2017 FCC Rule Changes for FRS Go into Effect 9/30/19

Back in 2017, the FCC reviewed the personal radio services which include FRS, GMRS, CB, MURS and more and made changes to the rules. Many of those new rules go into effect on Sept. 30, 2019 — or in two weeks from this publication.

Here are the main changes to the rules going into effect:

  • No FRS/GMRS combined radios can be sold after that date
  • No hand held radio capable of operating in both FRS and any other licensed service can be manufactured or imported
  • No voice obscuring radios operating in these services may be manufactured, imported or sold

Here are some additional details

FCC Advisory Admonishes Marketing Non-Compliant Import Radios

On September 24, 2018, the FCC released an Enforcement Advisory with the lengthy title TWO-WAY VHF/UHF RADIOS MAY NOT BE IMPORTED, ADVERTISED, OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THEY COMPLY WITH THE COMMISSION’S RULES. In it the FCC warns of the recent trend of imported, low-cost, two-way VHF/UHF radios which violate FCC technical requirements such as the ability to operate on public safety or land mobile channels for which they have not been authorized. The advisory says, “Anyone importing, advertising or selling such noncompliant devices should stop immediately, and anyone owning such devices should not use them. Violators may be subject to substantial monetary penalties.”

This appears to clarify the FCC’s August citation against Amcrest Industries, LLC for importing and marketing various Baofeng transceivers which were deemed to be unauthorized RF devices.

See also an ARRL article about this by clicking here.

The response from manufacturers like Baofeng, Wouxun, etc. may simply be to limit their radios to amateur radio frequencies. Some models might be changed to scanning receivers. Would any of the manufacturers bother with the changes that would be needed to type-certify one of their radios? That’s unknown.