Global Differences in SAR Regulations

Global Differences in SAR Regulations

Authorities in a variety of countries around the world have regulations set in place to determine whether the output power threshold of a given wireless device operates within a safe limit. Most wireless devices that operate using RF energy and are used within 20 cm of the human head and body must prove compliance with SAR regulations before they will be allowed onto the market. This is why when it comes to SAR testing for your products, you must work with a SAR laboratory that can provide compliance testing for multiple countries. Keep reading to learn more about regulations for the United States, Canada, and Europe, and how our lab can help you prove compliance for multiple countries.

Worldwide SAR Regulatory Bodies

Many countries have recognized the need to regulate RF exposure from wireless devices. Each of these countries has a governing body in place that dictates SAR regulations that devices must comply with. 

In the United States, we have the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), while Canada’s SAR guidelines are set by the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). The Council of the European Union (CE) oversees certification in Europe, Australia has the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), and Japan’s regulations are set by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). RF Exposure Lab can provide compliance testing for each of these countries.

All of these countries’ guidelines are different and can be further complicated by the fact that regulations may vary between devices.

European SAR Regulations

In Europe, the Council of the European Union has set their SAR regulations as follows: 2 W/kg measured from 10g tissue volume. Overall, the European Union’s SAR guidelines are broader than those in the United States and Canada. 

Although the UK is typically included when referring to Europe, certain regulations differ. For example, some EU countries use the Wi-Fi UNII-3 band, but the UK does not. Manufacturers planning to sell products in the UK should keep this in mind when going through compliance testing.

In addition to this difference for products in the UK, ANSES, a French agency, necessitates that a separation distance of 0mm is taken into consideration for devices that operate higher than 20 mW and are used within 20cm of the body.

United States SAR Regulations

In the United States, SAR limits are 1.6W/kg measured from 1g tissue volume. FCC compliance guidelines are generally more complex than European regulations. This is because the FCC has differing guidance for specific devices and technologies, such as LTE, 3G, Push-to-Talk devices, WLAN, and more. In comparison, European regulations are applied broadly rather than created specifically for each technology.

 The FCC has also determined that low-power devices can prove compliance according to their output power rather than undergoing SAR testing. However, this depends on the device’s separation distance and the frequency it operates in.

Canadian SAR Regulations

Like the US, Canadian SAR limits are 1.6W/kg measured from 1g tissue volume according to ISED. However, in addition to ISED setting its regulations for measurements, FCC, IEC, and IEEE procedures are accepted as well. This can make obtaining certification in Canada more challenging than in other countries. 

SAR Testing According to Worldwide Standards at RF Exposure Lab

Even with this knowledge of SAR regulations in varying countries, it may be unclear whether or not your product must prove compliance through SAR testing. In cases when testing is unnecessary, we always communicate this to our clients and let them know what is or is not necessary for their product. We do not perform any unnecessary testing because we’re here to make this process as simple as possible for you.

If you manufacture devices that must undergo SAR testing and will be sold in multiple countries, the importance of working with an experienced, A2LA accredited testing lab cannot be overstated. Working with an experienced SAR testing lab as early as possible in the manufacturing process will help you successfully get through the maze of SAR regulations and ensure that your product is compliant.

We offer RF exposure testing services for a variety of wireless devices, such as

As well as many more devices! If you’re looking for RF exposure testing help that is provided with expertise, speed, accuracy, and integrity, contact us to learn more about our services or to get a quote.