Many manufacturers choose not to obtain required wireless or safety certifications for their devices going into global markets for various reasons. While those reasons might seem valid, and are definitely based on value, the risks of noncompliance can far outweigh the few thousand dollars certification costs for global markets. Have you ever stated any of the following comments? “We don’t ship enough product into that region.” “Our sales revenue doesn’t offset the cost of certification.” “We’ve been shipping into that country for years without certification.” “They don’t check at Customs.” While we agree that sales revenue is top priority in manufacturing processes (or what’s the point, right?), thinking long-term plays a huge role in your overall success and teaches your entire team the benefits of being proactive instead of reactive.

More countries are cracking down at customs and could change tomorrow. The international regulations for type approval and safety certifications were put into place for each country with varying caveats. Some were written as a way to enforce use of the radio spectrum, and sets forth boundaries and allowances within the scope of the regulation. The purpose of a regulation in one country might stipulate that the regulation is in effect strictly to dictate which bands are allowed to be used by non-governmental entities, for example. A manufacturer can go a lifetime without violating the radio frequency usage laws, and technically, be compliant with the law as it pertains to which bands can be used. However, the fact that a country has a regulation for using the bands isn’t the end of the regulation: the regulation is actually stating certification must be obtained proving they are not violating the usage of any bands. If certification is not obtained, and the manufacturer has products utilizing the radio frequency spectrum in accordance with the regulation, and the authority decides to start checking for certification, the manufacturer will be held accountable for violation of not holding certification.

Some countries do check at customs, and the regulations are written in a way that dictates this. However, other countries don’t detail the customs enforcement in writing, so when manufacturers come to us asking for proof within the regulations for each country, the detailed specific proof might not be available. It is proof enough, however, that a regulation for certification exists, based on the technology within the products. It has to be assumed, therefore, that because the regulation for certification exists, there will be risks involved if certification is not obtained, and this is a gamble manufacturers must decide if they want to take. Rolling the dice on obtaining certification could be the difference of a $1500 permanent certificate or tens of thousands of dollars in returned product, customs shipment holds, product pulled from shelves, etc, all at the cost of the manufacturer. Spending a few thousand dollars for peace of mind knowing you are continually compliant with certification regulations over noncompliance is one less aspect of your daily life you need to worry about.

If the stress of not knowing each country’s constantly changing regulations keeps you from obtaining the necessary certifications, or you don’t know how to build a product that will be compliant with global regulations, that’s the time to pick up the phone and call Testing Partners. You don’t need to pay an employee $60K annually to work on certifications. Let us handle that for you so you can focus on other aspects of your job, like sales or new product launches. We can help you create, engineer, build and certify every product from start to finish, for anywhere in the world you want to ship your product (within government allowances, of course).

Do you want to be the one caught without certification? The risks of noncompliance could cost way more than certification. Testing Partners can map out the risks so you can determine which countries are priorities based on cost, certification validity, and more. Give us a call!

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