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”. 

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.


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 for RF equipment does not expire and the equipment can be used again in future without the need for another application for type approval. However, type approval for fixed line equipment is valid for a period of a year and is renewable before or on 31 March every year.

Application process

The following information and documents should be submitted with the type approval application:

  • Two identifying photographs of at least postcard size of the equipment to be type approved. Colour photographs are preferred (photocopies are not acceptable)
  • A functional description of the equipment, at least at block diagram level
  • Operating instructions
  • The original or a certified copy of the test report (both RF and EMC), issued by an accredited communication testing facility
  • Detailed circuit diagrams, approved and stamped by the test facility and highlighting any modifications that have been incorporated
  • The originals or certified copies of the test report and certificate of compliance with radio regulations issued by an approved test facility
  • The original or a certified copy of the test report for safety regulations issued by an approved safety test facility

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.

Type approval forms

Type approval framework

Type approval equipment database

What are the type approval fees?

Type approval fees are as follows:

cdd eee

Telecommunication Terminal Equipment (TTE):

R4 688

Radio Frequency Equipment (RF)

R4 688

Untested Variant

R2 344

Engineering Badge

R4 688

Labels for Approved Equipment (pkts of 400 units)


Provisional Type Approval

R2 344


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.

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 000 and the cost of labelling the approved equipment is R0.50 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. 

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.