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U.S., Singapore act to simplify telecom trade

Posted: 07 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:telecom? APEC? export? FCC? Bay Area Compliance Laboratory?

Streamlined regulatory approval procedures came into effect in the United States and Singapore last June 2, allowing U.S. makers of telecom equipment to certify their products at home and ship directly to the $1.3 billion Asian market.

The simplification is a bilateral step in carrying out a 1998 trade agreement among members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The National Institute of Standards and Technology designated four U.S. organizations as certification bodies, and have been recognized by the Singapore government as qualified to determine whether shipments of telecommunications productsincluding wireless equipmentcomply with that country's required standards.

In a parallel action, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recognized a certification body designated by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. This permits Singapore telecom exports to be tested and certified as conforming to FCC regulations before shipment to the United States. The FCC is the U.S. regulator of interstate and international communications. Two-way trade of telecommunication products between the two nations totaled about $1.1 billion in 2005.

The joint action is said to nearly complete the second phase of the 1998 APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Telecommunication Equipment, intended to reduce technical barriers to markets. Since 2001, under the first phase, manufacturers could furnish test results from approved U.S. laboratories as evidence of compliance, but Singapore officials continued to perform the final evaluation and certification of products. Before then, procedures for certifying U.S. telecommunications exports were performed entirely by Singapore organizations.

The four Singapore-approved certification bodies include the Bay Area Compliance Laboratory Corp.; Underwriters Laboratories Inc.; CKC Certification Services and Compliance Certification Services.

According to the press release, Singapore is the second APEC member with which the United States has progressed to full implementation of the MRA, after Canada. The first phase has been implemented with Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore.

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