The KC certification logo

KC Certification

Market approval for devices with radio technology in Korea

Certification system

In order to offer broadcasting and communication equipment in the South Korean market, one of the three possible certifications under the regulations of the Broadcasting and Communication Equipment Conformity Assessment System under Article 58-2 of the Broadcasting Act must be in place:

  • the certification of conformity
  • registration of compatibility, and
  • the interim of conformity.

Certification of conformity

Most RF (radio frequency) devices must be approved through the certification of conformity. For devices that may affect the radio environment, broadcast communications network, or the like, as well as devices whose normal operation is subject to possible interference from radio waves, the certificate of conformity can be applied for from the National Radio Research Agency (RRA) with the appropriate documentation

One of the following three conditions for acceptance of the test report applies:

  • test report issued by the head of the designated testing laboratory in Korea.
  • test report issued by the internal RRA test facility.
  • test report issued by the head of a test facility recognized by the RRA President among test facilities
    in countries with which the countries have signed a mutual recognition agreement.

Registration of compatability

Most non-RF (radio frequency) equipment must be approved by registering compliance. Broadcast and communication equipment not subject to the certificate of conformity can be registered by attaching the letter confirming compatibility to the application to the RRA.

Examples:

  • Computer device and peripheral device plus broadcast set-top box.
  • Measuring device, industrial device, connector, etc.

KC conformity registration is divided into two schemes:

Registration of conformity with the notified inspection body (according to KS standard):

* One of the following three conditions for acceptance of the test report applies:

  • 1. test report issued by the head of the designated testing laboratory in Korea.
  • 2. test report issued by the internal RRA test facility.
  • 3. test report issued by the head of a test facility recognized by the RRA President among test facilities
    in countries with which the countries have signed a mutual recognition agreement.

Registration of self-testing of conformity:

This applies to broadcast and communications equipment that, because of its characteristics or use, does not require testing by a designated testing laboratory. The test standard for this case shall be a CN standard or an IEC standard equivalent to the KC standard (CB certificate according to International Electrical Equipment Certification Organization (IECEE) CB Scheme).

  1. Test report issued by the manufacturer
  2. Test report issued by a testing laboratory.

RRA cannot accept the EN/FCC test report when processing the KC approval. The test must be in accordance with Korean Testing Standards (KS) and the test report must also be in accordance with Korean Testing Standards.

Interim of conformity

In the event that there are no criteria for assessing the conformity of broadcasting and communication equipment, or it is difficult to assess conformity, it can be assessed using the standard, specification or technical criteria of other countries. In this case, the equipment is marked with the region, validity period and certification conditions. This solution is necessary, for example, for newly developed devices whose conformity assessment criteria are not yet available.

The following documents are necessary for the evaluation of preliminary compliance:

  • Product manual in Korean (product details, configuration, specifications, user manual, setup method, AS information, etc.)
  • Product wiring diagram (for modules, the module wiring diagram must also be attached).
  • Application form
  • Power of Attorney (PoA)
  • PCB placement (the numbers of each part should be visible)
  • Antenna specification (antenna radiation pattern, gain value)
  • External and internal photos
A KC certification label on which both the KC logo and the Cetecom logo can be seen

The KC certification label

The conformity assessment label consists of the basic pattern of the KC mark, the identification code and the information on the conformity assessment performed. The label must be firmly affixed to the device by printing or engraving so that it can be easily identified on the surface and packaging of the product. The conformity assessment information refers to:

  • Trade name (or trade designation) of the person who received the conformity assessment.
  • Name of the device or product designation
  • model designation
  • Date of manufacture (indicated by year of manufacture)
  • manufacturer name
  • Country of manufacture

Electrical safety

The purpose of KC safety certification is to protect people’s lives and bodies from fires and electric shocks that could be caused by the use of electrical appliances. The mandatory certification system ensures that only electrical appliances whose safety has been certified are sold on the South Korean market. Before distribution on the market, conformity with safety standards is ensured through product testing. Furthermore, a factory inspection is conducted to determine whether the manufacturer can continuously maintain the quality of certified electrical products.

Our services

We offer our customers all services for an approval on the Korean market. We as CETECOM take over the project handling for you in the whole testing and certification process, including the final coordination with the authority and the local representatives. We ensure an efficient approval process and a fast approval to the Korean market.

Schematic representation of the approval process for a KC certification with Cetecom

Expertise KC Certification

Does the RRA accept "family approvals"?

Family approvals are accepted at the RRA. In the following cases, the devices can be registered as family models:

  • The resistor, inductor and capacitor are replaced with the same component type. (However, these can be replaced regardless of the electrical size or capacitance of the component).
  • Diodes (including light emitting diodes) are replaced with the same type of diode.
  • The electrical circuit is the same, the power (watts) is reduced.
  • Components of products that have undergone conformity assessment are removed.
  • Product components are replaced by other components with equivalent functions, whose conformity with the components installed in the computer has been evaluated (Annex 1, No. 11, item 35).
  • When using software to disable or delete a used function without changing the hardware.

Any changes beyond this will result in renewed and additional tests.

What is the solution if the conformity assessment mark can only be displayed in simplified or electronic form due to a product that is too small or a design problem?

If the conformity assessment mark cannot be displayed on a product due to its size, it can alternatively be displayed on the product packaging. It is also possible that only the basic design or the identification code is displayed on the product. If it is not possible to display the conformity assessment information on the product itself or on the packaging due to the product design, it can also be indicated in the instructions for use (including the electronic method).

How must an RF sample be prepared for approval in Korea?

Example based on KC sample requirements for the wireless module:

  1. RF sample (SMA connector should be connected to the edge of the antenna.) = Conducted sample.
  2. JIG to support telecommunication between RF test sample and PC (Different types of JIGs are available, it should be connected with each method).
  3. power supply (The sample must be supplied with power by connecting to the RF test sample. The voltage should be variable by ± 10%).
  4. when the connection to the DUT is completed, the setting should be done through the PC (RF) (channel variable, output variable, receive mode, occupied frequency bandwidth, hopping, etc.).
  5. the test should be performed with the measurement device (Spectrum Analyzer).

For which products are SAR tests required?

SAR testing is required for portable radio equipment (including broadcast and communications equipment with built-in radios) where the antenna power exceeds 20 mW and the center of radio wave emission is within 20 cm of the human body during normal use. This is specified by Article 2 of the specifications in the ‘Equipment subject to measurement of electromagnetic wave intensity and absorption rate’.

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