47 CFR § 2.962 - Requirements for Telecommunication Certification Bodies.

§ 2.962 Requirements for Telecommunication Certification Bodies.

(a) Telecommunication certification bodies (TCBs) designated by 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 requirements of this section.

(b) Certification methodology.

(1) The certification system shall be based on type testing as identified in ISO/IEC 17065 (incorporated by reference, see § 2.910).

(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.

(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 (incorporated by reference, see § 2.910) 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 covered by those technical regulations, as well as compliance with applicable parts of ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17065 shall be taken into consideration during assessment.

(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.

(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 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 using internal TCB resources or external (outsourced) resources.

(2) A 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 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 § 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 bilateral or multilateral MRA as provided in § 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 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 at least 60 days for the TCB to respond. In the case of a TCB designated and recognized pursuant to an 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 concerns or evidence that the TCB is not certifying equipment in accordance with the Commission's rules and policies and request that it explain and correct any apparent deficiencies. The Commission may require that all applications for the TCB be processed under the pre-approval guidance procedure in § 2.964 for at least 30 days, and will provide a TCB with 30 days' 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 § 2.962(e)(2).

(4) If the Commission withdraws its recognition of a TCB, all certifications 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.

(f) 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.

(4) A TCB may only act on applications that it has received or which it has issued a grant of certification.

(5) 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.

(6) Within 30 days of the date of grant of certification the Commission or TCB issuing the grant may set aside a grant of certification that does not comply with the requirements or upon the request of the applicant. 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 § 2.939.

(7) A TCB shall follow the procedures in § 2.964 of this part for equipment on the pre-approval guidance list.

(8) A TCB shall supply an electronic copy of each certification application 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.

(9) A TCB shall grant or dismiss each certification application through the Commission's electronic filing system.

(10) 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.

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

(g) Post-market surveillance requirements.

(1) In accordance with ISO/IEC 17065 a TCB shall perform 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.

(2) The Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) has delegated authority under § 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 § 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 30 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.

[80 FR 33444, June 12, 2015]