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Is it safe to buy stuff with no FCC/CE certification?

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:05 am
by helpme
It is possible to buy cheap stuff from China with no FCC/CE certification. Is it unsafe to do so? I guess for wireless products like smartphones, it can be dangerous because the radiation can be very high. But how about non-wireless stuff?

Anyone has experience to share?

Re: Is it safe to buy stuff with no FCC/CE certification?

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:21 am
by tonyhughes
You should probably discover what FCC and CE certifications are - they are not necessarily 'safety standards', though many certifications may encompass safety aspects.

Re: Is it safe to buy stuff with no FCC/CE certification?

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:57 am
by Jessie
Safe yes, most of the time. It is things that require a UL cert that don't have one that you should be concerened about.

Do a search on all the exploding iPhones in China lately. There have been vendors there selling chargers to consumers that run the mains power right to phone battery. In China that would be 230VAC. Nice. That being said I've ordered various things from there with good success. I bought a 120V to 12V PSU to run a computer fan in a light fixture and it ran for almost 5 years before the fan stopped turning ( to be fair I didn't check to see if it was the fan or the PSU.) Just be careful and do lots of research before ordering cheap goods from China and realize you are still rolling the dice, and it never hurts to open something up after you get it to make sure that it isn't a bomb.

Re: Is it safe to buy stuff with no FCC/CE certification?

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:07 am
by helpme
Jessie wrote:Safe yes, most of the time. It is things that require a UL cert that don't have one that you should be concerened about.

Do a search on all the exploding iPhones in China lately. There have been vendors there selling chargers to consumers that run the mains power right to phone battery. In China that would be 230VAC. Nice. That being said I've ordered various things from there with good success. I bought a 120V to 12V PSU to run a computer fan in a light fixture and it ran for almost 5 years before the fan stopped turning ( to be fair I didn't check to see if it was the fan or the PSU.) Just be careful and do lots of research before ordering cheap goods from China and realize you are still rolling the dice, and it never hurts to open something up after you get it to make sure that it isn't a bomb.
Thanks about the UL bit. I guess I should be more adventurous as long as the product does not require UL certification.

Currently, I mostly stick to buying clothes and shoes from China at the moment. Food is of course off-limits at the moment because even the Chinese don't trust their own local food products, like milk powder.

Re: Is it safe to buy stuff with no FCC/CE certification?

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:38 am
by Lob0426
All the FCC is worried about is whether a device interferes with wireless and radio equipment. There is no "safety" in their specifications at all.

Re: Is it safe to buy stuff with no FCC/CE certification?

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:25 pm
by blc
helpme wrote:Is it unsafe to do so? I guess for wireless products like smartphones, it can be dangerous because the radiation can be very high.
...

Not quite. It may not meet shielding/interference standards, but there is utterly no danger from the signals put out by wireless communications devices - other than interfering with other wireless communications devices.

Re: Is it safe to buy stuff with no FCC/CE certification?

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:41 pm
by MrBunsy
blc wrote: Not quite. It may not meet shielding/interference standards, but there is utterly no danger from the signals put out by wireless communications devices - other than interfering with other wireless communications devices.
No danger at the legal power levels, to be picky. Crank up the power and you can literally cook things. All still non-ionising though.

Re: Is it safe to buy stuff with no FCC/CE certification?

Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:50 pm
by klricks
Jessie wrote:Safe yes, most of the time. It is things that require a UL cert that don't have one that you should be concerened about.........
UL is not a government agency and UL certification is not required legally. However many US government agencies ... School districts etc will not purchase equipment that does not have a UL listing.
As a consumer it is up to you to verify UL listing.