ICASA Type Approval Certification

Overview of ICASA Type Approval

Type approval of electronic communications equipment is one of the basic compliance obligations set out in the legislation governing electronic communications. The historical rationale of the requirement is the protection of the quality of networks by ensuring they are not damaged by inferior equipment or equipment that does not comply with specified technical standards.

According to Section 35 of the Electronic Communications Act retains the previous obligation in respect of the type-approval of electronic communications equipment and facilities before they can be used, supplied, sold, offered for sale or leased or hired. On 26 August 2013 ICASA published new Type Approval Regulations.When you receive type approval you will be issued with a certificate setting out the parameters within which the equipment may be used.

This is especially relevant to radio frequency equipment intended for use in the ISM (industrial, scientific, and medical) or other license exempted frequency spectrum bands where use is subject to power output limitations and observance of standards. Equipment will be type approved if it is capable of use according to these limitations and standards and any modification or change of settings to exceed the limitations will constitute an offence as the equipment is not type-approved to operate at these levels.

Please note: Type approval certificates will only be issued to a local South African registered entities.

Exemptions about ICASA Type Approval

Local and foreign entities that are involved in the provisioning of electronic communications services may apply for exemption from Equipment Type Approval during the hosting of special events. ICASA will accept test reports of the relevant European standards, provided the testing has been performed at an accredited test facility. An accredited test facility is a laboratory or a test house that is continuously being checked by the national accreditation bodies in their countries for, among other things, compliance with ISO 17025 requirements and the qualifications of personnel conducting such tests. Normally such a routine check is done once a year. Updated information is normally obtained from national bodies.

  • All applicants must show that the equipment conforms to the relevant technical standards as specified in the Official List Standard regulations, No. 32885, published by ICASA.
  • All exempted equipment will be granted with a special permit and all such equipment must be clearly marked with an ICASA sticker in order to differentiate them from illegal users. ICASA will issue the relevant sticker.
  • Type approval for RF equipment does not expire and the equipment can be used again in future without the need for another application for type approval. However, type approval for fixed line equipment is valid for a period of a year and is renewable before or on 31 March every year.

Frequently Asked Question about ICASA Type Approval

The necessity to apply for an ICASA type approval

According to Section 35 of the Electronic Communications Act retains the previous obligation in respect of the type approval of electronic communications equipment and facilities before they can be used, supplied, sold, offered for sale or leased or hired. On 26 August 2013 ICASA published new Type Approval Regulations.

When you receive type approval you will be issued with a certificate setting out the parameters within which the equipment may be used.

This is especially relevant to radio frequency equipment intended for use in the ISM or other licence-exempt frequency spectrum bands where use is subject to power output limitations and observance of standards. Equipment will be type approved if it is capable of use according to these limitations and standards and any modification or change of settings to exceed the limitations will constitute an offence as the equipment is not type-approved to operate at these levels.

Who is eligible to apply for  ICASA type approval?

Type approval certificates will only be issued to a “local South African registered entities”.

Applying for type approval

The following information and documents should be submitted with the type approval application:

  • Two identifying photographs of at least postcard size of the equipment to be type approved. Colour photographs are preferred (photocopies are not acceptable)
  • A functional description of the equipment, at least a block diagram level
  • Operating instructions
  • The original or a certified copy of the test report (both RF and EMC), issued by an accredited communication testing facility
  • Detailed circuit diagrams, approved and stamped by the test facility and highlighting any modifications that have been incorporated
  • The originals or certified copies of the test report and certificate of compliance with radio regulations issued by an approved test facility
  • The original or a certified copy of the test report for safety regulations issued by an approved safety test facility

The type approval and licensing process consist of the following three phases:

  • Testing of the performance in accordance with the applicable technical standards
  • Testing of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – both emission and immunity measurements
  • Testing of safety

The applicant must complete the relevant application form and submit the specified conformance test reports from accredited test facilities or laboratories to ICASA. The conformance test reports must be obtained from an internationally recognised test facility.

The procedure is straightforward although there are some variations depending on the type of equipment involved and whether the equipment has already been tested by an accredited testing facility. If you do not have a test report this will need to be obtained before the application can be submitted (see below for further details regarding testing facilities).

There are (4) set of ICASA Type Approval forms 

 Standard Applications (RF)

Standard Applications (TTE)

Simplified Applications for RF and TTE

Applications for Provisional Type Approval.

A non-refundable application fee is payable upon application to ICASA for Type Approval.

 ICASA Type Approval Fees  

Type approval fees are as follows:

  • Telecommunication Terminal Equipment (TTE): R4 908
  • Radio Frequency Equipment (RF): R4 908
  • Untested Variant: R2 454
  • Tested Variant: R2 454
  • Badge Engineering: R4 908
  • Provisional Type Approval: R2 454

Miscellaneous

  • Administrative modification to Certificates (including a transfer of Certificate or name change and/ or address): R614
  • Technical Modifications for approved equipment: R614
  • Re-issue of certificates for approved equipment: R307
  • Administrative and technical modifications: R614

Labelling

When completing your application you can indicate to ICASA how many labels you require.

There are specific regulations relating to labelling of type-approved equipment.

Labelling Regulations - 2013

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