The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has taken the decision to withdraw the notification that was issued to carry out mandatory testing and certification of existing consumer electronic products. The move comes in after facing a strong backlash from the smartphone industry as well as the telcos. The government in a press release stated that exemptions on these widely used products will reduce the compliance burden and will enable the industry to roll out their products faster and will also reduce import delays.
According to a report from ET Telecom, the government released a statement on Saturday according to which DoT has exempted mobile phones, smartwatches, smart cameras, and PoS machines from the process of the test procedure. The reason behind this exemption was cited as a regulatory overlap between the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
For those unaware, MeitY is already responsible for compulsorily registering specified goods which include the likes of laptops, wireless keyboards, PoS machines and other electronic equipment under the Electronics and Information Technology Order, 2012. Hence, the notification from DoT has been identified as an overlap.
This overlap was brought under notice by the representatives from the industry as well as industry associations stating that such overlap acted as a deterrent to the timely launch of new products. This also leads to an increased cost of compliance for the industry. Hence, considering the above issues, the government has decided to exempt mobile user equipment or mobile handsets, servers, smartwatch, smart cameras, and PoS machines from the scope of the Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecommunication Equipment (MTCTE) procedures.
Previously the Department of Telecommunications had issued a notice which required manufacturers to mandatorily test and certify equipment capable of being used for telecommunication under the MTCTE regime by January 1, 2023. Previous reports suggested that Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) which is DoT’s technical wing has decided to bring 5G mobile phones under phase-5 of the MTCTE regime which is most likely to commence from January 2023. Operators argued back that the move would hit data consumption, restrict market access and deprive consumers of buying the latest 5G smartphones.