ARRL takes exception to FCC Uncertified Transceiver Enforcement Advisory

ARRL has taken a minor exception to the wording of a September 24 FCC Enforcement Advisory pertaining to the importation, marketing and sale of VHF and UHF transceivers and is in discussion with FCC personnel to resolve the matter. The Enforcement Advisory was in response to the importation into the US of certain radio products that are not FCC certified for use in any radio service, but identified as Amateur Radio equipment. 1

In its discussions with the FCC, ARRL has stated:

“In several places, the Enforcement Advisory makes the point that ‘anyone importing, advertising or selling such noncompliant devices should stop immediately, and anyone owning such devices should not use them,‘” ARRL pointed out. “The Advisory broadly prohibits the ‘use’ of such radios, but our view is that there is no such prohibition relative to licensed Amateur Radio use—entirely within amateur allocations—of a radio that may be capable of operation in non-amateur spectrum, as long as it is not actually used to transmit in non-amateur spectrum. 1

The Enforcement Advisory includes the following Amateur Radio Exception which appears to disallow the use of certain uncertified devices in the Amateur Radio Service:

If a device is capable of operating only on frequencies that the FCC has allocated for use by Amateur Radio Service licensees, it does not require FCC equipment authorization, and an amateur licensee may use his or her license to operate such radios. However, many two-way radios that purport to operate on amateur frequencies also operate on frequencies that extend beyond the designated amateur frequency bands. If a two-way VHF/UHF radio is capable of operating outside of the amateur frequency bands, it cannot be imported, advertised, sold, or operated within the United States without an FCC equipment certification. 2


  1. “ARRL, FCC Discussing Issue of Uncertified Imported VHF/UHF Transceivers”, ARRL The national association for Amateur Radio, retrieved October 8 2018, http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-fcc-discussing-issue-of-uncertified-imported-vhf-uhf-transceivers. [return]
  2. “Enforcement Advisory No. 2018-03”, Federal Communications Commission, retrieved October 3 2018, https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-980A1.pdf. [return]