibration and Testing Laboratories,'' IBR approved for Sec. Sec.  
2.948, 2.949, and 2.962.
    (3) ISO/IEC 17065:2012, ``Conformity assessment--Requirements for 
bodies certifying products, processes and services,'' IBR approved for 
Sec. Sec.  2.960 and 2.962.
0
6. Section 2.911 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  2.911  Application requirements.

    (a) All requests for equipment authorization shall be submitted in 
writing to a Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) in a manner 
prescribed by the TCB.
    (b) A TCB shall submit an electronic copy of each equipment 
authorization application to the Commission pursuant to Sec.  
2.962(f)(6) on a form prescribed by the Commission at http://www.fcc.gov/eas.
    (c) Each application that a TCB submits to the Commission shall be 
accompanied by all information required by this subpart and by those 
parts of the rules governing operation of the equipment, the 
applicant's certifications required in paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of 
this section, and by requisite test data, diagrams, photographs, etc., 
as specified in this subpart and in those sections of rules under which 
the equipment is to be operated.
    (d) The applicant shall provide to the TCB all information that the 
TCB requests to process the equipment authorization request and to 
submit the application form prescribed by the Commission and all 
exhibits required with this form.
    (1) The applicant shall provide a written and signed certification 
to the TCB that all statements it makes in its request for equipment 
authorization are true and correct to the best of its knowledge and 
belief.
    (2) The applicant shall provide a written and signed certification 
to the TCB that the applicant complies with the requirements in Sec.  
1.2002 of this chapter concerning the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.
    (3) Each request for equipment authorization submitted to a TCB, 
including amendments thereto, and related statements of fact and 
authorizations required by the Commission, shall be signed by the 
applicant if the applicant is an individual; by one of the partners if 
the applicant is a partnership; by an officer, if the applicant is a 
corporation; or by a member who is an officer, if the applicant is an 
unincorporated association: Provided, however, that the application may 
be signed by the applicant's authorized representative who shall 
indicate his title, such as plant manager, project engineer, etc.
    (4) Information on the Commission's equipment authorization 
requirements can be obtained from the Internet at http://www.fcc.gov/eas.
    (e) Technical test data submitted to the TCB and to the Commission 
shall be signed by the person who performed or supervised the tests. 
The person signing the test data shall attest to the accuracy of such 
data. The Commission may require such person to submit a statement 
showing that he is qualified to make or supervise the required 
measurements.
    (f) Each application submitted by a TCB to the Commission shall be 
accompanied by any processing fee prescribed in subpart G of part 1 of 
this chapter. Unless otherwise directed, any fees required for 
equipment approval services pursuant to Sec.  1.1103 of this chapter 
must be submitted either electronically via the Internet at http://www.fcc.gov/eas or by following the procedures described in Sec.  
0.401(b) of this chapter. The address for fees submitted by mail is: 
Federal Communications Commission, Equipment Approval Services, P.O. 
Box 979095, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. If the applicant chooses to make 
use of an air courier/package delivery service, the following address 
must appear on the outside of the package/envelope: Federal 
Communications Commission, c/o Lockbox 979095, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 
Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
    (g) Signed, as used in this section, means an original handwritten 
signature; however, the Office of Engineering and Technology may allow 
signature by any symbol executed or adopted by the applicant or TCB 
with the intent that such symbol be a signature, including symbols 
formed by computer-generated electronic impulses.


Sec.  2.913  [Removed]

0
7. Section 2.913 is removed.

[[Page 25933]]

Sec.  2.936  [Removed]

0
8. Section 2.936 is removed.


Sec.  2.943  [Removed]

0
9. Section 2.943 is removed.
0
10. Section 2.945 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  2.945  Submission of equipment for testing and equipment records.

    (a) Prior to equipment authorization. (1) The Commission or a 
Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) may require an applicant for 
certification to submit one or more sample units for measurement at the 
Commission's laboratory or the TCB.
    (2) If the applicant fails to provide a sample of the equipment, 
the TCB may dismiss the application without prejudice.
    (3) In the event the applicant believes that shipment of the sample 
to the Commission's laboratory or the TCB is impractical because of the 
size or weight of the equipment, or the power requirement, or for any 
other reason, the applicant may submit a written explanation why such 
shipment is impractical and should not be required.
    (4) The Commission may take administrative sanctions against a 
grantee of certification that fails to respond within 21 days to a 
Commission or TCB request for an equipment sample, such as suspending 
action on applications for equipment authorization submitted by that 
party while the matter is being resolved. The Commission may consider 
extensions of time upon submission of a showing of good cause.
    (b) Subsequent to equipment authorization. (1) The Commission may 
request that the responsible party or any other party marketing 
equipment subject to this chapter submit a sample of the equipment to 
determine the extent to which production of such equipment continues to 
comply with the data filed by the applicant or on file with the 
responsible party for equipment subject to verification or Declaration 
of Conformity. The Commission may request that a sample be submitted to 
the Commission, or in the case of equipment subject to certification, 
to the TCB that certified the equipment.
    (2) A TCB may request samples of equipment that it has certified 
from the grantee of certification for the purpose of performing post-
market surveillance as described in Sec.  2.962. TCBs must document 
their sample requests to show the date they were sent and provide this 
documentation to the Commission upon request.
    (3) The cost of shipping the equipment to Commission's laboratory 
or a TCB and back to the party submitting the equipment shall be borne 
by the party from which the Commission or TCB requested the equipment.
    (4) In the event a party believes that shipment of the sample to 
the Commission's laboratory or the TCB is impractical because of the 
size or weight of the equipment, or the power requirement, or for any 
other reason, that party may submit a written explanation why such 
shipment is impractical and should not be required.
    (5) Failure of a responsible party or other party marketing 
equipment subject to this chapter to comply with a request from the 
Commission or TCB for equipment samples within 21 days may be cause for 
actions such as such as suspending action on applications for equipment 
authorization submitted by a grantee or forfeitures pursuant to Sec.  
1.80 of this chapter. The Commission may consider extensions of time 
upon submission of a showing of good cause.
    (c) Submission of records. Upon request by the Commission, each 
responsible party shall submit copies of the records required by 
Sec. Sec.  2.938, 2.955, and 2.1075 to the Commission. Failure of a 
responsible party or other party marketing equipment subject to this 
chapter to comply with a request from the Commission for records within 
21 days may be cause for forfeiture, pursuant to Sec.  1.80 of this 
chapter. The Commission may consider extensions of time upon submission 
of a showing of good cause.
    (d) Inspection by the Commission. Upon request by the Commission, 
each responsible party shall make its manufacturing plant and 
facilities available for inspection.


Sec.  2.946  [Removed]

0
11. Section 2.946 is removed.
0
12. Section 2.948 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  2.948  Measurement facilities.

    (a) Equipment authorized under the certification or Declaration of 
Conformity (DoC) procedure shall be tested at a laboratory that is 
accredited in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.
    (b) A laboratory that makes measurements of equipment subject to an 
equipment authorization under the certification, DoC or verification 
procedure shall compile a description of the measurement facilities 
employed.
    (1) The description of the measurement facilities shall contain the 
following information:
    (i) Location of the test site.
    (ii) Physical description of the test site accompanied by 
photographs of size A4 (21 cm x 29.7 cm) or 8x10 inches (20.3 cm x 25.4 
cm). Smaller photographs may be used if they clearly show the details 
of the test site and are mounted on full size sheets of paper.
    (iii) A drawing showing the dimensions of the site, physical layout 
of all supporting structures, and all structures within 5 times the 
distance between the measuring antenna and the device being measured.
    (iv) Description of structures used to support the device being 
measured and the test instrumentation.
    (v) List of measuring equipment used.
    (vi) Information concerning the calibration of the measuring 
equipment, i.e., the date the equipment was last calibrated and how 
often the equipment is calibrated.
    (vii) For a measurement facility that will be used for testing 
radiated emissions, a plot of site attenuation data taken pursuant 
paragraph (d) of this section.
    (2) The description of the measurement facilities shall be provided 
to a laboratory accreditation body upon request.
    (3) The description of the measurement facilities shall be retained 
by the party responsible for verification of equipment and provided to 
the Commission upon request.
    (i) The party responsible for verification of equipment may rely 
upon the description of the measurement facilities retained by an 
independent laboratory that performed the tests. In this situation, the 
party responsible for verification of the equipment is not required to 
retain a duplicate copy of the description of the measurement 
facilities.
    (ii) No specific site calibration data is required for equipment 
that is verified for compliance based on measurements performed at the 
installation site of the equipment. The description of the measurement 
facilities may be retained at the site at which the measurements were 
performed.
    (c) The Commission will maintain a list of accredited laboratories 
for which the accrediting organization (or designating authority in the 
case of foreign laboratories) submits the information listed in 
paragraphs (c)(1) through (8) of this section to the Commission's 
laboratory. The Commission will make publicly available a list of those 
laboratories that indicate they will perform testing on a contract 
basis. Inclusion of a facility on the Commission's list does not 
constitute Commission endorsement of that facility. The Commission will 
list the following information:

[[Page 25934]]

    (1) Laboratory name, location of test site(s), mailing address and 
contact information;
    (2) Name of accrediting organization;
    (3) Scope of laboratory accreditation;
    (4) Date of expiration of accreditation;
    (5) Designation number;
    (6) FCC Registration Number (FRN);
    (7) A statement as to whether or not the laboratory performs 
testing on a contract basis;
    (8) For laboratories outside the United States, the name of the 
mutual recognition agreement or arrangement under which the 
accreditation of the laboratory is recognized.
    (d) For a measurement facility that will be used for testing 
radiated emissions, the site attenuation must comply with the 
requirements of Sections 5.4.4 through 5.5 of the following procedure: 
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C63.4-2009, ``American 
National Standard for Methods of Measurement of Radio-Noise Emissions 
from Low-Voltage Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the Range of 9 
kHz to 40 GHz'' (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  2.910). This 
incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal 
Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. If the 
measurement site will be used for measuring radiated emissions in the 
range of 1 GHz to 40 GHz, the site must meet the first alternative 
specified in Section 5.5 of C63.4-2009 which states that RF absorbing 
material must cover the ground plane such that the site validation 
criterion called out in CISPR 16-1-4:2007 is met. Test site 
revalidation shall occur on an interval not to exceed three years.
    (e) A laboratory that has been accredited with a scope covering the 
measurements required for the types of equipment that it will test 
shall be deemed competent to test and submit test data for equipment 
subject to verification, Declaration of Conformity, and certification. 
Such a laboratory shall be accredited by an approved accreditation 
organization based on the International Organization for 
Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 
Standard 17025, ``General Requirements for the Competence of 
Calibration and Testing Laboratories.'' The organization accrediting 
the laboratory must be approved by the Commission's Office of 
Engineering and Technology, as indicated in Sec.  0.241 of this 
chapter, to perform such accreditation based on ISO/IEC Standard 17011, 
``Conformity assessment--General requirements for accreditation bodies 
accrediting conformity assessment bodies.'' The frequency for re-
assessment of the test facility and the information that is required to 
be filed or retained by the testing party shall comply with the 
requirements established by the accrediting organization, but shall 
occur on an interval not to exceed two years.
    (f) The accreditation of a laboratory located outside of the United 
States, or its possessions, will be acceptable only under one of the 
following conditions:
    (1) If the accredited laboratory has been designated by a foreign 
designating authority and recognized by the Commission under the terms 
of a government-to-government Mutual Recognition Agreement/Arrangement 
(MRA); or
    (2) If the laboratory is located in a country that does not have an 
MRA with the United States, then it must be accredited by an 
organization recognized by the Commission under the provisions of Sec.  
2.949 for performing accreditations in the country where the laboratory 
is located.
0
13. Section 2.949 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  2.949  Selection of laboratory accreditation bodies.

    (a) A party wishing to become a laboratory accreditation body 
recognized by OET must submit a written request to the Chief of OET 
requesting such recognition. OET will make a determination based on the 
information provided in support of the request for recognition.
    (b) Applicants shall provide the following information as evidence 
of their credentials and qualifications to perform accreditation of 
laboratories that test equipment to Commission requirements, consistent 
with the requirements of Sec.  2.948(e) of the Commission's rules. OET 
may request additional information, as needed, to determine the 
applicant's credentials and qualifications.
    (1) Successful completion of an ISO/IEC 17011 peer review, such as 
being a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation 
Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement or other equivalent 
laboratory accreditation agreement.
    (2) Experience with the accreditation of electromagnetic 
compatibility (EMC), radio and telecom testing laboratories to ISO/IEC 
17025. This can be demonstrated by having OET staff participate in a 
witness audit of the accreditation body performing an assessment of an 
EMC/Radio/Telecom testing laboratory; or by having OET staff review the 
report generated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology 
(NIST) laboratory accreditation evaluation program conducted to support 
the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Mutual Recognition 
Arrangement (MRA) for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications 
Equipment. An applicant that offers other evidence has the burden of 
demonstrating that the information would enable OET to evaluate its 
experience with the accreditation of electromagnetic compatibility 
(EMC), radio and telecom testing laboratories to ISO/IEC 17025.
    (3) Accreditation personnel/assessors with specific technical 
experience on the Commission equipment authorization rules and 
requirements.
    (4) Procedures and policies developed for the accreditation of 
testing laboratories for FCC equipment authorization programs.
0
14. Section 2.953 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows.


Sec.  2.953  Responsibility for compliance.

* * * * *
    (b) The importer of equipment subject to verification may upon 
receiving a written statement from the manufacturer that the equipment 
complies with the appropriate technical standards rely on the 
manufacturer or independent testing agency to verify compliance. The 
test records required by Sec.  2.955 however should be in the English 
language and made available to the Commission upon a reasonable 
request, in accordance with Sec.  2.945.
* * * * *


Sec.  2.956  [Removed]

0
15. Section 2.956 is removed.
0
16. Section 2.960 is amended by revising paragraphs (a), (b), and 
(c)(1) to read as follows:


Sec.  2.960  Recognition of Telecommunication Certification Bodies 
(TCBs).

    (a) The Commission may recognize designated Telecommunication 
Certification Bodies (TCBs) to approve equipment for certification as 
required under this part. Certification of equipment by a TCB shall be 
based on an application with all the information specified in this 
part. The TCB shall process the application to determine compliance 
with the Commission's requirements and shall issue a written grant of 
equipment authorization. The grant shall identify the approving TCB and 
the Commission as the issuing authority.
    (b) In the United States, TCBs shall be accredited and designated 
by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under its 
National Voluntary Conformity Assessment Evaluation (NVCASE) program, 
or other

[[Page 25935]]

recognized programs based on ISO/IEC 17065, to comply with the 
Commission's qualification criteria for TCBs. NIST may, in accordance 
with its procedures, allow other appropriately qualified accrediting 
bodies to accredit TCBs. TCBs shall comply with the requirements in 
Sec.  2.962.
    (c) * * *
    (1) The organization accrediting the prospective telecommunication 
certification body shall be capable of meeting the requirements and 
conditions of ISO/IEC 17011.
* * * * *
0
17. Section 2.962 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  2.962  Requirements for Telecommunication Certification Bodies.

    Telecommunication certification bodies (TCBs) designated by NIST, 
or designated by another authority pursuant to an effective bilateral 
or multilateral mutual recognition agreement or arrangement to which 
the United States is a party, shall comply with the following 
requirements:
    (a) Certification methodology. (1) The certification system shall 
be based on type testing as identified in ISO/IEC 17065.
    (2) Certification shall normally be based on testing no more than 
one unmodified representative sample of each product type for which 
certification is sought. Additional samples may be requested if clearly 
warranted, such as when certain tests are likely to render a sample 
inoperative.
    (b) Criteria for designation. (1) To be designated as a TCB under 
this section, an entity shall, by means of accreditation, meet all the 
appropriate specifications in ISO/IEC 17065 for the scope of equipment 
it will certify. The accreditation shall specify the group of equipment 
to be certified and the applicable regulations for product evaluation.
    (2) The TCB shall demonstrate expert knowledge of the regulations 
for each product with respect to which the body seeks designation. Such 
expertise shall include familiarity with all applicable technical 
regulations, administrative provisions or requirements, as well as the 
policies and procedures used in the application thereof.
    (3) The TCB shall have the technical expertise and capability to 
test the equipment it will certify and shall also be accredited in 
accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 to demonstrate it is competent to perform 
such tests.
    (4) The TCB shall demonstrate an ability to recognize situations 
where interpretations of the regulations or test procedures may be 
necessary. The appropriate key certification and laboratory personnel 
shall demonstrate knowledge of how to obtain current and correct 
technical regulation interpretations. The competence of the TCB shall 
be demonstrated by assessment. The general competence, efficiency, 
experience, familiarity with technical regulations and products 
included in those technical regulations, as well as compliance with 
applicable parts of the ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17065, shall be taken 
into consideration.
    (5) A TCB shall participate in any consultative activities, 
identified by the Commission or NIST, to facilitate a common 
understanding and interpretation of applicable regulations.
    (6) The Commission will provide public notice of the specific 
methods that will be used to accredit TCBs, consistent with these 
qualification criteria.
    (7) A TCB shall be reassessed for continued accreditation on 
intervals not exceeding two years.
    (c) External resources. (1) In accordance with the provisions of 
ISO/IEC 17065, the evaluation of a product, or a portion thereof, may 
be performed by bodies that meet the applicable requirements of ISO/IEC 
17025 and ISO/IEC 17065, in accordance with the applicable provisions 
of ISO/IEC 17065 for external resources (outsourcing) and other 
relevant standards.
    (2) A recognized TCB shall not sub-contract certification decision 
activities.
    (3) When a subcontractor is used to provide testing of equipment 
subject to certification, the TCB shall be responsible for the test 
results and shall maintain appropriate oversight of the subcontractor 
to ensure reliability of the test results. Such oversight shall include 
periodic audits of products that have been tested and other activities 
as required in ISO/IEC 17065 when a certification body uses external 
resources for evaluation.
    (d) Recognition of a TCB. (1)(i) The Commission will recognize as a 
TCB any organization in the United States that meets the qualification 
criteria and is accredited and designated by NIST or NIST's recognized 
accreditor as provided in Sec.  2.960(b).
    (ii) The Commission will recognize as a TCB any organization 
outside the United States that meets the qualification criteria and is 
designated pursuant to an effective bilateral or multilateral MRA as 
provided in Sec.  2.960(c).
    (2) The Commission will withdraw its recognition of a TCB if the 
TCB's designation or accreditation is withdrawn, if the Commission 
determines there is just cause for withdrawing the recognition, or if 
the TCB requests that it no longer hold its designation or recognition. 
The Commission will limit the scope of equipment that can be approved 
by a TCB if its accreditor limits the scope of its accreditation or if 
the Commission determines there is good cause to do so. The Commission 
will notify a TCB in writing of its intention to withdraw or limit the 
scope of the TCB's recognition and provide at least 60 days for the TCB 
to respond. In the case of a TCB designated and recognized pursuant to 
an effective bilateral or multilateral mutual recognition agreement or 
arrangement (MRA), the Commission shall consult with the Office of the 
United States Trade Representative (USTR), as necessary, concerning any 
disputes arising under an MRA for compliance with the 
Telecommunications Trade Act of 1988 (Section 1371-1382 of the Omnibus 
Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988).
    (3) The Commission will notify a TCB in writing when it has 
evidence that the TCB is not approving equipment in accordance with the 
Commission's rules and policies and request that it correct any 
apparent deficiencies. The Commission may require that all applications 
for the TCB be processed under the pre-approval guidance procedure in 
Sec.  2.964 for at least 30 days, and will provide a TCB with 30 day 
notice of its intent to do so unless good cause exists for providing 
shorter notice. The Commission may request that a TCB's designating 
authority or accreditation body investigate and take appropriate 
corrective actions as required, and the Commission may initiate action 
to limit or withdraw the recognition of the TCB as described in Sec.  
2.962(e)(2).
    (4) If the Commission withdraws its recognition of a TCB, all 
equipment approvals issued by that TCB will remain valid unless 
specifically set aside or revoked by the Commission under paragraph 
(f)(5) of this section.
    (5) A list of recognized TCBs will be published by the Commission.
    (e) Scope of responsibility. (1) A TCB shall certify equipment in 
accordance with the Commission's rules and policies.
    (2) A TCB shall accept test data from any Commission-recognized 
accredited test laboratory, subject to the requirements in ISO/IEC 
17065, and shall not unnecessarily repeat tests.
    (3) A TCB may establish and assess fees for processing 
certification applications and other Commission-required tasks.

[[Page 25936]]

    (4) A TCB shall dismiss an application which is not in accordance 
with the provisions of this subpart or when the applicant requests 
dismissal, and may dismiss an application if the applicant does not 
submit additional information or test samples requested by the TCB.
    (5) The Commission or TCB may set aside a grant of certification 
within 30 days of grant. A TCB shall notify the applicant and the 
Commission when a grant is set aside. After 30 days, the Commission may 
revoke a grant of certification through the procedures in Sec.  2.939.
    (6) A TCB shall follow the procedures in Sec.  2.964 for equipment 
on the pre-approval guidance list.
    (7) A TCB shall supply an electronic copy of each equipment 
authorization application form and all necessary exhibits to the 
Commission prior to grant or dismissal of the application. Where 
appropriate, the application must be accompanied by a request for 
confidentiality of any material that may qualify for confidential 
treatment under the Commission's rules.
    (8) A TCB shall grant or dismiss each equipment authorization 
application through the Commission's electronic system.
    (9) A TCB may not:
    (i) Grant a waiver of the rules.
    (ii) Take enforcement actions; or
    (iii) Authorize a transfer of control of a grantee.
    (10) All TCB actions are subject to Commission review.
    (f) Post-market surveillance requirements. (1) In accordance with 
ISO/IEC 17065, a TCB shall conduct appropriate post-market surveillance 
activities. These activities shall be based on type testing a certain 
number of samples of the total number of product types which the 
certification body has certified. Other types of surveillance 
activities of a product that has been certified are permitted, provided 
they are no more onerous than type testing.
    (2) The Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) has 
delegated authority under Sec.  0.241(g) of this chapter to develop 
procedures that TCBs will use for performing post-market surveillance. 
OET will publish a document on TCB post-market surveillance 
requirements, and this document will provide specific information such 
as the number and types of samples that a TCB must test.
    (3) OET may request that a grantee of equipment certification 
submit a sample directly to the TCB that performed the original 
certification for evaluation. Any equipment samples requested by the 
Commission and tested by a TCB will be counted toward the minimum 
number of samples that the TCB must test.
    (4) TCBs may request samples of equipment that they have certified 
directly from the grantee of certification in accordance with Sec.  
2.945.
    (5) If during post market surveillance of a certified product, a 
TCB determines that a product fails to comply with the technical 
regulations for that product, the TCB shall immediately notify the 
grantee and the Commission in writing of its findings. The grantee 
shall provide a report to the TCB describing the actions taken to 
correct the situation, and the TCB shall provide a report of these 
actions to the Commission within thirty days.
    (6) TCBs shall submit periodic reports to OET of their post-market 
surveillance activities and findings in the format and by the date 
specified by OET.
0
18. Section 2.964 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  2.964  Pre-approval guidance procedure for Telecommunication 
Certification Bodies.

    (a) The Commission will publish a ``pre-approval guidance list'' 
identifying the categories of equipment or types of testing for which 
TCBs must request guidance from the Commission before approving 
equipment on the list.
    (b) TCBs shall use the following procedure for approving equipment 
on the Commission's pre-approval guidance list.
    (1) A TCB shall perform an initial review of the application and 
determine the issues on which it needs to obtain guidance from the 
Commission. It shall then contact the Commission to obtain guidance on 
those issues by electronically submitting relevant exhibits.
    (2) The TCB shall complete the review of the application in 
accordance with the Commission's guidance.
    (3) The Commission may request and test a sample of the equipment 
before the application can be granted.
    (4) The TCB shall electronically submit the application and all 
exhibits to the Commission along with a request to grant the 
application.
    (5) The Commission will give its concurrence for the TCB to grant 
the application if it determines that the equipment complies with the 
rules. The Commission will advise the TCB if additional information or 
equipment testing is required, or if the equipment cannot be approved 
because it does not comply with the Commission's rules.
0
19. Section 2.1033 is amended by adding paragraph (b)(13), revising 
paragraph (c) introductory text and adding paragraph (c)(19) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  2.1033  Application for certification.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (13) Contain at least one drawing or photograph showing the test 
set-up for each of the required types of tests applicable to the device 
for which certification is requested. These drawings or photographs 
must show enough detail to confirm other information contained in the 
test report. Any photographs used must be focused originals without 
glare or dark spots and must clearly show the test configuration used.
    (c) Applications for equipment other than that operating under 
parts 15, 11 and 18 of this chapter shall be accompanied by a technical 
report containing the following information:
* * * * *
    (19) Contain at least one drawing or photograph showing the test 
set-up for each of the required types of tests applicable to the device 
for which certification is requested. These drawings or photographs 
must show enough detail to confirm other information contained in the 
test report. Any photographs used must be focused originals without 
glare or dark spots and must clearly show the test configuration used.
* * * * *
0
20. Section 2.1073 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  2.1073  Responsibilities.

* * * * *
    (b) The responsible party, if different from the manufacturer, may 
upon receiving a written statement from the manufacturer that the 
equipment complies with the appropriate technical standards rely on the 
manufacturer or independent testing agency to determine compliance. 
However, the test records required by Sec.  2.1075 shall be in the 
English language and shall be made available to the Commission upon a 
reasonable request in accordance with the provisions of Sec.  2.945.
* * * * *
0
21. Section 2.1075 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  2.1075  Retention of records.

* * * * *
    (c) The records listed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section 
shall be retained for two years after the manufacture or assembly, as 
appropriate, of said equipment has been permanently discontinued, or 
until the conclusion of an investigation or a proceeding if the 
responsible party is officially notified that an investigation or any 
other administrative proceeding

[[Page 25937]]

involving the equipment has been instituted. Requests for the records 
described in this section and for sample units also are covered under 
the provisions of Sec.  2.945.


Sec.  2.1076  [Removed]

0
22. Section 2.1076 is removed.

PART 15--RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES

0
23. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 304, 307, 336, 544a, and 
549.

0
24. Section 15.31 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(3) and adding 
paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:


Sec.  15.31  Measurement standards.

    (a) * * *
    (3) Other intentional radiators are to be measured for compliance 
using the following procedure: ANSI C63.10-2009: ``American National 
Standard for Testing Unlicensed Wireless Devices'' (incorporated by 
reference, Sec.  15.38). This incorporation by reference was approved 
by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (4) Unintentional radiators are to be measured for compliance using 
the following procedure excluding sections 4.5.2, 6.2.12, 8.2.2, 9 and 
14: ANSI C63.4-2009: ``Methods of Measurement of Radio-Noise Emissions 
from Low-Voltage Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the Range of 9 
kHz to 40 GHz'' (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  15.38). This 
incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal 
Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
* * * * *
0
25. Section 15.38 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1) and by adding 
paragraph (b)(4) to read as follows:


Sec.  15.38  Incorporation by reference.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) ANSI C63.4-2009: ``Methods of Measurement of Radio-Noise 
Emissions from Low-Voltage Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the 
Range of 9 kHz to 40 GHz,'' 2009, IBR approved for Sec.  15.31 except 
sections 4.5.2, 6.2.12, 8.2.2, 9 and 14.
* * * * *
    (4) ANSI C63.10-2009, ``American National Standard for Testing 
Unlicensed Wireless Devices,'' 2009, IBR approved for Sec.  15.31.
* * * * *


Sec.  15.109  [Amended]

0
26. Section 15.109 is amended by removing paragraph (g)(4).

PART 68--CONNECTION OF TERMINAL EQUIPMENT TO THE TELEPHONE NETWORK

0
27. The authority citation for part 68 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 4, 5, 303, 48 Stat., as amended, 1066, 1068, 
1082, (47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 303).

0
28. Section 68.160 is amended by revising paragraphs (a), (b), and 
(c)(1) to read as follows:


Sec.  68.160  Designation of Telecommunication Certification Bodies 
(TCBs).

    (a) The Commission may recognize designated Telecommunication 
Certification Bodies (TCBs) to approve equipment for certification as 
required under this part. Certification of equipment by a TCB shall be 
based on an application with all the information specified in this 
part. The TCB shall process the application to determine compliance 
with the Commission's requirements and shall issue a written grant of 
equipment authorization. The grant shall identify the approving TCB and 
the Commission as the issuing authority.
    (b) In the United States, TCBs shall be accredited and designated 
by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under its 
National Voluntary Conformity Assessment Evaluation (NVCASE) program, 
or other recognized programs based on ISO/IEC 17065, to comply with the 
Commission's qualification criteria for TCBs. NIST may, in accordance 
with its procedures, allow other appropriately qualified accrediting 
bodies to accredit TCBs. TCBs shall comply with the requirements in 
Sec.  68.162.
    (c) * * *
    (1) The organization accrediting the prospective telecommunication 
certification body shall be capable of meeting the requirements and 
conditions of ISO/IEC 17011.
* * * * *
0
29. Section 68.162 is amended by revising paragraphs (a), (b)(1), 
(c)(1), (c)(3), (c)(4), (d), (f)(2), and (g)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  68.162  Requirements for Telecommunication Certification Bodies.

    (a) Telecommunication certification bodies (TCBs) designated by 
NIST, or designated by another authority pursuant to an effective 
bilateral or multilateral mutual recognition agreement or arrangement 
to which the United States is a party, shall comply with the following 
requirements.
    (b) Certification methodology. (1) The certification system shall 
be based on type testing as identified in ISO/IEC 17065.
* * * * *
    (c) Criteria for designation. (1) To be designated as a TCB under 
this section, an entity shall, by means of accreditation, meet all the 
appropriate specifications in ISO/IEC 17065 for the scope of equipment 
it will certify. The accreditation shall specify the group of equipment 
to be certified and the applicable regulations for product evaluation.
* * * * *
    (3) The TCB shall have the technical expertise and capability to 
test the equipment it will certify and shall also be accredited in 
accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 to demonstrate it is competent to perform 
such tests.
    (4) The TCB shall demonstrate an ability to recognize situations 
where interpretations of the regulations or test procedures may be 
necessary. The appropriate key certification and laboratory personnel 
shall demonstrate knowledge of how to obtain current and correct 
technical regulation interpretations. The competence of the 
telecommunication certification body shall be demonstrated by 
assessment. The general competence, efficiency, experience, familiarity 
with technical regulations and products included in those technical 
regulations, as well as compliance with applicable parts of the ISO/IEC 
17025 and ISO/IEC 17065, shall be taken into consideration.
* * * * *
    (d) External resources. (1) In accordance with the provisions of 
ISO/IEC 17065, the evaluation of a product, or a portion thereof, may 
be performed by bodies that meet the applicable requirements of ISO/IEC 
17025 and ISO/IEC 17065, in accordance with the applicable provisions 
of ISO/IEC 17065 for external resources (outsourcing) and other 
relevant standards.
    (2) A recognized TCB shall not sub-contract certification decision 
activities.
    (3) When a subcontractor is used to provide testing of equipment 
subject to certification, the TCB shall be responsible for the test 
results and shall maintain appropriate oversight of the subcontractor 
to ensure reliability of the test results. Such oversight shall include 
periodic audits of products that have been tested and other activities 
as required in ISO/IEC 17065 when a certification body uses external 
resources for evaluation.
* * * * *

[[Page 25938]]

    (f) * * *
    (2) A TCB shall accept test data from any source, subject to the 
requirements in ISO/IEC 17065, and shall not unnecessarily repeat 
tests.
* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (2) In accordance with ISO/IEC 17065, a TCB is required to conduct 
appropriate surveillance activities. These activities shall be based on 
type testing a few samples of the total number of product types which 
the certification body has certified. Other types of surveillance 
activities of a product that has been certified are permitted, provided 
they are no more onerous than testing type. The Commission may at any 
time request a list of products certified by the certification body and 
may request and receive copies of product evaluation reports. The 
Commission may also request that a TCB perform post-market 
surveillance, under Commission guidelines, of a specific product it has 
certified.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-10315 Filed 5-2-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P