E-LABEL Act Exempts Wireless Devices from Physical Label Requirements

President Obama recently signed the E-LABEL Act, which allows electronics manufacturers to digitally display required FCC labeling information, as opposed to affixing physical labels to the outside of devices.

Under the FCC’s equipment authorization rules, manufacturers are required to label “radiofrequency devices,” which include common consumer electronics, like smartphones and laptops, with certain regulatory compliance information. Going forward, manufacturers will be able to make this information available on a device’s digital display, as opposed to physically affixed to the device.

While the change may introduce cost savings or other efficiencies in the manufacturing process, especially for small devices where it may not be as easy to label, the change is also viewed as a positive step for overall product design and aesthetics. Importantly, however, the Act only applies to devices that have the capability to digitally display the otherwise required information, and if those devices are to be sold outside of the United States, they will likely still need to be physically labeled with other jurisdiction’s compliance marks (for example, the European Union’s “CE” mark).

Under the Act, the FCC has 9 months to promulgate rules to give manufacturers the option of digitally displaying the required compliance information.

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