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I see that often commercial radio devices go through EMC tests and attain FCC approval. Do all commercial radio devices need to be approved by the FCC though? According to this:

The radio frequency device is being imported in quantities of 4,000 or fewer units for testing and evaluation to determine compliance with the FCC Rules and Regulations, product development, or suitability for marketing. The devices will not be offered for sale or marketed.

It seems that if fewer than 4000 units are imported, FCC approval is not required if the imported units are not resold. So if an Amazon seller ships <4000 non-FCC approved radio devices directly from China to a US customer, so long the customer won't resell the device, it'd still be legal. Am I reading it right?

Any thought appreciated.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't give you carte blanche to stomp all over the RF spectrum. Even if you interpret this correctly and abide by it, it doesn't exempt you from having the FCC arrive on your doorstep if someone complains that you're causing interference. \$\endgroup\$ – brhans Sep 26 '16 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Do all commercial radio devices need to be approved by the FCC though? " - not if they are for sale outside the US! \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Sep 26 '16 at 16:41
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No, you're not reading it right.

The exception is for less than 4000 units, not for resale and only for "testing and evaluation to determine compliance with the FCC Rules and Regulations, product development, or suitability for marketing."

So you can import them in order to verify that they meet your requirements and the FCC rules. You can also use them for product development, testing and marketing. But you can't use them for a final product no matter how low volume.

You could in theory get around this by effectively keeping the the system they are used for in perpetual beta test but you'd need to have some grounds for claiming that. You would also have to have a very very good excuse as to why you haven't performed the required FCC testing yet.

If you are selling via somewhere like amazon then they are being sold as an end product and so the exemption does not apply.

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