Afghanistan implements approval requirements for radio devices

As of 1 May 2021, the Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) published the type approval regulation for radio and wireless products throughout the country. These procedures cover all equipment in use with the provision of radio communications, unless otherwise noted by ATRA, and all approved devices will bear the ATRA mark going forward. Products being placed on the market in Afghanistan after 1 May must receive type approval.

These procedures will ensure effective use of the frequency spectrum, avoid interference with other communications systems, and guarantee the health and safety of device users. It will also ensure compliance with both national and international standards.

Radio communications equipment subject to type approval

All wireless equipment must follow this new type approval scheme in order to enter the market, including but not limited to:

  • Short range radio devices
  • Fixed radio transmitters
  • Mobile terminal equipment
  • Broadcasting equipment
  • Satellite transmitter equipment
  • Frequency-dependent medical equipment and devices

Type approval procedures

There are three type approval procedures to be followed:

  1. Provisional Type Approval: ATRA can award a temporary permit that is valid for up to six months for the use of equipment in a trial, demonstration, or for research purposes on a noncommercial basis or for the testing of equipment in an accredited test laboratory in Afghanistan.
  2. Simplified Type Approval: A simplified process to be used in cases where the device has already acquired suitable evidence from a National Regulatory Authority (NRA) or Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) recognized for complying with ATRA standards.
  3. Standard Type Approval: If there is no certificate of compliance that demonstrates a device is complying with ATRA standards, it must go through this paperwork process.

These new type approval guidelines also include information regarding labelling requirements for imported devices into the Afghanistan market.

Long-term type approval processes outlined

The type approval process involves testing and verification of a device to ensure its compliance with all essential requirements and applicable technical standards.

The three main objectives of this procedure are:

  1. Efficient use of radio frequency spectrum, as it is a limited resource.
  2. Protection of health and safety of the end user to ensure operation of the device doesn’t cause harm to any individual.
  3. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) to ensure that electromagnetic emissions of the device do not disrupt or affect the operation of other devices in close proximity. (The device must also maintain an acceptable level of immunity to disturbances that may occur in its environment.)

All suppliers must register with the ATRA database as a supplier of equipment and maintain the most up-to-date information over time.

All manufacturers must apply for type approval. If an organization already has a certification from one of the approved certification bodies, such as Nemko Norway or Nemko Canada, they can use a simplified type approval process, but must include the following documentation for approval:

  • A duly signed and dated certificate of compliance from an NRA or CAB
  • Proof of payment for type approval fee
  • No other documentation required for simplified type approval unless otherwise stated by ATRA

Standard type approval applications must include the following:

  • Test reports confirming compliance with the applicable standards laid out in the technical regulations
  • Photographs of the equipment, installation process, and user manual
  • Functional description of the device
  • Schematic diagram and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) layout
  • Proof of payment for type approval fee

A device must be tested in a recognized laboratory testing facility in order to demonstrate compliance with ATRA standards.

Nemko Can Help

With years of extensive experience testing a variety of radio devices, Nemko can perform testing and facilitate Type Approval according to these latest standards. Additionally, Nemko offers flexible and streamlined service for a shortened delivery time. Many of our test laboratories and certification bodies are recognized by ATRA, allowing Nemko customers who receive a certificate of conformity from one of the recognized Nemko laboratories to use the easier simplified type approval process to gain approval for the product in Afghanistan.

Find out more by emailing us at info@nemko.com to get started today.

Written by Tom Tidwell
Tom Tidwell is a NARTE certified EMC Laboratory Engineer with over 25 years of direct experience in Wireless, Telecommunications, EMC, and worldwide market access. His experience includes numerous wired and wireless protocols and technologies. He is responsible for Nemko’s telecom international approvals. Tom is trained and experienced as a Certification Assessment Body review engineer for the US, Canada, and Notified Body for the EU.

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