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Monday, June 15, 2009

NIST/FCC Hosted 2nd MRA workshop

Gaithersburg MD

Day 1 Highlights (5/5/09)

Having heard from representatives from the United States, Europe and Canada, it seems that a common theme of market surveillance and enforcement emerged from today’s talks.

FCC’s OET Chief Julius Knapp’s presentation focused on the future of telecom regulations in the US, where he outlined a hybrid licensing approach that required the use of a Contention-based protocol (CBP). This protocol will control how two or more devices attempt to access the same channel.

EU representative, Mark Bogers, presented two presentations, the first “the future direction of conformity assessment in a globalized economy” put forth that surveillance, rather than regulatory assessment by pre-market approvals is not only more practical, but necessary for a functioning system in a global economy. Mark’s second presentation will be discussed later.

Marc Dupuis of Industry Canada gave a presentation on market surveillance. Keying on the recall of a cell phone for non-compliance with Canada’s SAR requirements after a random audit, Marc described that Canada is moving toward collaboration with industry and regulatory bodies, and is seeking to constantly re-evaluate Canada’s surveillance program in the future. It was pointed out that the method of informing the public would be a joint collaboration between the various stakeholders, and that the consumer, with respect to enforcement efforts, would be key.

Scott Pietan, of the Office of the U.S. trade Representative, indicated that while tariff barriers are being reduced, non-tariff barriers are becoming more important factors to be dealt with. One example is the non-uniformity of various technical requirements. Mutual Recognition Agreements are a means to reduce some non-tariff barriers. He indicated that the discussion so far of an MRA with China was “positive” and that at this time, China’s interest is in “understanding the process”, but gave no indication of an imminent MRA with China.

Mark Boger’s second presentation focused on R&TTE. New Legislative Framework (NLF) includes market surveillance as one of the main elements. It would organize surveillance and require member states to notify the commission on enforcement actions. Other requirements include notified bodies be accredited, and adhere to the same criteria. Mark indicated the need for clarification of terms and indicated that definitions would be clarified in the NLF. Revision of the R&TTE is imminent based on public consultation in 2007, and the draft has been shared with the member states. 2010 is the expected date of the adoption of new policy; however it does not necessarily mean change for the method of conformity assessment. Registration of equipment has been discussed, and that it may require an equipment identifier. The point of which would be non-registered, or product with fake IDs can directly be removed from the market.

To download the presentations from this workshop, visit the NIST 2009 workshop website

Day 2 Highlights (5/6/09)

George Tannahill gave a presentation on the structure of the APEC MRA and detailed information on the expansion of the MRA including equivalence of technical requirements (MRA-ETR), which does not necessarily equate to technical harmonization of requirements but can lead to that.

Melinda Tan gave information on the ATRC (ASEAN Telecommunication Regulators Council) MRA and detailed phase II-Bis with respect to technical equivalence, limited to EMC and Safety. Singapore has an MRA with India, and CAB designation is pending.

Korea to introduce interim approval, technical requirements are yet to be determined. Documents required will be user’s manual, technical description, test reports, internal and external photos and parts list. Current DoC for ITE, until 2012, will require test report from designated lab. It is expected that in 2012, a manufacturer can self-test, or testing at a non-designated lab. In 2011, DoC will be open for wired equipment, and by 2012, certain wireless device approvals.

Kit module test method IEC61967 for new VCCI kit module allows integrators to select low noise modules. New measurement probes are specified in the IEC standard, VCCI has preference to the Magnetic Probe method in part 6 of the specification.

To download the presentations from this workshop, visit the NIST 2009 workshop website

Day 3 Highlights (5/7/09)

ANSI speakers covered the changes to ISO Guide 65 (ISO/IEC 17065), and the US-India Standards and Conformance Cooperation Program (SCCP). Detailed a new web site www.StandardsPortal.org, that would provide a database of Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs), trade associations, and Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs).

Donald Heirman gave a presentation on the structure, and some changes to, CISPR, in particular, testing above 1GHz, measurement uncertainty, and reverb chambers.

Mr. Haroldo Pazzini Motta, Operational Manager, Management Process of ANATEL gave a presentation on product approvals and homologation in Brazil. Indicated the requirements for testing prioritize local test labs.

Hazim Dawood of Canada pointed out, that at the time of this presentation, DC-01, Issue 3 had not been released, but was expected soon. DC-01 is the requirements of DoC, and the new issue specifically outlines the Canadian authorized representative letter requirement.

FCC wrapped up the day with three presentations, which can be downloaded from the NIST website below.

To download the presentations from this workshop, visit the NIST 2009 workshop website

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