Protecting The Public Via Standards And Certification

By Wan Asmanizan Wan Ahmad Najib

CYBERJAYA (Bernama) -- Consumers need not worry of the safety of the communication and multimedia devices that they purchase these days, thanks to the standards and certification set by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Consumers are well aware how dangerous an exploding or fiery handphone could be. Recent cases of a particular handphone model catching fire serves as a reminder why product standards and certifications are crucial.

Much earlier, there were cases of handphone users being electrocuted by faulty chargers.

Moreover, there are thousands of communication and multimedia devices, and accessories in the market that could be counterfeit or substandard causing high risk to users.

The standards and certifications ensure that the device manufacturers, importers and distributors conform to the safety requirements.

CONSUMER AWARENESS

With the standards and certifications in place, the challenge now for MCMC is to educate the communication and multimedia consumers to become smart consumers. The consumers have to know the safety features of their devices even before purchasing them.

However, the commission acknowledges the challenges in staying ahead due to the fast evolving communication and multimedia technologies. Understanding the limitations, the Commission has taken steps to educate consumers until they reach a point where they would be able to recognise the approved safety features set by the MCMC.

The whole idea is that the consumers have a peace of mind that the devices on their palms are safe to be used or to be carried around in their pockets or bags.

For each approved device, MCMC label is affixed to indicate a sign of approval that bears unique certification data. These approval certification is awarded based on the agreed standards and certification set by MCMC and SIRIM QAS in order to protect consumers.

The SIRIM QAS is an added safety assurance for the devices and accessories and indicates that the product has gone through vigorous certification process before entering the market.

SIRIM QAS CERTIFICATION

In 2015, MCMC together with its appointed Certifying Agency, SIRIM QAS International came up with Self Labeling Program (SLP). This programme allows manufacturers, importers, or suppliers to follow certification guidelines and affix the label to their respective devices according to the registered approval code.

Consumers should take note that there are two types of labels, surface label and e-label. The surface label, usually stickers, can easily be located at the back or at the bottom of the device. The same type of label could also be found on the warranty card or the product manual.

Meanwhile, the e-labeling carries a unique Common ID (CID) or Holder ID (HID) number awarded by SIRIM QAS International to each product where the MCMC logo derived from SLP will accompany the ID. This e-labeling will only be on the device.

CONSUMERS SHOULD APPRECIATE

MCMC Head and Senior Director of Technology and Society Division Aisharuddin Nuruddin noted that; "It is important that the users understand the risks and complications in using non-certified communication and multimedia devices, and accessories, which could be below the recommended standards or a counterfeit product.

"Devices that do not meet safety requirements could cause harm for instance fire or electric shocks," he added.

CHECK YOUR LABEL

MCMC views standard and certification compliance issue as a crucial aspect in educating the public in safety of the communication and multimedia gadgets.

In helping the public play a proactive part, MCMC has come up with an easy and fast method to help them check the authenticity of a communication and multimedia device, or the accessories, through an app called 'Check Your Label'.

Through the app, users can protect themselves from counterfeit products by verifying the IMEI or serial number that is found on the devices.

Aisharuddin said consumers have to make sure their communication devices carry the MCMC label before deciding on a purchase.

Besides the mobile app, SIRIM QAS through its web services also offers consumer a platform to check the label by scanning a QR code at .

'The 'Check Your Label' app is downloadable from Google Play or Apple App Store.

BERNAMA