What is a Declaration of Conformity (DoC)

A Declaration of Conformity is a document stating that a product, usually electronic, meets the standards to which it must legally adhere, such as safety regulations. In the United States, the mark of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considered to be a Declaration of Conformity and appears on electronic products that meet their regulatory standards.

BREAKING DOWN Declaration of Conformity (DoC)

In the United States, the FCC is the public-facing standard of product safety and approval; its counterpart in the European Union is European Conformity, or CE Marking. Just like the FCC stamp, CE Marking on a product proves that it has passed approved testing and is safe for use.

The U.S. Congress enacted the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) in 1972, which established the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and defined its power to develop adequate product safety standards. In 2008, President George W. Bush signed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to promote safety regulations, specifically in children's products, and impose harsher penalties on non-compliant manufacturers.

Importance of a Declaration of Conformity

A Declaration of Conformity (DoC) certifies that a consumer product has been tested by an accredited laboratory or test facility using approved methods to make sure it is fully operational and safe before it is sold. For example, it ensures that a product doesn't contain carcinogenic substances, that it won't break down, and that it won't create a choking hazard if it's intended for children. While an official DoC is a document created by the manufacturer to show the details of its testing and prove its validity, the FCC label is itself considered to be a Declaration of Conformity to the public in America, as it is only stamped on products that pass these tests.

An official DoC serves as a record of all evaluations that factored into approving the product. If it turns out that a previously approved product doesn't actually match up to its standards, the DoC gives a map of exactly what was evaluated and by whom. This makes it easy to track down what went wrong and who, if anyone, should be held responsible.

Components Included In a Declaration of Conformity

A Declaration of Conformity is created by the manufacturer or distributor of the product and should be signed by someone with the authority to both make decisions on behalf of the manufacturer and assign the resources necessary to make sure the process is completed correctly. Along with basic information such as the date and the manufacturer's name and address, a DoC should include the following items:

  • The specific model and/or serial number of the product
  • A full list of the directives that apply to that product and to which it must adhere
  • A dated list of all standards used to evaluate the product
  • A declaration that the product adheres to the necessary standards
  • An authorized signature and the name and position of the signatory

Additionally, the Declaration of Conformity must be translated into the languages of any countries that will sell the product.