Compliance, and why Raspberry Pi 4 may not be available in your country yet

In June we launched Raspberry Pi 4, and it has been selling extremely well, with over 1 million devices already made. We launched the product in a select set of countries in June, and ever since, we’ve been steadily making it available in more and more places; currently, Raspberry Pi 4 is on the market in 55 countries.

Raspberry Pi 4 and compliance

There have been many questions around why Raspberry Pi 4 isn’t available in certain countries, and this post will give you some insight into this.

Whenever a company wants to sell a product on a market, it first has to prove that selling it is safe and legal. Compliance requirements vary between different products; rules that would apply to a complicated machine like a car will, naturally, not be the same as those that apply to a pair of trainers (although there is some overlap in the Venn diagram of rules).

Raspberry Pi Integrator Programme

Regions of the world within each of which products have to be separately tested

Different countries usually have slightly different sets of regulations, and testing has to be conducted at an accredited facility for the region the company intends to sell the product in.

Compliance for a country is broken into the following: testing, certification, and marking.

Testing

Compliance testing requirements vary from country to country; there is no single set of tests or approvals that allow you to sell a product globally. Often, it’s necessary to test the product within the country that compliance is needed for; only some countries accept test reports from other countries.

For the launch of Raspberry Pi 4, we tested to EU, FCC (USA), and IC (Canada) regulations, and we’ve used these test reports to apply for compliance in as many countries as possible.

Certification

Once testing is complete, a certificate is issued for the product. The time this takes is variable, and some countries post such certificates online publicly so people can search for products.

Testing in the remaining countries that require testing to happen in-country is now complete, and the respective certificates are being granted for Raspberry Pi 4 right now. However, whilst the certificate is being issued, the product isn’t yet compliant; we need to add the regulatory markings for this to happen.

Marking

Like testing requirements, product marking requirements may differ from country to country. The main difficulty of marking is that many countries require a unique certificate number to be printed on packaging, leaflets, and the product itself.

Some countries, such as the USA, allow companies to create the certificate number themselves (hence jazzy numbers like 2ABCB-RPI4B), and so we can place these on the product before launch. In other countries, however, the certificate number is issued at the end of the certification process.

For Raspberry Pi 4, we are now at the final stage for compliance: marking. All our certificates have been issued, and we are updating the packaging, leaflet, and product with the various certificate numbers needed to unlock the last few countries.

The countries that we have certificates for that require markings to be added: South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, Chile, and Japan.

The process is beginning, and Raspberry Pi 4 should be available in these markets soon.

We post all our product compliance information online.

Conclusion

This is a broad overview of the compliance process for Raspberry Pi, and there are some details omitted for the sake of clarity. Compliance is a complex and varied task, but it is very important to demonstrate that Raspberry Pi 4 is a compliant, safe, and trustworthy product.

We aim to make Raspberry Pi 4 available in more countries than ever before, ensuring that everyone can take advantage of the amazing features, power, and cost-effectiveness it offers.

17 comments

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After Brexit, we can also add the good old BSI kitemark to the RPi again so it can still be sold in the UK too…
(sad times..)

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When Raspberry Foundation leaves the EU27 in a few weeks time: were the EU certifications done by a UK lab or by one of the EU27? And besides the issues with certifications, what about the taxes that will apply? …not talking about “WTO terms” here, because that’s a red herring and UK will have to trade on North Korean terms. So what’s in for Raspberry after Helloween?

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taxes –> import tariffs

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Not worth even discussing the whole post-brexit licensing thing at this point given everything is up in the air. Given no launches are on the horizon its a non-issue for now.

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My question is not about new launches but instead about the repercussions on existing products. The problem seems to be that compliance can get lost not because the product changed but because the compliance-attesting company is UK-based and thus not EU-licensed anymore. This happens in the medical area, so my question is, does this also happen with Raspberry Foundation’s product. And I trust the Raspberry Foundation to give more reliable answers than Dominic Raab, and some others.

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Presumably adding the markings will involve a change to the production process. Will this be a convenient time to sort out The Resistor Who Shalt Not Be Named on the USB-C charging port?

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Changing just the labeling or silkscreen, and changing any copper layer and/or component which changes the circuit itself, are significantly different things. The latter may actually trigger a cascade of regulatory consequences of its own.

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We are 2 of the 29 people who saw that movie and get that reference.

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I understood that reference.

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I didn’t leak.

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Have you had to make any BoM changes to achieve regulatory compliance?
As a result of differing regulations do you have to have any country / region specific variants?
Were you able to take an combined ‘hardest pass line’ for different compliance tests and thus be sure of a pass and compliance before applying for specific regions?
Cheers!
/Andy

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I had a colleague who dealt with worldwide compliance for consumer electronics. Some smaller countries just accept things like FCC, CE and/or TUV, others have local requirements separate from, yet not significantly different from the larger-market standards. He thought it was partly because (1) it’s a barrier to entry for foreign products, (2) it gives their domestic test labs business, and even (3) more pre-market time to examine foreign competitor products.

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I believe, and it’s just my opinion, that regulatory requirements are frequently used to implement stealth protectionism.

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When will you release Raspberry Pi 4 in Japan>

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In Japan, no printing of certification mark is required on the board from the year 2006.

There are two ways to do this.
1.Place certification mark on Quick Start Guide
2.print on a box
3.Upload the document to the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s certification page.

1 and 2 are the work of RS, elemnt 14 and OKDO.
3 is the work of the foundation.

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hey you should read CAREFULLY the radio act. that depends on the vendor, cannot be handled by consumer/reseller, Foundation has submitted, it now has been accepted and they need to decide how to apply.
https://www.tele.soumu.go.jp/j/sys/equ/tech/
Again you reseller/consumer CANNOT apply for that. you need to wait till approved reseller can sell to you to ‘resell’, or you’re punished by Japanese acts.

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