ISED certification programme

To market products in multiple countries, manufacturers and importers must ensure their products conform to the relevant regulatory frameworks, as well as to the specific national requirements of different countries.

As a guide to the requirements for marketing radio products in Canada, here we outline the basic procedures to certify radio equipment, and show how Applus+ can assist our clients to successfully market their products in Canada.

In Canada, Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED) is responsible for radio frequency regulation. Historically, ISED has been involved in many aspects of regulation, including regulatory affairs and compliance, Canadian commerce, and international trade and investment.
Certification of radio equipment is mandatory in Canada. This ensures the correct use of radio spectrum between radio apparatus and services, such as broadcasting, air traffic control, security services and communication with satellites, as well as to minimise interference. In addition, all aspects related to radiofrequency (RF) exposure, including the parameters of Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), must be adequately considered to protect and control their effects on the users.

ISED regulations for radio frequency devices are covered by the General Requirements for Compliance of Radio Apparatus (RSS-GEN). For regulation and compliance, ISED defines the Radio Standards Specifications (RSS) and details the technical requirements for radio equipment. RSS-GEN covers procedures for certification, including technical and administrative requirements (essentially the equivalent of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 47 Part 2 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US). Specific RSS standards are set out for radio communication and these are taken together with RSS-GEN.

Use of radio spectrum in Canada

The Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations (Canadian Table) assigns the electromagnetic frequency spectrum and establishes the frequency allocations available for radio services in Canada. The Canadian Table is based on the provisions of the Final Acts, which have resulted from the various World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC), including the 2012 WRC convened by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Compliance steps

Firstly, an applicant offering radio equipment on the Canadian market must be registered with ISED and hold a company number (CN). Newly assigned CNs consist five numeric characters (e.g. “20001”), while existing CNs may also include an alphabetic character (e.g. “21A” or “15589J”).
After a company is registered with ISED, the applicant can start the certification process. An ISED-recognised certification body must carry out this process, and Applus+ Laboratories holds this accreditation to assist clients with the certification process.
There are a number of certification programmes, depending on the nature of the radio equipment and the applicant’s needs, with distinct programmes including: New Single Certification, New Family Certification, Existing Family, Modification (C2PC, C3PC, C4PC), as well as full or partial Transfer of TAC. Our team at Applus+ can provide further information on the certification required.

For almost all types of application, the applicant is required to provide a sample of the equipment for testing. Applus+ Laboratories is recognised by the ISED to test to their specifications at our wireless-device testing laboratories.

All applicants offering radio equipment on the Canadian market must have a registered company address in Canada or must nominate a local representative. In such cases, the applicant must provide a signed “Applicant-Canadian Representative Agreement”, clearly identifying the details of the company representative in Canada. This representative is responsible for responding to all ISED enquiries relating to certified equipment, including providing audit samples. The applicant must have a valid Applicant-Canadian Representative Agreement for the period that the equipment is offered on the Canadian market.

Before accessing the Canadian market

To access the Canadian market, the radio apparatus must be listed on the ISED Radio Equipment List (REL). It is otherwise prohibited to manufacture, import, distribute, lease, offer for sale, sell, install or use radio apparatus in Canada. Equipment that is not listed is deemed uncertified. Following successful testing, the Certification Body such as Applus+ will upload the related documentation to REL and issue the Technical Acceptance Certificate (TAC).

Responsibilities of manufacturers, importers, distributors and sellers

Canada’s Radiocommunication Act and Radiocommunication Regulations state that manufacturers, importers, distributors and sellers of radio apparatus, interference-causing equipment or radio-sensitive equipment have three responsibilities. First, to ensure that the equipment provided meets all of the technical standards required in Canada for that type of equipment. Secondly, to obtain a Technical Acceptance Certificate (TAC) for the type of product, and thirdly to ensure that all equipment is labelled to show that it meets the applicable standards and to inform the Certification Body of any changes to the information submitted.

Turn to the experts in international regulation to manage your product conformity

Applus+ Laboratories is recognised as an official Foreign Certification Body (FCB), ISO/IEC 17065 accredited and recognised by ISED, ensuring that our clients’ products meet conformity requirements. Applus+ can assist manufacturers to certify radio equipment in Canada, including the necessary tests to meet the required certification standards.
Each market has specific conformity procedures and requirements, so it is highly recommended to turn to the experts at Applus+ for regulation, testing and certification services, who are able to manage global-market access programmes. Our experts will help you assess the costs and opportunities involved in entering a particular market, and we will manage the whole process.