USA: New Module Certification Guide of the FCC

Draft ready for commenting

In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for radio and EMC regulations. The Commission is an independent U.S. government agency under congressional oversight and is the federal agency responsible for implementing and enforcing U.S. communications laws and regulations.

The approach of a module approval is very popular. This allows an approved radio module with a valid FCC ID to be integrated into a terminal device with little to no additional effort. However, a number of requirements must be met in order to enjoy these benefits.

The FCC regularly publishes guides on its Knowledge Database (KDB). The Module Certification Guide published in 2015 is currently under revision and available for comment to logged-in users of the FCC App as a draft dated April 24th 2023: 996369 D01 Module Certification Guide DR09-45040.

The changes are extensive, so not many sections remain from the previous Module Certification Guide.

Integration instructions

A module manufacturer shall clearly define for the prospective integrator, through integration instructions, the conditions under which the module may be used without requiring additional testing or changes to the module certification.

The proposed module certification guide takes the opportunity to call attention to the integration instructions guide published in October 2022 (996369 D03 OEM Manual v01r01).

Radio Frequency Exposure

The human (and animal) body may only be exposed to electromagnetic fields to a certain degree. This is called here RF Exposure.

We reported last October on the new FCC requirements in the area of RF Exposure, in the future called 447498 D01 General RF Exposure Guidance v07. The current proposed amendment to the Module Certification Guide introduces this RF Exposure guidance and removes ambiguities.

Acceptable Module Certifications

A major change to the Module Certification Guidance comes in the form of the list in Appendix A. All "Equipment Classes" are presented here, which can be compared to a list of radio and non-radio technology classes. At each "Equipment Class" it is indicated whether a module certification is possible or not.


Further changes

  • The so-called split module approval is also permitted for "licensed devices". The guideline 996369 D05 Split Module v01, which was published in October 2022, has been incorporated.
  • Pre-Approval Guidance (PAG) procedures for the module type "limited module" have been added.

Our team of radio and EMC experts will be happy to assist you should you have any questions or wish to discuss details. Just send us a message!


Published on 25.07.2023
Category: Fokus Electrical and Wireless, Compliance

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