Look closely at a product and you are likely to see the legends FCC and CE stated on a label or even molded into its plastic casing. These two notifications state that the product complies with the directives of certain government bodies and is an assurance that the product is safe to use. The process of applying these marks to a product demonstrates to a customer that the product is within regulatory compliance.

The importance of Regulatory Compliance

FCC is the mark of the American Federal Communications Commission, whereas CE refers to “Communauté Européenne,” which is French for European Community. These marks do similar things within their communities and are recognized worldwide as standards of excellence.

While the FCC mark is associated specifically with wireless communications and the equipment used for it, the CE mark is even more far reaching and covers all kinds of physical characteristics of the product. This allows the customer to be confident in knowing that the product is safe to use.

Regulatory Compliance Laws

Regulatory compliance is an organization’s adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines, and specifications relevant to its business. The laws may be local or international, and may cover a vast array of compliancy issues. Violations of regulatory compliance can very often result in severe legal punishments, including fines or withdrawal of the product from the marketplace. Regulatory compliance gives your customers the confidence they need when purchasing equipment, and demonstrates that other equipment will function correctly in its presence. To not have such strict enforcement in place lays open the possibility of different pieces of electronic equipment interfering with other transmission or reception. Other internationally agreed standards such as RoHS and WEEE fall into the category of regulatory compliance. These two pieces of legislation in particular deal with how electronic components are constructed. To not comply with these would be a huge deficit to your product.

Regulatory Compliance is Broad

But regulatory compliance goes much further than simple functionality of equipment, and the term can also cover business systems, IT, environmental legislation, health and safety, and other aspects of business and commerce. The term can cover any officially sanctioned laws or edits covering a country, area of origin, or territory into which goods or services may be sold or used. Quality systems are now an important part of many businesses, and it is increasingly likely that your customers prefer to deal with a company that has an accredited quality system. This is where internationally-recognized standards such as ISO 9000 come into play, and the total number of companies that don’t operate under its umbrella are dwindling. Similarly, ISO 14001 demonstrates a company’s dedication to international environmental legislation, but also state that your company will comply with local environmental legislation where you sell your products. It is that kind of attention to detail that can mean the difference between gaining a sale or not.

Regulatory compliance is a huge subject, and with so many different aspects, it is a legal minefield that requires a professional to safely and fully navigate. Many of the standards that need putting in place and maintaining are expensive and complex, and require people skilled in their operation to install them. But with the necessary legislation in place and fully working, your company will be able to operate on a global level.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with strengths in software development, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.