Industry Canada Product Certification Updates

Today's Elite Expert is Dan Crowder, our Certification Department Supervisor and FCC/CE Mark Team Leader.  Read below to see what he has for us this week:

Some significant changes regarding product certification for Industry Canada are rapidly approaching. Let’s try to explain what these changes will mean to the applicants.

First off, the IC database is undergoing a major overhaul. The preliminary updates look promising including the capacity to allow for larger exhibit file sizes (the database now is limited to an exhibit size of 6MB). The down side is that the IC database will be shut down for two weeks while the software is updated. The dates the IC has provided are February 13, 2015 to March 2, 2015 (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ceb-bhst.nsf/eng/h_tt00063.html). During the shutdown, certification submissions as well as a few other services will be unavailable.

Once the new database has gone live, IC will publish an updated RSP-100 that will provide guidelines for the requirements of certification. Some of the terminology will change and I will discuss some of the definitions a little now:

Hardware Version Identification Number (HVIN) - IMPORTANT: The HVIN will replace the existing Model Number. The HVIN meant to be a reference to the technical specs of a model in a family. The HVIN will not require to be right beside certification number on product label –As long as it’s displayed somewhere on the product external surface. Many Manufacturers already print a number on the product surface to identify the specific hardware version of the product. IC wants the Manufacturer/Applicant to use their own hardware number and identify it in the HVIN field. IC also wants to avoid the unnecessary creation of a separate regulatory model number

Product Marketing Name (PMN) - Name used to identify certified product whether it’s final product or module. The Name/model used for advertising a product to consumers. The PMN may be identical for all models used in a family. If PMN is identical for all models, HVIN must be different with the exception: PMN and HVIN can be the same for multiple models in family if FVIN is different (see modification of existing product in the scenarios below). The PMN can have slight variance as long as all models respect the family rules. The PMN variation could play the same role as HVIN or FVIN (i.e. used to identify different specs of each model). The PMN variation allowed with one HVIN when FVIN is different (or if PMN act as FVIN –i.e. if FVIN not available)

Host Marketing Name (HMN) - Name used to identify the host in which a module being certified will be integrated. The host may or may not require separate certification. The host certification only necessary if it includes a transmitters are not certified as modules. The HMN not required for non-modular applications. The HMN not required when module being certified doesn’t require host involvement. The HMN required when module certification requires assessment in host. IC understands that due to the allowance of test reduction guidelines, not all possible host-module combination will be captured

Firmware Version Identification Number (FVIN) - This number is the reference to the specific firmware of a model. IC is interested in the firmware number which affects the RF whether it’s the overall product firmware or the radio firmware. The FVIN is required to be on external surface of device if displayed electronically. IC understands that not all firmware numbers will be captured as firmware changes that do not affect RF will not be submitted. The FVIN must be provided when applicable. IC understands that some products don’t need firmware management and manufacturer may never intend to change the firmware in a product and so firmware number is not tracked. In such case “N/A” can be entered as FVIN. New frequency bands will be allowed under firmware upgrade (C3PC). FVIN will be very important in such cases.

Here are a few different certification scenarios:

  1. Type 1-New Certification (one model):
  1. Option 1.1 Final product
    1. Rule 1.1.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before product is on Canadian Market
    2. Rule 1.1.2 HMN = Not Applicable
    3. Rule 1.1.3 model HVIN = mandatory
    4. Rule 1.1.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing
  2. Option 1.2 Module
    1. Rule 1.2.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before product is on Canadian Market if existing
    2. Rule 1.2.2 HMN = Mandatory if module compliance assessed in host
    3. Rule 1.2.3 model HVIN = mandatory
    4. Rule 1.2.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing
  1. Type 2-Family new Certification (multiple models)
  1. Option 2.1 Final product (all models must be final product)
  1. Rule 2.1.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before product is on Canadian Market
  2. Rule 2.1.2 HMN = Not Applicable
  3. Rule 2.1.3 model HVIN = mandatory (PMN and HVIN can never be both identical for two models in same family unless FVIN is different)
  4. Rule 2.1.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing (may or may not be the same for products in the same family)
  1. Option 2.2 Module (all models must be modules)
  1. Rule 2.2.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before product is on Canadian Market if PMN exist (If no PMN, “N/A” can be entered)
  2. Rule 2.2.2 HMN = Mandatory if module compliance assessed in host (LMA)
  3. Rule 2.2.3 model HVIN = mandatory (HVIN cannot be identical for two models if PMN is identical or PMN doesn’t exist unless FVIN is different)
  4. Rule 2.2.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing (may or may not be the same for products in the same family)
  1. Type 3-Family to existing model(s) with or without hardware/firmware modifications (identical, Class II and/or Class III modification)
  1. Option 3.1 Final product (previous model(s) must be final product(s))
  1. Rule 3.1.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before product is on Canadian Market
  2. Rule 3.1.2 HMN = Not Applicable
  3. Rule 3.1.3 model HVIN = mandatory (PMN and HVIN can never be both identical for two models in same family unless FVIN is different)
  4. Rule 3.1.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing (may or may not be the same for products in the same family)
  1. Option 3.2 Module (previous model(s) must be module(s))
  1. Rule 3.2.1 PMN = Optional at time of certification -Mandatory before product is on Canadian Market if existing
  2. Rule 3.2.2 HMN = Mandatory if module compliance assessed in host
  3. Rule 3.2.3 model HVIN = mandatory ((HVIN cannot be identical for two models if PMN is identical or PMN doesn’t exist unless FVIN is different)
  4. Rule 3.2.4 model FVIN = mandatory if existing (may or may not be the same for products in the same family)

This is just a small sample of the most common types of certification. I am sure that more detail about all the different scenarios will become available as the “go live” date approaches. I hope this helps to shed some light on the changes that are coming for certification approvals to Industry Canada.