12 September 2017

Namibia: CRAN Warns IT Vendors to Ensure Type Approval Is in Place to Avoid Import Difficulties

Despite several vendors of IT and telecommunication equipment, lodging complaints against the Type Approval process, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) yet again informed importers, vendors, patent owners and equipment manufacturers of telecommunication equipment to obtain a Type Approval Certificate before their goods to be allowed to enter Namibia upon importation.

Last year a number of IT companies after the Type Approval regulation came into play, felt the process a thorn in the flesh and many of them had complaints that ranged from, CRAN having overlooked what equipment and devices will be affected, to CRAN itself having no means or expertise to Type Approve any product on their own.

Despite the developments at that time, the CEO of CRAN, Festus Mbandeka, this week said that the original equipment manufacturer outside Namibia may provide a letter of authorisation to a local or third party to apply on their behalf and it should clearly state the company name that has been granted permission to apply for type approval in Namibia on behalf of the equipment manufacturer.

"The telecommunications equipment that is temporarily imported into Namibia for re-export does not require a type approval certificate and due to variance in reasons for temporary importation, the authority must receive such a request at least two weeks in advance for consideration," he said.

Mbandeka furthermore said that all importers of IT equipment need to submit all test reports as outlined in the type approval application form. However, the authority allows manufacturers with ICASA certification to submit their certification with the CRAN application form, provided that all required documents are submitted.

"They are informed that it takes 40 days to process the type approval application based on first-come-first-serve, granted that all documents have been submitted and application fees paid and the certificate is valid for three years," he said.

According to CRAN, the purpose of these regulations is to ensure compliance of telecommunications equipment with international standards, to prevent any sub-standard equipment that may present health and safety hazards to consumers from entering, to protect consumers from products that are incompatible with local networks and to ensure that the operating frequency of telecommunications equipment generally and radio apparatus specifically conform with the national frequency band plan.

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