FCC or CE certification/verification for shields?

Hi everyone,

I’m planning to make a shield board for the Nano 33 BLE with mainly user input sensors like: switches, rotary encoders, indication led’s and potentiometers that communicates via the Nano’s BLE module to another arduino Nano 33 BLE. The device as a whole will be an intentional transmitter As described in the previous sentence. I am aware the Nano 33 BLE is already certified and my shield does not have any transmitting components or circuitry on it. Am I required to re-certify/re-verify my shield? Can I advertise the shield with FCC/CE marks and am I for example allowed to print the FCC/CE marks on the shield’s pcb silkscreen?

whenever you make any change, even if that is putting together a number of precertified boards, it is your responsibility to certify the final outcome. if you design your board, regardless of the presence of a radio, you have to ensure that the board, plus any other hardware it's intended to be used with, is conformant to the directives. this also means that when testing you have to connect also any external hardware that you intend to use with the board(s) such as sensors, power supplies, etc.

Thank you Dario! It does indeed match up with what I read on this topic. I was however hoping for another answer but I guess there is no other way. If anyone that reads this topic has experience in this process please share what you have learned going through this. What are the steps to proceed?

Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

I have guided many products through both these requirement for various companies I have worked for in the UK.

CE is a self certification process. You make a declaration that the equipment complies with all the requirements for that class of equipment. While that sounds simple enough but you have to get the documents, read them and understand them. There are many and they are not free. It is normal to have tests from a citified test house to cover your back, but this is not compulsory.

FCC is another matter, especially if it is an intentional emitter. You need to get an FCF intentional emitter number and then have your equipment tested at a recognised test house. All the schematics need submitting and they will be published on line. The process can take up to a year and cost about $2000, maybe a bit more the first time round. You can employ an FCC agent to fill in the paperwork and communicate with them. They of course charge a fee, but for people outside the USA it is often a lot cheaper and quicker to do this.
FCC insist that any change requires retesting. They once prosecuted a German company for changing the colour of an LED without having it retested.