Telecommunications regulator Icasa has introduced tougher penalties in new regulations dealing with “type approvals” of communications equipment, making provision for fines of up to R1m and prison sentences of six months for infringers.
Under the new type approval regulations, “any person that offers for sale or has in their possession, with the intention to sell, any equipment that is not type approved is guilty of an offence and is subject to imprisonment of six months and/or is liable to a fine not exceeded R1m”, the new regulations read.
Previously, the maximum fine that could be imposed was R250 000, along with up to six months in prison.
By law, companies wishing to sell electronic communications equipment in South Africa must first get approval from Icasa to do so. This type approval involves verification of the equipment’s compliance with the applicable standards and other regulatory requirements. The approval process is meant to “protect the integrity of public networks” and avoid “harmful interference”.
The authority maintains a register that contains basic, technical and compliance information on all equipment it has approved for use, import and supply in South Africa.
Equipment that already has a valid Icasa type approval certificate that was issued prior to the promulgation of the new regulations remains valid.
Application fees are typically R4 000 per piece of equipment, or half that for a variation of the same equipment already approved. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media