Frequently asked questions
Q1: I want to import or sell electronic equipment in South Africa. What is required?
A1: If it is a non-intentional radiator (A product that does not generate RF to establish communication), you would require Safety and EMC tests. EMC should comply with the relevant product standard, or, if not applicable, the generic standards. Where international standards (EN/CISPR/IEC/ISO) has been used, the standards should be compared to the National EMC standards (SANS) as published in the Government Gazette. Finally, when all test reports are available, you should obtain a LOA from the NRCS
If your device is an intentional radiator, ICASA would require EMC, RF and Safety test reports.
ICASA will accept any report from a lab that is ILAC accredited.
- RF should be per all relevant ETSI EN standards or their SANS versions. (i.e. ETSI EN 300 220 for short range devices.)
All ETSI EN specifications can be downloaded free of charge from HERE
- Safety should be per IEC or the equivalent SANS standards as listed HERE
Q2: What is the difference between IEC/SANS/CISPR/EN standards?
A2: International standards are developed by CENELEC, ETSI or CEN. These standards are then harmonised (adopted by the EU), sometimes with differences to the base standard (as developed by ISO, IEC, etc)
A harmonised standard is a European standard developed by a recognised European Standards Organisation: CEN, CENELEC, or ETSI. It is created following a request from the European Commission to one of these organisations. Manufacturers, other economic operators, or conformity assessment bodies can use harmonised standards to demonstrate that products, services, or processes comply with relevant EU legislation.
The references of harmonised standards must be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The latest lists of references of harmonised standards and other European standards published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) can be obtained HERE
National standards (in South Africa: SANS) are the national adopted version of the international standard- sometimes with national differences. These include BS (British Standard), DIN (Deutsche IndustrieNorm). SANS (South African National Standard)
Q3: I want to export my product, what standards should I comply to:
A3: For the EU, your product should comply to all relevant directives, which would include EMC Directive (2004/108/EC), R&TTE Directive (1999/5/EC)(Being replaced by RED directive (2014/53/EC), Low Voltage Directive (In South Africa = Safety)(2006/95/EC). Medical Directive (2007/47/EC), RoHS Directive (2011/65/EC), WEEE Directive (2012/19/EC) Vehicle EMC Directive (2004/104/EC) etc.
A Technical Construction File (TCF) should be completed before a CE mark is attached to the unit. A declaration of conformity should be included in the document manual.
A Technical Construction File: provides some guidance for the TCF.
However , There is no direct guideline as to what should be included in the TCF It can be anything from a (single) paper file to a collection of links to various server locations where the information can be found. Whatever format you choose, you have to fulfill a couple of essential requirements:
• All the information combined has to be complete in the sense that it contains all the evidence assembled to prove that you comply with all applicable ESHRs of all applicable European Directives;
• You have to be able to supply (specific) parts of) the Technical File to the authorities upon request (within, say, 1 or 2 weeks), for up to 10 years after the last product covered by the TF has been placed on the market.
The latter means that you have to make sure that "paper" and/or "data" (storage medium, file format and corresponding application software) remains actually retrievable.