Type Approval

In terms of section 35 (1) of the Electronic Communications Act, “No person may use, supply, sell, offer for sale or lease or hire any type of electronic communications equipment or electronic communications facility, including radio apparatus, used or to be used in connection with the provision of electronic communications, unless such equipment, electronic communications facility or radio apparatus has, subject to subsection (2), been approved by the Authority”.

What is Type Approval?

"Type Approval" means a process by which Equipment or a device or system is authorized by the Authority to be used in South Africa or imported into South Africa and involves verification of the Equipment's compliance with the applicable standards and other regulatory requirements;

The Authority determines and publishes in the Government Gazette the recognized technical standards with which equipment must conform in order to be eligible for Type Approval. These standards are based on the standards prepared by recognized international, regional and national standards-making bodies and include minimum requirements for meeting the Type Approval. The applicable technical standards are found in the Technical Regulations as defined in the Type Approval Regulations.

Non-type approved or non-exempt equipment, therefore, will not be allowed for use in the country and such equipment will be sealed and/or seized.

Who needs to obtain a type approval certificate?

Any Equipment used or to be used in connection with the provision of electronic communications, unless explicitly exempted by the Authority, is subject to Type Approval by the Authority.

Applications for Type Approval can be submitted by any of the following parties:

  1. Manufacturers;
  2. Importers;
  3. Distributors; and
  4. Any South African registered company

The Type Approval Certificate will only be issued to South African registered companies. Therefore, details such as company registration number, physical and postal addresses, contact persons and telephone numbers are required in terms of the applicable application form.


Local and foreign entities that are involved in the provisioning of electronic communications services may apply for exemption from Equipment Type Approval during the hosting of special events. ICASA will accept test reports of the relevant European standards, provided the testing has been performed at an accredited test facility. An accredited test facility is a laboratory or a test house that is continuously being checked by the national accreditation bodies in their countries for, among other things, compliance with ISO 17025 requirements and the qualifications of personnel conducting such tests. Normally such a routine check is done once a year. Updated information is normally obtained from national bodies.

  • All applicants must show that the equipment conforms to the relevant technical standards as specified in the Official List Standard regulations, No. 32885, published by ICASA.  
  • All exempted equipment will be granted with a special permit and all such equipment must be clearly marked with an ICASA sticker in order to differentiate them from illegal users. ICASA will issue the relevant sticker.
  • Type approval does not expire and the equipment can be used again in future without the need for another application for type approval.

Application process

The type approval and licensing process consists of the following three phases:

  • Testing of the performance in accordance with the applicable technical standards  
  • Testing of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – both emission and immunity measurements
  • Testing of safety 

The applicant must complete the relevant application form and submit the specified conformance test reports from accredited test facilities or laboratories to ICASA. The conformance test reports must be obtained from any international recognised test facility.

(1) Type Approval applications are required to register on the ICASA database as a Supplier of Equipment. This registration will be a once-off activity at no additional cost to the applicant.

(2) Registration shall only be afforded to South African registered entities.

(3) Should the details provided when registering as a Supplier change, the onus is on the applicant to supply the Authority with the latest updated information within thirty (30) days of the change occurring.

Any equipment that has not been type approved before by the Authority must undergo the Standard Type Approval process.

The Simplified Type Approval process must be followed in the event where the equipment has already obtained Type Approval from Authority. The application fee for Standard Type Approval and Simplified Type Approval processes is the same. A representative sample must be submitted at the request of the Authority.


(1) A Type Approval Application must be accompanied by the following:

  • Test reports confirming compliance with the applicable standards in the Technical Regulations;
  • Proof of Payment of the prescribed non-refundable Type Approval fee.
  • Photographs of the Equipment, Installation and User manual;
  • A functional description of the Equipment;
  • Schematic diagram, Printed circuit board (PCB) layout; and

(2) The Authority may, where it deems it necessary, request the Applicant to submit additional supporting documents.

(3) A successful outcome of the assessment will result in the Authority issuing a Type Approval Certificate.

(4) An unsuccessful outcome will result in the Authority issuing a letter containing reasons for rejecting the application.

(5) The Applicant may, subsequent to addressing issues stipulated in the rejection letter, and subject to Regulation 5{1)(e), re-apply for Type Approval.


(1) A Supplier may request that Equipment that appears on the Authority's Type Approval Register be subject to a Simplified Type Approval process.

(2) The Supplier must ensure that the Equipment applied for is identical to the Equipment that is already type approved and appears on the Type Approval Register.

(3) This process does not require the submission of test reports, however, a representative sample may be required;

{4) Regulation 5{3) to 5{6) shall apply with regard to Simplified Type Approval process/es.


(1) The Authority recognises only standards issued by a competent standardisation body.

(2) The applicable technical standards for Equipment are found in the Technical Regulations.

(3) In the event where Equipment requiring Type Approval was tested to a standard which is not in the Technical Regulations, then such a standard must be technically identical to that determined by the Authority for such Equipment.


(1) The Authority will accept only test reports that are issued by any ATL.

(2) Applicants must submit a test report in full and are not allowed to remove or modify any portion of the test report.

(3) A test report is only valid if it was prepared for the Equipment for which approval is being applied for and if no modifications have been made to the Equipment following the completion of the test report.


(1) Subject to Section 35(2)(b) read with Section 32(1) of the Act, the Authority may award a Provisional Type Approval Permit, for a period of up to 6 months for the following purposes:

  • Use of Equipment for a trial, demonstration or research purpose on a non-commercial basis; and
  • Testing the Equipment in an ATL in South Africa.

(2) The Equipment specified in the permit granted in terms of sub regulation (1) must be used exclusively by the applicant.

(3) When requesting provisional Type Approval the Applicant must submit information regarding:

  • Purpose of the test, trial, research or demonstration;
  • Details of the units to be tested, including the number;
  • Details of the proposed recipients of the units;
  • Duration of the test, trial, research or demonstration;
  • The geographical area where the tests, trial, research or demonstration are to be performed; and
  • Proof of payment of the applicable fee.

(4) The Applicant must furnish the Authority with a report of the test, trial, research or

demonstration, within thirty (30) days from the lapse of the permit period.

(5) In the event that the applicant does not wish to apply for Type Approval within or after the permit period, the Applicant is obliged to ensure that all the units that were deployed or used are withdrawn at the applicant's own cost, within thirty (30) days from the lapse of the permit period.


The approval usually takes 30 days, on submission of all necessary documents


All Type Approvals will be valid for an unlimited period of time provided that no modifications have been made to the type approved Equipment, and provided that technical standard has not hanged to the extent that it does invalidate the Type Approval.

If the changes to the type approved Equipment are essentially cosmetic in nature (including, for instance, change in colour, external design, enclosure, etc.) and the technical information recorded in the Type Approval Register is unchanged, a new application for type approval is not required.

Type approval forms

An application for Type Approval and/or Supplier registration must be made to the Authority using the prescribed Application forms which are found in schedule 2 of the Type Approval Regulation

The following forms are also found within the regulations:

  • Schedule 2.1: Standard application form for radio Equipment
  • Schedule 2.2: Standard application form for TTE
  • Schedule 2.3: Simplified application form for radio Equipment and TTE
  • Schedule 2.4: Provisional Type Approval application form
  • Schedule 2.5: Supplier registration form

Type approval framework

Type approval equipment database


The Type Approval fees shall be payable in advance and are non-refundable irrespective of the outcome of an application. The Type Approval fees set out in schedule 1 will be adjusted by a maximum of the Consumer Price index (CPI) as published by Statistics South Africa. Type approval fees are as follows:

cdd eee

Telecommunication Terminal Equipment (TTE):

R5 109

Radio Frequency Equipment (RF)

R5 109

Untested Variant

R2 555

Engineering Badge

R5 109

Labels for Approved Equipment (pkts of 400 units)


Provisional Type Approval

R2 555


cdd eee

Administrative modification to Certificates (including transfer of Certificate or name change and/ or address)


Technical Modifications for approved equipment


Re-issue of certificates for approved equipment


Administrative and technical modifications


Download the notice regarding the Increase of Administrative Fees in Relation to Type Approval here.


Applications for Type Approval or labelling can be delivered to ICASA in the

following ways:

(i) Handed in person at ICASA Head offices during office hours and addressed


The Manager - Type Approval & Licensing Unit

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA)

Engineering and Technology Division

50 Witch-Hazel Ave, Eco-Park Estate

Centurion, 0144


(ii) Submitted by Registered Post Mail to:

The Manager - Type Approval & Licensing Unit

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA)

Engineering and Technology Division

Private Bag X10

Highveld Park, 0169


(iii) Submitted electronically to the following address:


For additional information: TALinfo@icasa.org.za/  012 568 3855/3843/3845.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process of selling imported two-way radios?

The equipment must be type approved by ICASA before it is offered for sale. The type approval must be obtained before the particular equipment is imported into the country.

What is the procedure of importing mobile phones and radios?

Mobile phones and radios are categorised as wireless equipment or RF equipment. The applicant must complete the RF application form and submit the specified conformance test reports from accredited test facilities or laboratories to ICASA.

What are the costs of importing cellular phones?

The fee for RF equipment is R4 688 and the cost of labelling the approved equipment is R1.17 per label. The other costs may include SARS-related (customs) fees.

What are the requirements for type approval of IP PBX?

The basic IP PBX (private branch exchange) should comply with EMC and safety standards. Should the IP PBX comprise of analogue and digital interfaces the relevant interface test reports must also be submitted.

How long will it take to get an approval?

The approval usually takes 30 days, on submission of all necessary documents

Does ICASA have a registry of cellular telephones and modems that are certified for use within South Africa?

There is a database of type approved equipment available in the table above that is updated on regular basis.

What is the process of buying stickers for type approval of equipment and how do the stickers differ in terms of equipment size?

A copy of the type approval certificate/licence as well as the amount of labels to be ordered must be submitted to ICASA. ICASA has one label size, which is 23mmx13mm. However, permission to include the ICASA sticker during the manufacturing process may be requested in writing from ICASA. The minimum label size is 3mmx3mm.

The ICASA sticker must be put on both the approved equipment and its packaging.

What is the list of type approved equipment?

It is a type approval register comprised of a list of licensed or certified equipment.