You’ll have to wait until the government shutdown is over to get your hands on many of the products unveiled at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. Without FCC approval, they can’t go up for sale.
President Trump and Congressional Democrats are arguing over funding for his proposed border wall. As has been widely reported, Trump won’t sign the spending bills needed to keep many federal agencies open while this disagreement goes on.
No FCC approvals for you
One of those shut-down agencies is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). As the agency’s website points out, “Radio Frequency (RF) devices are required to be properly authorized under 47 CFR part 2 prior to being marketed or imported into the United States.”
That requirement extends way beyond just phone3. Any device that puts out radio frequency energy “by radiation, conduction, or other means” must be approved. That covers everything with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC.
There’s a special exemption that allows devices without FCC approval to be demonstrated at trade shows like CES. But until that federal agency gets funded again it won‘t be approving any products — the necessary employees are on furlough.