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Bahamas Removes Restrictions for Low-Power Device Approval


The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) is an independent regulatory authority in the area of the Electronic Communications Sector (ECS) and the Electricity Sector (ES) in the Bahamas.

In the middle of November, the URCA published Final Determination on the Guidelines for the Type Approval Certificate of Licence‐Exempt Radio Spectrum Devices. This document relates to the type approval process for low-power devices.

A type approval certificate must be obtained from URCA before a low-power device can be imported or used in the Bahamas. According to this document, the URCA is able to grant a type approval certificate for new categories of low power electronic communications devices if they:

  1. do not cause significant interference to networks

  2. meet the health and safety standards and do not cause harm to the user or other individuals

  3. the electromagnetic emissions do not disrupt the operation of equipment operating nearby

One of the main changes relates to the documents that show the conformity of the device to the safety requirements. The previous type approval process was based only on the test reports against the USA Federal Communications Commission’s CFR Part 15 standards requirements. The new changes allow the manufacturer to prove the compliance of the device to the essential safety requirements of the Bahamas by means of different international standards (not only American ones) if they satisfy standards and technical requirements of the National Spectrum Plan and other regulatory measures published by URCA.

The new changes also let the URCA allow other Telecommunications Certification Bodies (TCB) or Regulatory Authorities to verify the low-power devices that have applied for URCA’s Type Approval.

To sum it up:

  • Not only Federal Communications Commission’s CFR Part 15 standards requirements can be used to prove the compliance of the device to the essential requirements in the Bahamas

  • The reference to FCC is removed from the device to avoid potential confusion

  • If you want to import a low-power device to the market of the Bahamas, it must meet the following criteria:

  • must operate in compliance with the National Spectrum Plan of the Bahamas

  • must have been tested by any URCA-approved Telecommunication Certification Body (“TCB”)

  • must have a unique identification label indicating that the device is authorised by an URCA approved telecommunication regulatory body

  • must only be capable of low-power radiation

  • must only be capable of transmitting signals over short distances

The information has been prepared by the GMA Consult Group team. GMA Consult Group provides a full cycle of international type approval and global market access services for IT, Telecom and industrial electrical products in all countries throughout the world. With proven expertise in worldwide regulations, compliance, certification, and conformity assessment, GMA Consult Group can help your company speed up the access to any market with almost zero efforts from your side. Need your own guide to the world of certification and approvals? Don't hesitate to contact us via info@gma.trade.

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