Goto Section: 68.160 | 68.201 | Table of Contents

FCC 68.162
Revised as of September 1, 2021
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  68.162   Requirements for Telecommunication Certification Bodies.

   (a) Telecommunication certification bodies (TCBs) designated by the
   National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), or designated by
   another authority pursuant to an 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.

   (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

   (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.

   (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 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.

   (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 specific elements of
   these qualification criteria that will be used to accredit TCBs.

   (d) External resources. (1) In accordance with the provisions of
   ISO/IEC 1706 the evaluation of a product, or a portion thereof, may be
   performed by bodies that meet the applicable requirements of ISO/IEC
   1702 and ISO/IEC 17065, in accordance with the applicable provisions of
   ISO/IEC 17065, for external resources (outsourcing) and other relevant
   standards. Evaluation is the selection of applicable requirements and
   the determination that those requirements are met. Evaluation may be
   performed by using internal TCB resources or external (outsourced)

   (2) A recognized TCB shall not outsource review and certification
   decision activities.

   (3) When external resources are used to provide the evaluation
   function, including the testing of equipment subject to certification,
   the TCB shall be responsible for the evaluation and shall maintain
   appropriate oversight of the external resources used to ensure
   reliability of the evaluation. 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.

   (e) Recognition of TCBs. (1)(i) The Commission will recognize as a TCB
   any organization that meets the qualification criteria and is
   accredited and designated by NIST or its recognized accreditor as
   provided in § 68.160(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 bilateral or multilateral Mutual Recognition
   Agreement (MRA) as provided in § 68.160(c).

   (2) The Commission will withdraw the recognition of a TCB if the TCB's
   accreditation or designation by NIST or its recognized accreditor is
   withdrawn, if the Commission determines there is just cause for
   withdrawing the recognition, or if the TCB requests that it no longer
   hold the recognition. The Commission will limit the scope of equipment
   that can be certified 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 a
   TCB with at least 60 day notice of its intention to withdraw the
   recognition and provide the TCB with an opportunity to respond. In the
   case of a TCB designated and recognized pursuant to an bilateral or
   multilateral MRA, the Commission shall consult with the Office of
   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 may request that a TCB's Designating Authority or
   accreditation body investigate and take appropriate corrective actions
   as required, when it has concerns or evidence that the TCB is not
   certifying equipment in accordance with Commission rules or ACTA
   requirements, and the Commission may initiate action to limit or
   withdraw the recognition of the TCB.

   (4) If the Commission withdraws the recognition of a TCB, all
   certifications issued by that TCB will remain valid unless specifically
   revoked by the Commission.

   (5) A list of recognized TCBs will be published by the Commission.

   (f) Scope of responsibility. (1) TCBs shall certify equipment in
   accordance with the Commission's rules and policies.

   (2) A TCB shall accept test data from any source, subject to the
   requirements in ISO/IEC 17065 and shall not unnecessarily repeat tests.

   (3) TCBs may establish and assess fees for processing certification
   applications and other tasks as required by the Commission.

   (4) A TCB may rescind a grant of certification within 30 days of grant
   for administrative errors. After that time, a grant can only be revoked
   by the Commission. A TCB shall notify both the applicant and the
   Commission when a grant is rescinded.

   (5) A TCB may not:

   (i) Grant a waiver of Commission rules or technical criteria published
   by the Administrative Council, or certify equipment for which
   Commission rules or requirements, or technical criteria do not exist,
   or for which the application of the rules or requirements, or technical
   criteria is unclear.

   (ii) Take enforcement actions.

   (6) All TCB actions are subject to Commission review.

   (g) Post-certification requirements. (1) A Telecommunications
   Certification Body shall supply a copy of each approved application
   form and grant of certification to the Administrative Council for
   Terminal Attachments.

   (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

   (3) The Commission 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) A TCBs may request samples of equipment that they have certified
   directly from the grantee of certification.

   (5) If during, post-market surveillance of a certified product, a
   certification body determines that a product fails to comply with the
   applicable technical regulations, the certification body shall
   immediately notify the grantee and the Commission. The TCB shall
   provide a follow-up report to the Commission within 30 days of
   reporting the non-compliance by the grantee to describe the resolution
   or plan to resolve the situation.

   (6) Where concerns arise, the TCB shall provide a copy of the
   application file to the Commission within 30 calendar days of a request
   for the file made by the Commission to the TCB and the manufacturer.
   Where appropriate, the file should be accompanied by a request for
   confidentiality for any material that may qualify for confidential
   treatment under the Commission's rules. If the application file is not
   provided within 30 calendar days, a statement shall be provided to the
   Commission as to why it cannot be provided.

   (h) In the case of a dispute with respect to designation or recognition
   of a TCB and the testing or certification of products by a TCB, the
   Commission will be the final arbiter. Manufacturers and recognized TCBs
   will be afforded at least 60 days to comment before a decision is
   reached. In the case of a TCB designated or recognized, or a product
   certified pursuant to an bilateral or multilateral mutual recognition
   agreement or arrangement (MRA) to which the United States is a party,
   the Commission may limit or withdraw its recognition of a TCB
   designated by an MRA party and revoke the Certification of products
   using testing or certification provided by such a TCB. 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 under the Telecommunications Trade Act of 1988.

   (i) Incorporation by reference. 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. All approved material is available for inspection at the
   Federal Communications Commission's Reference Information Center,
   located at the address of the FCC's main office indicated in 47 CFR
   0.401(a), Tel: (202) 418-0270, and is available from the sources in
   this paragraph (i). It is also available for inspection 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:

   (1) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), IEC Central
   Office, 3, rue de Varembe,CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, Email:, or International Organization for
   Standardization (ISO), 1, ch. De la Voie-Creuse, CP 56, CH-1211, Geneva
   20, Switzerland;; Tel.: + 41 22 749 01 11; Fax: + 41 22 733
   34 30; email: . (ISO publications can also be purchased
   from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) through its NSSN
   operation (, at Customer Service, American National
   Standards Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036, telephone
   (212) 642-4900.)

   (i) ISO/IEC 17025:2005(E), “General requirements for the competence of
   testing and calibration laboratories,” Second Edition, 2005-05-15.

   (ii) ISO/IEC 17065:2012(E), “Conformity assessment—Requirements for
   bodies certifying products, processes and services,” First Edition,

   (2) [Reserved]

   [ 64 FR 4998 , Feb. 2, 1999, as amended at  66 FR 27601 , May 18, 2001;  67 FR 57182 , Sept. 9, 2002;  80 FR 33448 , June 12, 2015;  85 FR 64408 , Oct.
   13, 2020]


Subpart C—Terminal Equipment Approval Procedures


Goto Section: 68.160 | 68.201

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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