The Department of Telecommunications (“DoT”) has, vide an Amendment Notification dated 31 January 2022 (“Amendment Notification”), modified certain important compliance requirements pertaining to Phase III and Phase IV of the Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecommunication Equipment (“MTCTE”) regime. These modifications amend certain requirements previously notified by the DoT on 22 September 2021.
Significant modifications include the following:
- The date on which certification under Phase IV becomes mandatory for Essential Requirement (“ER”) Parameters pertaining to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Safety, has now been pushed to 1 July 2022 from the previously notified date of 1 February 2022.
- A list of ERs has been provided in Annexure II to the Amendment Notification. In respect of the same, International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (“ILAC”) relaxation cutoff date with regard to “Technical Parameters” applicable to ERs mentioned in Annexure II (only) has been amended up to 30 June 2022. Previously, relaxation for acceptance of test results / reports from labs accredited by ILAC signatories had not been made applicable to ERs notified in Phase IV.
- Test results for all parameters, up to five years old on the date of submission, have been made acceptable in respect of reports issued by Telecommunication Engineering Centre (“TEC”) designated laboratories. Test results for ERs listed at Annexure II of the Amendment Notification, up to two years old on the date of submission, have been made acceptable in respect of reports issued by foreign labs accredited by ILAC signatories and recognized labs of Mutual Recognition Agreement (“MRA”) partner countries. This is significant because previously, it had been notified that test reports older than two years on the date of submission would not be acceptable in respect of both TEC designated labs as well as labs accredited by ILAC signatories.
- It has been expressly clarified that only test reports/results issued by labs accredited by ILAC signatories from countries that do not share borders with India shall be accepted. This appears to be aimed at addressing political and security concerns arising on account of test results potentially obtained from foreign labs accredited by ILAC signatories that share borders with India, with whom India may be engaged in active geopolitical disputes.
These modifications are expected to ease compliance obligations while at the same time addressing potential security concerns.