SMSE-022-22 — Consultation on Telecommunications and Radio Equipment Service Fees of the Certification and Engineering Bureau

December 2022
Closing date for comments: January 16, 2023
Closing date for reply comments: February 15, 2023

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1. Intent

1. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), on behalf of the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry (the Minister), is initiating a consultation on the fee framework related to the certification of radio equipment and the registration of telecommunications equipment.

2. Scope

2. This consultation applies to fees for the certification of radio equipment and the registration of telecommunications equipment in Canada and to the related approval and review processes. ISED is seeking comments on its proposal to modernize fees related to administering the regulatory approvals for radio and telecommunications equipment as described in the document titled TRC-49, Telecommunications and Radio Equipment Service Fees of the Certification and Engineering Bureau (TRC-49). In line with the guidance introduced through the Service Fees Act (SFA), ISED is proposing revised fees that will permit cost recovery of the radio and telecommunications equipment program. In association with its proposed fees, ISED also recommends revising its Spectrum and Telecommunications Service Standards in an effort to better reflect the expectations of its stakeholders. As a result of the changes within this proposal, a revised TRC-49 (see annex A) will be published.

3. Legislative mandate

3. The Minister, through the Department of Industry Act, the Radiocommunication Act and the Radiocommunication Regulations, with due regard to the objectives of the Telecommunications Act, is responsible for managing a fair and equitable telecommunication and radio equipment marketplace in Canada. As such, the Minister is responsible for developing goals and national policies for ensuring the effective management of the registration of telecommunications equipment and the certification of radio equipment.

4. The Minister is provided with the authority to fix the fees, as described in Notice No. SMSE-008-07, Telecommunications and Radio Apparatus Fee Order (the Fee Order) to be paid for a service or the use of a facility provided by the Minister, ISED or any board or agency of the Government of Canada for which the Minister has responsibility. Under the Radiocommunication Act, the Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing fees for radio authorizations.

4. Policy objectives

5. The radiocommunication industry will continue its ongoing transformation with the deployment and evolution of 5th generation (5G) networks. Such technological advancements are expected to support innovative and data intensive applications within most industries while fostering progress throughout the Canadian economy.

6. Through Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan and its focus on skills, research, technology and commercialization, program simplification, and investment and scale, the Government of Canada is committed to promoting innovation-led growth across all sectors of the Canadian economy. Telecommunications and radio equipment is widely used by all economic sectors and is integral to Canada’s telecommunications infrastructure.

7. In 2017, the Government of Canada passed the Service Fees Act (SFA), which requires, among other things, that federal departments and agencies adjust their fees periodically. In alignment with the SFA, and following an in-depth review of its costs, ISED is proposing to modernize fees related to the equipment certification and registration programs. The exercise to adjust fees will permit ISED to accomplish its goals of promoting innovation within the radio and telecommunications sector by ensuring that its equipment program is appropriately funded to be able to adapt and modernize alongside rapid evolution of technology. By ensuring that ISED’s equipment program is able to sustain its excellence in administering radio equipment certifications and telecommunications equipment registration, stakeholders including Canadian consumers, manufacturers, service providers, and innovators are able to trust that the Canadian marketplace for radio and telecommunication is fair and equitable and adopts the latest technology.

8. As set out in the Spectrum Policy Framework for Canada (SPFC) and its enabling guidelines, ISED aims to maximize the economic and social benefit that Canadians derive from the use of the radio frequency spectrum resource and the introduction of new and innovative radio technologies. In light of the challenges of a rapidly changing technological environment, ISED has committed to ensuring that Canada has a world-class telecommunications infrastructure, and that Canadian consumers, businesses and public institutions continue to benefit from advanced wired and wireless telecommunications services and devices.

9. In May 2019, the Government of Canada released Canada’s Digital Charter: Trust in a digital world (the Digital Charter). The Digital Charter lists universal access as the first of ten principles that will lay the foundation for a made-in-Canada digital approach, and guide policy thinking and actions towards establishing an innovative, people-centred and inclusive digital and data economy built on trust. Universal access is the principle that all Canadians will have an equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and have the necessary tools to do so, including access, connectivity, literacy and skills. Access to the latest and most innovative telecommunications and radio equipment will play a key role in supporting universal access in the most remote areas of the country.

10. The Government of Canada is also committed to promoting the delivery of broadband services to rural and remote areas across the country. In 2019, High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy was launched, and a national connectivity target was announced that aims to make speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload available to all Canadian homes and businesses by 2030. As part of this commitment, ISED considers Canada’s varied geographic and topographical challenges, where no single technology is appropriate in all circumstances. “The Government of Canada will leverage the use of different technologies so that connectivity projects can provide access at the target speeds and above to rural and remote Canadians as soon as possible and in a sustainable manner that is suited to the local context.”

5. Background

11. Telecommunications equipment, often referred to as terminal or wireline apparatus, refers to the transmission of information over a physical filament and connects to the public switched telephone network. This includes devices such as digital subscriber line (DSL) equipment, fax machines, and traditional telephone landlines.

12. Radio equipment, often referred to as wireless devices, refers to any kind of communications equipment that does not require a physical wire for relaying information to another device such as smartphones, base stations, the wireless component of Wi-Fi routers, land mobile radios, and, increasingly, Internet of things (IoT) devices.

13. The evolving equipment ecosystem landscape has introduced an unprecedented increase in the volume of applications submitted, especially for the certification of radio equipment. In addition, devices today are much more complex than those in use when ISED’s current fee regime was established in 2007. This fee regime no longer reflects the effort required by ISED to conduct certification and registration activities and therefore requires a complete review.

14. In 2004, ISED’s Certification and Engineering Bureau (CEB) transitioned the majority of its in-house radio equipment certifications to private certification bodies (CBs). Manufacturers and importers must apply for radio equipment certification where equipment is tested for compliance and certified by ISED or by a recognized CB. Subsequently, equipment in Canada needs to be submitted for approval through ISED’s e-filing service. ISED adds registered telecommunications equipment to the Telecommunications Apparatus Register (TAR), and adds certified radio equipment to the Radio Equipment List (REL), which are lists maintained and published by ISED. Dual applications, which are products having both radio and telecommunications elements, are registered in both the TAR and the REL. ISED charges fees for:

  • technical expertise provided to external clients
  • assessment of radio equipment for the purpose of certification
  • registration in the TAR and
  • listing in the REL

15. ISED is responsible for managing the compliance of radio and telecommunications equipment in Canada with all applicable technical standards. This includes market surveillance activities on higher‑risk products and equipment. Given the proliferation and increasing complexity of applications related to the listing of radio equipment, ISED must conduct detailed technical reviews of radio equipment, even when private CBs are issuing certifications. Consequently, ISED has had to invest in cutting-edge measurement technologies. These efforts were not contemplated when fees were set in 2007, where the listing of radio equipment details was considered to be a clerical service. Further, ISED has had to expand core program activities to include greater market surveillance, including audits of radio and telecommunications devices in the Canadian marketplace, to ensure that adherence to technological standards is maintained.

16. These changes have left ISED unable to recover the cost of the program through the associated fees that it charges. At present, ISED’s revenue for the program only recovers 8% of the cost, with further decreases in cost recovery forecasted.

17. The goal of this fee modernization exercise is to bring the program into cost recovery, to better reflect the value of ISED’s regulatory functions, and to provide the equipment manufacturing industry with updated service standards for these regulatory processes.

18. The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) Guidelines on Costing (archived) was used to calculate the proposed costs, which included both indirect and direct costs, and resourced allocations associated with the delivery of the program. The Guide to Establishing the Level of a Cost‑Based User Fee or Regulatory Charge was used to determine each fee and is described in detail in section 6 of this document.

19. Updating equipment fees aligns with the SFA, which provides a fee setting framework for government services that ensures businesses are paying their fair share for the government services that they access. Retaining the current fee structure for telecommunications and radio equipment registration and listing services would result in Canadian taxpayers continuing to shoulder an increasing portion of the cost for a program that mainly benefits large commercial enterprises, located mostly outside Canada (92% of clients are foreign manufacturers). Adjusting these fees can relieve taxpayers of this burden by ensuring that the costs of the program are covered by the entities that benefit from the service.

20. The impact of updating fees for the program will not introduce significant impediments for equipment manufacturers due to the relatively low cost of these fees compared to the benefit of accessing the Canadian marketplace. Therefore, reductions to the equipment ecosystem supply chain are not anticipated.

6. Fee regime

21. In setting the proposed fee model, ISED considers a number of policy objectives that relate to its certification of telecommunications and radio equipment responsibilities, as set out in section 4 of this document.

22. The proposed fees are set out to recover the cost of the program, including but not limited to, the development of technical standards, engineering studies as well as market surveillance and other compliance monitoring activities.

6.1 Current fees

23. The existing fees related to registration of telecommunications equipment and the certification of radio equipment in Canada, as well as the approval processes related to the program are set out in TRC-49. Additional references to the establishment of the existing fees can be found in the Fee Order, and on the Spectrum and telecommunications fee page (STS fee page), which contains the most up-to-date references to fees with any applicable annual adjustments for the April-to-April All-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by Statistics Canada.

24. The fees associated with performing the services and regulatory approvals for radio equipment include:

Listing of radio equipment

  • described in STS fee page as “Radio Equipment Listing Fee”
  • described in TRC-49 as “Listing Fees”
  • described in the Fee Order as “Listing Fee”

Registration of telecommunication equipment

  • described in STS fee page as “Terminal Equipment Registration Fee”
  • described in TRC-49 and the Fee Order as “Registration Fees”

Assessment of radio equipment for certification purposes

  • described in TRC-49, the Fee Order and the STS fee page as “Assessment Fee”

Related technical expertise services for the telecommunications industry, including the reassessment of radio equipment for certification purposes

  • described in TRC-49, the Fee Order and the STS fee page as “Technical Expertise Fee”

25. Certified radio equipment and registered telecommunications equipment must be recorded in a list (radio) and a register (telecommunications) that is maintained and published by ISED. The purpose of this list and register is to inform the public of telecommunications equipment and radio apparatus that comply with the technical standards established by the Minister.

26. The procedures for obtaining certification of radio equipment (see RSP-100, Certification of Radio Apparatus and Broadcasting Equipment and REC-CB, Recognition Procedure and Requirements for Certification Bodies) outline the process for acquiring these other services through recognized certification bodies, or ISED’s CEB.

27. Table 1 describes the fees for the approval processes that ISED provides. Annual adjustments are applied in accordance with the Canadian CPI, as published by Statistics Canada for the previous fiscal year. For ease of reference, the CPI adjustments to these fees have not been reflected within this document and are not applied to the listing fee as this is covered by the low-materiality exemption under subsection 22(1) of the SFA. The STS fee page contains the latest and most accurate fee information, incorporating annual CPI adjustments.

Table 1: Summary of existing fees in TRC-49
Fee name Amount Description
3.1 Assessment fee $1,200/certification application The assessment fee relates to administrative costs involved in reviewing radio equipment certification applications to ensure that the equipment complies with the appropriate technical requirements, specifications or standards. The assessment fee is $1200 per certification application (including one or more models), regardless of the number of standards being assessed. The assessment fee includes a charge for the administration of the application, the technical examination, the review of the brief and the issuance of a technical acceptance certificate (TAC).
3.2 Technical expertise fee $150 per hour Technical expertise can be provided by ISED for services such as assistance in evaluating the technical competence of conformity assessment bodies, performing reassessment of radio equipment certifications, as well as reviewing applications for multiple listings, family approval or transfer of a TAC. This fee would also include equipment set-up time, testing time, report preparation, examination and approval of the report by the laboratory supervisor. This fee is calculated at the rate of $150 per person/hour or part thereof.
3.3 Listing fees $50/listing The listing fee of $50 is for the administration required in recording radio equipment in the REL. This fee applies to each product model listed.
3.4 Registration fees $750/submission As part of the declaration of conformity process, all telecommunications equipment must be registered with ISED’s CEB and recorded in the Telecommunications Apparatus Register. The registration fee of $750 is for the development and maintenance cost of the telecommunications equipment program and the administration required in recording the equipment on the TAR. This fee applies to each submission. A submission can be a family of products that are electrically identical.

28. In addition to the core regulatory functions described above, other essential activities that ISED undertakes in this area include: 

  1. establishing new technical standards and setting requirements for radio, telecommunications, and interference-causing equipment 
  2. establishing new administrative procedures to guide domestic and foreign clients in the equipment compliance process 
  3. amending existing standards and procedures to adapt to changing technologies and market transformation 
  4. establishing mutual recognition agreements with foreign regulators 
  5. recognizing domestic and foreign conformity assessment bodies for testing radio and telecommunications equipment (i.e. third party testing laboratories) and for the certification of radio equipment (i.e. third party certification bodies “CBs”) 
  6. providing a market surveillance program, which: 
    1. manages the continued compliance of certified radio equipment, registered telecommunications equipment, and self-declared interference-causing equipment 
    2. monitors the Canadian marketplace for the presence of non-compliant products, such as non‑certified products, non-registered products, and products causing harmful interference 
    3. initiates investigations based on complaints received from the public or the industry and
    4. performs product testing related to compliance and enforcement investigations
  7. conducting stakeholder engagement to educate, to provide guidance for, and to collaborate with a variety of groups and organizations, such as CBs, testing laboratories, manufacturers, equipment associations, distributors, Canadian retailors, and other federal departments and
  8. conducting engineering studies and analysis for emerging technologies and assessing possible impacts of new technologies on the existing equipment and network ecosystems

6.2 Current fee structure forecasted revenue

29. Given the increase in requests to certify radio equipment and to register telecommunications equipment alongside direct and indirect program costs, ISED forecasts that program revenues will continue to remain well under program costs, factoring in periodic CPI adjustments, for the foreseeable future.

30. ISED has forecasted an average year-over-year growth in radio equipment filings based on seven years of transactional data. While this forecasted average has been a stable metric for internal budgetary planning within ISED, notable variables could add uncertainty to our forecast. These variables include, but are not limited to, the potential growth in new wireless technology segments such as the IoT, small cell equipment, modular component certification requests (e.g. chipsets for broader use/integration) and unpredictable consumer demand that may impact the influx of requests by equipment manufacturers. These variables have not been applied to the forecasted revenue projections as shown within figure 1. Figure 1 includes an application of an average of 2% CPI year-over-year adjustments and includes adjustments to CPI.

Figure 1: Program cost/revenue forecast, Current fees (adjustments to CPI included)

Description of figure 1

This figure shows both the equipment program cost and the equipment program revenue from 2014-2015 through to 2027-2028. The program cost was approximately $4,400,000 in 2014-2015, with a slight increase in 2017-2018 to just below $5,500,000. Costs then rose to approximately $8,600,000 in 2020-2021 and are forecasted to increase to approximately $9,700,000 by 2027-2028.

The equipment program revenue remain stable from 2014-2015 until 2021-2022, which shows a slight increase from approximately $557,000 to $739,000. Revenue are forecasted to increase to approximately $1,073,000 by 2027-2028.

 

Detailed costs and revenues are presented in the following table:

Detailed costs and revenues
Fiscal year Equipment program cost Equipment program revenue
2014-2015 $4,408,152 $556,750
2015-2016 $3,933,525 $579,900
2016-2017 $4,054,949 $622,600
2017-2018 $5,470,622 $655,350
2018-2019 $4,722,440 $622,000
2019-2020 $6,811,678 $650,000
2020-2021 $8,576,343 $690,277
2021-2022 $9,228,615 $738,958
2022-2023 $9,486,435 $785,738
2023-2024 $9,126,468 $833,654
2024-2025 $9,230,756 $886,174
2025-2026 $9,378,018 $944,448
2026-2027 $9,528,319 $1,006,303
2027-2028 $9,681,720 $1,072,925

6.3 Proposed fees

31. ISED last reviewed the costs associated with the administration of the equipment program in 2007. Since that time, radio and telecommunications equipment has become increasingly more complex and requires greater compliance monitoring activities by ISED. Smartphones, for instance, now possess a greater number of converged technologies than in the past such as multi-generational commercial mobile capabilities (e.g. 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) operating in a rapidly growing number of frequency bands, expanding integration of licence-exempt technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, near-field communications, wireless power transfer), advanced sensing technologies, and ever‑evolving firmware solutions. The adoption of technologically advanced equipment, which integrates work, education, entertainment, and critical services, has kicked off a new era of equipment manufacturing, which necessitates greater resource investment and oversight from regulators such as ISED.

32. CBs and recognized test laboratories provide services such as the assessment of radio and telecommunications equipment across multiple jurisdictions. CBs ensure that all applicable Canadian technical standards are met. Wireless certification packages are submitted by CBs to ISED, as per the requirements described in RSP-100, for review, approval, and listing on the REL. For wireline products, declaration of conformity (DoC) documents are submitted to ISED, as per requirements described in DC-01, Procedure for Declaration of Conformity and Registration of Terminal Equipment for review and registration in the TAR. While ISED continues to offer specific equipment services to manufacturers, it cannot offer the scale of economy that a CB provides through these additional services. Therefore, manufacturers generally prefer to make use of a CB as a one-stop shop to have products become available in multiple markets.

33. The intent of the proposed fee amount is not to compete with the services offered by 3rd party laboratories and certification bodies. These entities provide great value to ISED, Canadians, and to manufacturers through multinational jurisdiction access and the bundling of various services, for example the testing and certification of devices, which are functions that ISED cannot provide.

34. In proposing new fees, ISED reviewed the fees set by third party assessment bodies, such as CBs and testing laboratories. Typically, a request through a CB for a radio equipment certification such as a Bluetooth device would cost an applicant approximately $2,000, whereas a more complicated radio equipment certification, such as a 5G smartphone, would cost approximately $6,000. Manufacturers will typically pay all fees related to equipment registration/certification to a CB, which submits the application package to ISED for review/approval.

35. The proposals within this document will allow ISED to further strengthen its program by ensuring that costs to deliver it are recovered. Maintaining a robust certification/registration program will increase the confidence of Canadians in the Canadian marketplace, facilitate the adoption of new technologies, encourage competition and foster innovation, which will contribute to the delivery of high-quality telecommunication services.

36. Given the above, ISED proposes to introduce the following two new fees:

Equipment registration fee (proposed new 3.3 in TRC-49)

This $750 fee is associated with completing the approval process related to submissions for radio equipment certification and/or telecommunications equipment registration.

  • Given that the approval processes for both radio and telecommunications equipment applications are the same, a single fee for both is proposed. The fee for Equipment Registration would cover the costs associated with:
    • the approval process (assessment and validation) to ascertain that DoC submitted to ISED related to telecommunications equipment, such as telephones and various digital subscriber line (xDSL) terminals meet all applicable technical standards and/or
    • the approval process (assessment and validation) to ascertain that CB certificates submitted to ISED related to radio equipment, such as smartphones, wireless internet routers, small cell antennas, IoT devices meet all applicable technical standards
  • For equipment that requires approval for both radio equipment certification and telecommunications equipment registration (known as dual applications), a single fee of $750 will be charged.
  • The $750 fee includes: approved radio equipment applications being listed on the REL and/or approved telecommunications equipment applications registered in the TAR. See table A1 of annex A for examples of application of this fee.

Equipment registration amendment fees (proposed new 3.4 in TRC-49)

This $375 fee is for the approval process for requests to amend existing radio equipment certifications and/or existing telecommunications equipment registrations.

  • Given advances in equipment, which enable expanded capabilities, such as firmware updates to increase power or enable other chipset functionalities, ISED must verify that amendments to existing radio equipment certifications or telecommunications equipment registrations continue to meet all applicable technical standards. See table A1 of annex A for examples of application of this fee.
    • These verifications were not contemplated at the time of the previous fee exercise in 2007. A fee of $375 is proposed as a means to recover the associated costs to completing this approval process.
    • When an applicant requests that an existing equipment certification, carried out by a CB, or registration be amended, to add additional technical functionalities or to expand antenna capabilities for example, a review by ISED is necessary following CB certification amendments or wireline DoC amendments. ISED’s review is necessary in order to ensure compliance with all applicable technical standards. This review is no longer considered to be a clerical function as it was contemplated in 2007 and, as such, ISED proposes to introduce this appropriate fee for this approval process.
    • Amendments to telecommunications equipment are presently charged $750. The $375 amendment to equipment registration fee will allow ISED to replace the $750 with a more adequate fee that reflects the cost to reassess and amend an existing telecommunications equipment registration.
  • For equipment that requires an approval for the amendment of both radio equipment certification and telecommunications equipment registration (known as dual applications), the $375 fee will be charged a single time.

37. In addition to the new fees above, ISED proposes to amend the following two fees from TRC-49:

Assessment fee (current 3.1 from TRC-49)

The $1,200 assessment fee relates to the costs of completing the approval process involved in ISED directly certifying that radio equipment complies with the appropriate technical requirements, specifications or standards. ISED issues a TAC for each model within the application, though this $1,200 fee is to be applied once.

  • Given the complexity of certifying radio equipment, the time to complete the assessment of radio equipment has risen from 1 day to 3 days.
    • ISED proposes that this fee be adjusted from $1,200 to $4,000 per application to account for the extra time needed for certifying equipment. See table A1 of annex A for examples of application of this fee.
    • ISED proposes to rename this fee from Assessment Fee to Radio Equipment Certification to better reflect the nature of the work.
    • The radio equipment certification fee includes a charge for the administration of the application, the technical examination, the review of the brief, listing on the REL, and the issuance of a TAC for each model within the application.

Technical expertise fee (current 3.2 from TRC-49)

The $150 per hour (or part thereof) fee for technical expertise relates to the reassessment of radio equipment certifications performed directly at ISED.

  • Activities related to radio equipment reassessment may include reviewing applications for multiple listings and family approval, hardware/firmware modifications, and the requests for the transfer of a TAC.
  • To better reflect the nature of the work, ISED proposes to rename this fee from Technical Expertise Fee to Radio Equipment Recertification Fee and amend the fee to $160 per hour (minimum application of two hours), or part thereof, from $150 per hour. See table A1 of annex A for examples of application of this fee.

38. With the new equipment registration fee introduced above, ISED is proposing to repeal the following two fees:

Listing fees (current 3.3 from TRC-49)

The $50 listing fee is for the administration required in recording equipment in the Radio Equipment List (REL). This fee applies to each product model listed.

  • ISED has expanded its role in conducting quality assurance alongside the model of privatized equipment certification performed by CBs. The listing of radio equipment details is no longer considered to be a clerical service given the time and effort required to assess these submissions today. Increasingly complex radio equipment certifications now require careful review by ISED – efforts which were not contemplated at the time of the previous fee exercise in 2007.

Registration fees (current 3.4 from TRC-49)

As part of the DoC process, all telecommunications equipment must be registered with ISED and recorded in the Telecommunications Apparatus Register. The registration fee of $750 is for the development and maintenance cost of the telecommunications equipment program and the administration required in recording the equipment in the TAR.

This fee applies to each submission. A submission can be a family of products that are electrically identical.

Table 2: Comparison of current and proposed fees
Current fee name Current amount Proposed fee name Proposed fee amount
3.1 Assessment fee $1,200/certification application 3.1 Wireless equipment certification fee
(Amended)
$4,000/ application
3.2 Technical expertise fee $150/hour 3.2 Wireless equipment recertification fee
(Amended)
$160/hour
(min. 2 hours)
3.3 Listing fees $50/listing 3.3 Listing fees Repeal
3.4 Registration fees $750/ submission 3.4 Registration fees Repeal
N/A N/A 3.3 Equipment registration fees
(New)
$750
N/A N/A 3.4 Equipment registration amendment fees
(New)
$375/each application

39. The proposed fee model is projected to increase the overall revenue of the program to 95% of the overall program costs, as factored by forecasted year-over‑year volume increases. Figure 2 shows the projections for ISED revenue should the proposed fee structure be adopted and implemented in late Q4 2022-23 (with an average of 2% CPI adjustments applied).

Figure 2: Program cost/revenue forecast – Proposed fees (adjustments to CPI included)

Description of figure 2

This figure shows both the equipment program cost and the equipment program revenue from 2014-2015 through to 2027-2028. This figure applies a new forecasting model to the equipment program revenue beginning at the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022-2023 and running through 2027-2028, should the proposed fees be applied.

The program cost was approximately $4,400,000 in 2014-2015, with a slight increase in 2017-2018 to just below $5,500,000. Costs then rose to approximately $8,600,000 in 2020-2021 and are forecasted to increase to approximately $9,700,000 by 2027-2028.

The equipment program revenue remain stable from 2014-2015 until 2021-2022, which shows a slight increase from approximately $557,000 to $739,000.

Should the proposed fees be applied, the equipment program revenue is anticipated to rise from approximately $739,000 in 2021-2021 to $2,064,000 in 2022-2023, with new fees being applied starting in the fourth quarter of 2022-2023. Revenue in 2023-2024 for the new fees would be approximately $6,400,000 and would rise to approximately $9,000,000 by the end of 2027-2028.

Detailed costs and revenues are presented in the following table:

Detailed costs and revenues
Fiscal year Equipment program cost Equipment program revenue
2014-2015 $4,408,152 $556,750
2015-2016 $3,933,525 $579,900
2016-2017 $4,054,949 $622,600
2017-2018 $5,470,622 $655,350
2018-2019 $4,722,440 $622,000
2019-2020 $6,811,678 $650,000
2020-2021 $8,576,343 $690,277
2021-2022 $9,228,615 $738,958
2022-2023 $9,486,435 $2,064,076
2023-2024 $9,126,468 $6,421,599
2024-2025 $9,230,756 $6,999,093
2025-2026 $9,378,018 $7,631,343
2026-2027 $9,528,319 $8,322,615
2027-2028 $9,681,720 $9,079,475
 

40. The proposed fees will bring the program closer to full cost recovery, with a projected 95% cost recovery by 2027-28 (as estimated above) and will better reflect the costs of the processes related to obtaining regulatory approval for equipment certification in Canada.

Q1

ISED is seeking comments on its proposal to introduce the following fees related to the certification of radio equipment and the registration of telecommunications equipment. Note that the proposed fees will apply to dual equipment (equipment with both telecommunications and radio functionality) as a single fee.

  • Equipment registration: $750
  • Equipment registration amendment fees: $375

Q2

ISED is seeking comments on its proposal to amend and rename fees as follows. The Equipment registration ($750) or Equipment registration amendment fees ($375) will not be charged in addition to this proposed fee.

  • Wireless equipment certification: $4,000
    • Formerly assessment fee: $1,200
  • Wireless equipment recertification: $160/person/hour (min. 2 hours)
    • Formerly technical expertise fee: $150/person/hour

Q3

ISED is seeking comments on its proposal to repeal the following fees:

  • Registration fees: $750
  • Listing fees: $50

7. International comparison

41. While fee models and policy objectives vary considerably throughout the world, it remains useful to draw comparisons in order to best align ISED’s approach with the expectations of stakeholders, both international and domestic. As such, ISED examined fee models of other countries, including the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, New Zealand, the European Union (EU), Japan, and South Korea.

42. Similar to ISED, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does have a registration and certification program for equipment. The US charges a fee of $835 US dollars for the assessment of telecommunications equipment applications, which is comparable to the fee of $750 for telecommunications equipment registration in Canada. However, in other jurisdictions where equipment is not under a registration or certification regime (e.g. EU’s self declaration of conformity), fees are minimal to none.

43. Additionally, ISED examined fee models of third-party certification bodies, which perform a variety of services relating to the certification of radio devices and registration of telecommunications devices. In particular, certification bodies offer a service to certify that a device meets applicable standards for each jurisdiction where the product may be sold. Certification fees will typically range between $2,000-$6,000 per application. ISED’s proposed fee for in-house certification services is $4,000, which is within the range charged by certification bodies. Further, certification bodies offer services such as wireless device recertification requests, multiple listing requests and permissive changes. Their fee and services are closely aligned with ISED’s proposed fee of $160 per hour under the wireless equipment recertification services.

44. In this consultation, ISED is proposing to recover the costs related to the development of domestic and international standards, the performance of engineering studies to support evidence-based regulatory decisions and the audits and surveillance activities for on-going compliance of equipment with standards through the revenue generated by the service fees. When reviewing the cost-recovery policies for these activities, no direct comparison could be made with ISED given that policies vary considerably from one jurisdiction to the next.

45. While it is useful to examine the approaches employed by other countries in order to benchmark ISED’s equipment fee regime, it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions for all fees proposed given the differences in each jurisdiction’s service offerings and regulatory activities.

8. Service standards and remissions

46. ISED has set service standards for equipment registration (2 business days) and equipment listing (2 business days). The service standards for the assessment fee and the technical expertise fee are 14 calendar days. The performance measurement of service standards related to telecommunications and radio equipment certification and registration are reflected in ISED’s annual Departmental Fees Report. Table 3 below summarizes the current service standards related to fees associated to the approval processes of the radio and telecommunications equipment program.

Table 3: Current service standards
Radio and terminal equipment certification and registration Service standard
Assessment and certification of wireless equipment applications by ISED (Assessment fee) 14 calendar days
Wireless equipment reassessments and recertification by ISED / technical expertise services (Technical expertise fee) 14 calendar days
Wireless equipment listing in REL (Listing fee) 2 business days
Wireline equipment DoC registration in TAR (Registration fee) 2 business days

47. Current service standards for the administration of radio equipment approvals reflect the time following a request being approved to being listed on the REL (2 business days). These service standards do not account for the time spent on assessing and reviewing applications submitted by CBs, but rather the measure of time that ISED takes to place an approved certification/registration in the TAR or the REL. This is not meaningful for industry given that the time between an application being received by ISED to the time that ISED deems it to be approved is not accounted for.

48. ISED proposes to introduce a service standard of 14 calendar days for the certification of radio equipment and for the registration of telecommunications equipment. The 14 days will begin upon submission of the application to ISED, and will be considered completed once the application is approved and listed on either the TAR or the REL. Any deficiencies in the application will terminate the 14-day service standard window, given the need to pursue remedial actions with applicants. Table 4 describes the proposed service standards.

Table 4: Proposed service standards
Equipment certification and registration Service standard
Assessment and certification by ISED (certification function included) of new radio equipment
  • Wireless equipment certification fee formerly Assessment fee
14 calendar days
Reassessment and recertification by ISED (certification function included) of modified radio equipment
  • Wireless equipment recertification fee formerly Technical expertise fee
14 calendar days
Review and registration by ISED of new telecommunications equipment applications and/or new radio equipment certification applications
  • Equipment registration fee
14 calendar days
Review and registration by ISED of amendments to existing wireline DoC and/or wireless CB recertification applications
  • Equipment registration amendment fee
14 calendar days

ISED’s remission policy and associated Spectrum and Telecommunications Sector program annex set the parameters for when a party is eligible for a remission with respect to a missed service standard.

49. Should the proposed amendments be adopted by ISED, the current service standards listed on ISED’s Spectrum Management Service Standards web page, will require amendment in accordance.

Q4

ISED is seeking comments on its proposal to introduce service standards for the approval of equipment registration and equipment registration amendment requests as follows:

  1. Review and Registration by ISED of new wireline DoC applications and/or new wireless CB certification applications (Equipment registration fee)
    • 14 calendar days
  2. Review and Registration by ISED of wireline DoC amendment applications and/or wireless CB certification amendment applications (Equipment registration amendment fee)
    • 14 calendar days

9. Impact of proposed fee models

50. The main objective of this consultation is to modernize the fees related to the regulatory approval of telecommunications and radio equipment with the objective of bringing the program towards cost recovery. The proposed fees are forecasted to generate an additional $35 million (cumulative) by 2027-28, or 95% of the cost of the program. The proposed rates are designed to be generally fee neutral overall. Fee neutrality cannot apply to each of the approval processes within the proposed schedule of fees given that the varying degrees of complexity per application remain undetermined and indirect costs such as standards development activities and marketplace surveillance are considered within the program.

51. The intent of the proposed fee amount is not to compete with the services offered by 3rd party laboratories and certification bodies as these entities provide great value to ISED, Canadians, and manufacturers through multinational jurisdiction access and fee bundling for various certifications. These are functions that ISED cannot provide.

10. Submitting comments

52. Respondents are requested to provide their comments in electronic format (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF) by email to certificationbureau-bureauhomologation@ised-isde.gc.ca.

53. Paper submissions should be mailed to the following address:

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch
Director General
6th Floor, East Tower
235 Queen St
Ottawa ON  K1A 0H5

54. All submissions should cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, the publication date, the title and the notice reference number (SMSE-022-22). Respondents should submit their comments no later than January 16, 2023, to ensure consideration. Soon after the close of the comment period, all comments received will be posted on ISED's Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website.

55. ISED will also provide interested parties with the opportunity to reply to comments from other parties. Reply comments will be accepted until February 15, 2023.

56. Following the initial comment period, ISED may, at its discretion, request additional information if needed to clarify significant positions or new proposals. In such a case, the reply comment deadline may be extended.

11. Obtaining copies

57. All ISED publications related to spectrum management and telecommunications are available on the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website.

58. For further information concerning the process outlined in this document or related matters, contact:

Certification and Engineering Bureau
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
3701 Carling Avenue Building 94
PO Box 11490, Station H
Ottawa ON  K2H 8S2

Telephone: 613-990-4218
TTY: 1-866-694-8389
Email: certificationbureau-bureauhomologation@ised-isde.gc.ca

Annex A: Proposed new TRC-49

A1. General information

The Certification and Engineering Bureau (the CEB), under Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), provides a number of services for which fees are charged. These services include registration and registration amendment of compliant equipment, assessment for certification purposes and reassessment for recertification purposes for the telecommunications industry. Certified radio apparatus must be recorded in the Radio Equipment List (REL) and registered terminal apparatus must be recorded in the Telecommunications Apparatus Register (TAR), which are maintained and published by ISED. The purpose of these lists is to inform the public of telecommunications and radio apparatus that comply with technical requirements established by the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry.

Other services, such as consultations on apparatus designs and modifications to meet specifications and standards, which are a normal part of the services provided by private laboratories and consultants, are not provided by ISED. The procedures for obtaining certification of radio equipment are contained in RSP-100, Certification of Radio Apparatus and Broadcasting Equipment. This document outlines the process for acquiring these other services through recognized certification bodies or the CEB. ISED encourages the use of private certification bodies and testing laboratories for both certification and testing of apparatus.

A1.1  Public inquiries

Additional information on fees described herein can be obtained from:
Certification and Engineering Bureau
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
PO Box 11490, Station H
3701 Carling Avenue Building 94
Ottawa ON K2H 8S2

Telephone: 613-990-4218
Facsimile: 613-990-4752
Email: certificationbureau-bureauhomologation@ised-isde.gc.ca
Website: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ceb-bhst.nsf/eng/home

A2. Related documents

The relevant procedures and documents are listed below and can be found on Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website. Please note that any future Telecommunications and Radio Apparatus Fee Order documentation shall be included in this section.

DC-01, Procedure for Declaration of Conformity and Registration of Terminal Equipment

  • This document describes the procedure that suppliers of telecommunications terminal equipment must follow to declare conformity to applicable technical specifications and to register their equipment with ISED.

RSP-100, Certification of Radio Apparatus and Broadcasting Equipment

  • This document specifies the procedural requirements to be followed and the information to be submitted by an applicant wishing to obtain certification of radio apparatus and broadcasting equipment to ISED’s standards and specifications by the CEB or a recognized certification body.

A3. Fees schedule

Fees are based on the principle of recovery of departmental costs. There are four types of fees applicable in the process:

  • wireless equipment (radio apparatus) certification (and full assessment)
  • wireless equipment (radio apparatus) recertification (and reassessment)
  • equipment registration
  • equipment registration amendments

For information on the implementation of these fees, see table A1.

Applicable taxes will be charged for each of the fees charged.

A3.1 Wireless equipment certification

The wireless equipment certification fee relates to the administrative costs involved in reviewing wireless certification applications, to ensure that the wireless equipment complies with the appropriate technical requirements, specifications or standards. The wireless equipment certification fee is $4,000 per application (one certification with single or multiple models) regardless of the number of standards being assessed. The wireless equipment certification fee includes a charge for the administration of the application, the technical examination, the review of the brief, the issuance of a TAC and the listing in the REL by ISED.

A3.2 Wireless equipment recertification fee

Wireless equipment recertification can be provided by the CEB for services such as performing reassessment, as well as reviewing applications for multiple listings, family approval or transfer of a TAC. This fee is calculated at the rate of $160 per person-hour or part thereof. Upon request, the CEB will provide an estimate of the cost for technical support to its clients. The CEB will request full payment of the cost before service is provided. Progress payments will be required for situations where longer than normal assessment times are needed. Regarding standard wireless recertification applications, an administrative recertification (not including a test report) will be charged a minimum of two hours, whereas a technical recertification (including one or more test reports) will be charged a minimum of eight hours.

A3.3 Equipment registration fees

Wireless equipment

When a new wireless equipment is certified by a Certification Body (CB), the application must be submitted for ISED review and approval, and the equipment must be recorded in the REL. The equipment registration fee of $750 is for the certification review and approval by ISED, the recording of the equipment in the REL, as well as for the development and maintenance cost of the wireless compliance program.

Wireline equipment

As part of the declaration of conformity (DoC) process for a new equipment, all wireline equipment (terminal apparatus) must be registered with the CEB and recorded in the TAR. The equipment registration fee of $750 is for the DoC review and approval by ISED, the issuance of a registration letter, the development and maintenance cost of the terminal attachment program and the administration required in recording the equipment on the TAR.

Wireless/wireline (DUAL) equipment

When a new equipment containing both wireless and wireline components is being submitted to ISED with a wireless CB certification and a wireline DoC, the application must be reviewed and approved by ISED before being recorded in the REL and TAR.

For DUAL applications, the equipment registration fee of $750 is for the wireless certification and wireline DoC review and approval by ISED, the recording of the equipment in the REL and TAR, as well as for the development and maintenance cost of the wireless compliance program and the terminal attachment program.

This fee applies to each new application, whether it’s a new wireless CB certification, a new wireline DoC, or a combination of both. An application can be for a single product or family of products which meets the applicable family conditions.

A3.4 Equipment registration amendment fees

Wireless equipment

When a previously certified wireless equipment is being amended (reassessed and recertified) by a Certification Body, the application must be submitted for ISED review and approval, and the equipment must be recorded in the REL. The equipment registration amendment fee of $375 is for the recertification review and approval by ISED, the recording of the equipment in the REL, as well as for the development and maintenance cost of the wireless compliance program.

Wireline equipment

As part of the process when submitting a subsequent declaration of conformity (DoC) for amending a previously registered equipment, all wireline equipment (terminal apparatus) must be registered with the CEB and recorded in the TAR. The equipment registration amendment fee of $375 is for the review and approval by ISED of the amended DoC, the issuance of a registration letter, the development and maintenance cost of the terminal attachment program and the administration required in recording the equipment on the TAR.

Wireless/Wireline (DUAL) equipment

When a previously certified and registered equipment containing both wireless and wireline components is being submitted to ISED with a wireless CB recertification and a wireline amended DoC, the application must be reviewed and approved by ISED before being recorded in the REL and TAR. For DUAL applications, the equipment registration amendment fee of $375 is for the review and approval by ISED of the wireless recertification and wireline amended DoC, the issuance of a registration letter, the recording of the equipment in the REL and TAR, as well as for the development and maintenance cost of the wireless compliance program and the terminal attachment program.

This fee applies to each application, whether it’s for a wireless CB recertification, an amendment for a wireline DoC, or a combination of both. An application can be for a single product or a family of products, under the same (previous) certification/registration number.

A4. Fees payment

It should be noted that the fees outlined in TRC-49 are payable before services are rendered. For example, in most cases, the fee is payable at the time of submitting the application for certification, recertification, registration or registration amendment.

A5. Annual fee increase

Fees for services provided by the Certification and Engineering Bureau will be adjusted annually based on the April All-items Consumer Price Index published yearly by Statistics Canada.

Table A1 of this document must be used in conjunction with the updated fee amounts found on the Spectrum and telecommunications fees web page to appropriately determine current fees charged for the service(s) requested.

Table A1: Fee scenarios
Registration method Scenario Type of application Applicable fee(s) Total fee amount
(one or many models)
Application directly to ISED New wireless certification (for new single model or new family of models) Wireless Flat wireless equipment certification fee of $4,000, independent of the number of applicable radio standards $4,000
Application directly to ISED New wireline DoC (for new single model or new family of models) Wireline Flat equipment registration fee of $750 independent of the number of models included in the application $750
Application directly to ISED New wireless certification and wireline DoC (for new single model or new family of models) Dual Flat wireless equipment certification fee of $4,000, independent of the number of radio standards included in the application and flat equipment registration fee of $750 (for the wireline DoC) $4,750
Application directly to ISED Administrative wireless recertification (adding model(s) without test report)/ multiple listing/ transfer of TAC) Wireless Two hours at hourly rate of $160 under the wireless equipment recertification fee, independent of the number of applicable radio standards. $320
Application directly to ISED Administrative wireline DoC amendment (adding model(s) without test report)/ multiple listing/ transfer of TAC) Wireline Flat equipment registration amendment fee of $375 (for the wireline DoC amendment) $375
Application directly to ISED Administrative wireless recertification and wireline DoC amendment (adding model(s) without test report)/ multiple listing/ transfer of TAC) Dual Two hours at hourly rate of $160 under the wireless equipment recertification fee, and a flat equipment registration amendment fee of $375 for the wireline DoC amendment $695
Application directly to ISED Technical wireless recertification (adding model(s) with test report, hardware and/or software modification, and module integration in host (C2PC/C3PC/C4PC with test report)) Wireless Eight hours at hourly rate of $160 under the wireless equipment recertification fee, independent of the number of applicable radio standards $1,280
Application directly to ISED Technical wireline DoC amendment (adding model(s) with test report, hardware and/or software modification, and module integration in host (C2PC/C3PC/C4PC with test report)) Wireline Flat equipment registration amendment fee of $375 (for the wireline DoC amendment), independent of the number of models included in the application $375
Application directly to ISED Technical wireless recertification and wireline DoC amendment (adding model(s) with test report, hardware and/or software modification, and module integration in host (C2PC/C3PC/C4PC with test report)) Dual Eight hours at hourly rate of $160 under the wireless equipment recertification fee, independent of the number of models included in the application
Flat equipment registration amendment fee of $375 (for the wireline DoC amendment), independent of the number of models included in the application
$1,655
Application via certification bodies New wireless CB certification (for new single model or new family of models) Wireless Flat equipment registration fee of $750 independent of the number of wireless models $750
Application via certification bodies New wireline DoC via a CB (for new single model or new family of models) Wireline Flat equipment registration fee of $750 independent of the number of wireline models $750
Application via certification bodies New wireless CB certification and wireline DoC via a CB (for new single dual model or new family of dual models) Dual Flat equipment registration fee of $750 independent of the number of wireless/wireline (dual) models $750
Application via certification bodies Administrative or Technical wireless CB recertification (adding model(s) without test report (C1PC), multiple listing, transfer of TAC, hardware and/or firmware modification, and module integration in host (C2PC/C3PC/C4PC with test report)) Wireless Flat equipment registration amendment fee of $375 (for the wireless CB recertification), independent of the number of wireless models $375
Application via certification bodies Administrative or Technical wireline DoC amendment (adding model(s) without test report (C1PC), multiple listing, transfer of TAC, hardware and/or firmware modification, and module integration in host (C2PC/C3PC/C4PC with test report)) Wireline Flat equipment registration amendment fee of $375 (for the wireline DoC amendment), independent of the number of wireline models $375
Application via certification bodies Administrative or Technical wireless recertification and wireline DoC amendment (adding model(s) without test report (C1PC), multiple listing, transfer of TAC, hardware and/or firmware modification, and module integration in host (C2PC/C3PC/C4PC with test report)) Dual Flat equipment registration amendment fee of $375 (for the combination of wireless CB recertification and wireline DoC amendment), independent of the number of dual models $375