Section 302(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act),), provides that:
No person shall manufacture, import, sell, offer for sale, or ship device or home electronic equipment and systems, or use devices, which fail to comply with regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.
Section 302 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations governing the interference potential of devices that emit radio frequency energy and can cause harmful interference to radio communications. Radio frequency devices include a variety of consumer medical, industrial, and other electronic devices, all of which have the potential to cause interference to other radio frequency devices and services. The Commission adopted rules to ensure that radio frequency devices comply with the Commission’s technical standards, as well as labeling and information disclosure requirements, to prevent harmful interference from occurring once devices are sold to the public. One of the primary ways in which the Commission ensures compliance is through the equipment authorization program for radio frequency devices, which is codified in Part 2 of the Commission’s rules. Specifically, under section 2.803, radio frequency devices must comply with the Commission's equipment authorization, labeling, user information disclosure, and other requirements before they can be imported, sold, leased, or advertised for sale or lease, in the United States.
Rules & Statutes
These sections of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (Act) and the Commission’s rules are not comprehensive but highlight some that apply to Equipment Marketing and Importing.
Section of the Act
47 U.S.C. § 302 (the FCC is charged with promulgating rules for electronic devices marketed, imported, or used in the United States that are capable of causing harmful interference to radio communications).
Some general rules that apply
- 47 CFR § 2.803 - With limited exceptions, no radiofrequency device can be marketed (sold, offered for sale, or advertised) in or to the U.S. unless it complies with the FCC’s authorization and labeling rules.
- 47 CFR § 2.1204 - Sets forth the conditions for importing radiofrequency devices into the U.S.
- 47 CFR § 15.101 - Unintentional radiators, typically non-wireless electronic devices, such as USB-only music players, LED lights, ultrasonic humidifiers, broadcast radio receivers or non-wireless personal computer components used in the home, must be authorized through either the Certification or Suppliers Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) process prior to marketing.
- 47 CFR § 15.201 - Intentional radiators, such as wi-fi or Bluetooth-enabled devices, generally must obtain Certification before marketing.
- Part 2 - Frequency Allocations and Radio Treaty Matters; General Rules and Regulations
- Part 15 - Radiofrequency Devices
- Part 18 - Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Equipment
- Part 95 - Personal Radio Services
Relevant Web pages related to Equipment Marketing
- Office of Engineering & Technology (OET) Home Page - learn more about marketing radio frequency (RF) devices
- OET Laboratory Division Knowledge Database (KDB) - equipment authorization procedures and measurement guidance
- OET Laboratory Division Equipment Authorization System
- FCC ID Search - FCC ID search in the equipment authorization database
- Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), Mobility Division Homepage - WTB page on equipment authorization for RF services such as Commercial Mobile Radio Service, General Mobile Radio Service, Personal Land Mobile Radio Service, etc.
Marketing Complaint Filing Guide
Marketing Unauthorized Equipment
Complaints should be filed via the Consumer Complaint Center’s online portal.
For complaints involving lack of an FCC ID, lack of labelling, or lack of equipment authorizations or other equipment marketing complaints (for example radio frequency devices with noncompliant user manuals) please select radio issue as “equipment.”
- Please click the “Radio” box.
- Under the required fields there will be one for “Radio Issues” please select “equipment.”
- Another required field will be “Radio Methods” you can select any of the options and it will still get to SED.
- In the description field SED recommends providing:
- What the device is/does
- Who is the manufacturer, brand name, and model number (if known)
- Who is the entity marketing the equipment and where is the entity marketing the equipment, such as a web page address or postal address
- Why you believe the equipment is not properly authorized (e.g., the equipment is missing the appropriate label, labelling language, or FCC ID)
- Whether you see an FCC ID. If there is no FCC ID, please be sure to say that as well
You may also want to attach screenshots of any marketing you have seen and any pictures of the device(s); any pictures of the device(s) labels and any test results. If you contact the seller or online platform regarding the device, you should keep a copy of that email or query and include it with your FCC complaint. The system accepts pdf and jpeg attachments. You may update, attach additional information, or withdraw your complaint by signing in on the CGB Consumer portal.
You may indicate in your complaint filing that you wish to remain anonymous. Please note that SED generally does not contact those who file complaints. SED also does not comment on whether an investigation is initiated, pending, or concluded. Based on the factors of the case, SED may take no enforcement action. If SED finds that enforcement action is warranted, SED enforcement actions are generally posted on the FCC website. For more information on what generally happens to complaints referred to the Enforcement Bureau, please see the Enforcement Overview.