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113th Congress   }                                      {      Report  
                                 SENATE
  2d Session     }                                      {      113-280
                                                                
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     




 ENHANCE LABELING, ACCESSING, AND BRANDING OF ELECTRONIC LICENSES ACT 
                                OF 2014


                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2583

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                December 1, 2014.--Ordered to be printed
                           ______             
   
              U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
                
49-010                      WASHINGTON : 2014
                
                






                
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred thirteenth congress
                             second session

             JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
 BARBARA BOXER, California            JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
 BILL NELSON, Florida                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
 MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           ROY BLUNT, Missouri
 MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 MARCO RUBIO, Florida
 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
 AMY KLOBUCHAR , Minnesota            DEAN HELLER, Nevada
 MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  DANIEL COATS, Indiana
 RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut      TIM SCOTT, South Carolina
 BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii                 TED CRUZ, Texas
 ED MARKEY, Massachusetts             DEB FISCHER, Nebraska
 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey              RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
 JOHN WALSH, Montana
                     Ellen Doneski,  Staff Director
                     John Williams,  General Counsel
              David Schwietert,  Republican Staff Director
              Nick Rossi,  Republican Deputy Staff Director
               Rebecca Seidel,  Republican General Counsel
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
113th Congress   }                                         {    Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session      }                                         {    113-280

======================================================================



 
ENHANCE LABELING, ACCESSING, AND BRANDING OF ELECTRONIC LICENSES ACT OF 
                                  2014

                                _______
                                

               December 1, 2014.-- Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Rockefeller, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                               R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2583]

     The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2583) to promote the non-
exclusive use of electronic labeling for devices licensed by 
the Federal Communications Commission, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                           Purpose of the Bill

     The purpose of S. 2583, the Enhance Labeling, Accessing, 
and Branding of Electronic Licenses Act of 2014 (E-LABEL Act), 
as reported, is to promote the non-exclusive use of electronic 
labeling for certain radiofrequency devices licensed by the 
Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

                          Background and Needs

     Under various sections of the Communications Act of 1934 
(47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.), the FCC is responsible for authorizing 
the operation and sale of devices that emit radiofrequency 
energy (e.g., everything from smartphones to car door remote 
controls). This authorization process is one of the ways the 
FCC works to ensure that radiofrequency devices used in the 
United States operate effectively without creating harmful 
interference and otherwise comply with FCC rules.
     Electronic devices that emit radiofrequency energy have 
the potential to cause interference to radio communications and 
therefore must meet appropriate technical standards in order to 
comply with the FCC's equipment authorization procedures. The 
FCC has several processes (certification, declarations of 
conformity, verification by the FCC or a designated 
Telecommunications Certification Body) to assess and authorize 
these devices. Once a device has gone through the authorization 
process, FCC identification (FCC ID) numbers are generally 
assigned to that device to verify that an FCC grant of 
authorization has been obtained. Current FCC rules require 
manufacturers, with limited exceptions, to physically affix or 
etch a label with the FCC ID and other identifying information 
to the surface of these products.
     Equipment makers have argued that providing the option to 
display the FCC ID and other information electronically could 
make the manufacturing process easier, while preserving access 
to this information for device users. Equipment manufacturers 
also suggest that electronic labeling is less expensive and 
potentially could help them lower the costs of devices to 
consumers. The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology has 
acknowledged that certain devices have very small surface areas 
for an FCC ID label, or that when etched on the surface, the 
labeling may cause damage or require very expensive techniques.
     On July 11, 2014, the FCC issued non-codified industry 
guidance about the use of electronic labeling for certain 
radiofrequency devices. The FCC's current labeling rules 
indicate that where it can be shown that a permanent label ``is 
not desirable or feasible'' an alternative method of labeling 
may be used with the FCC's approval. The FCC's new guidance 
describes and clarifies how devices with an integrated display 
screen can use electronic labeling as an alternative to a 
physical label or etching consistent with the exceptions 
already present in the FCC's labeling rules.
     Even with this newly-issued guidance, there may still be 
uncertainty about the circumstances where it is appropriate for 
a manufacturer to use electronic labeling in place of a 
permanent label on the surface of a device. The FCC's recent 
action also does not make any changes to its underlying 
labeling rules. S. 2583 would address this uncertainty and 
promote electronic labeling opportunities by directing the FCC 
to issue rules or take other appropriate action to allow 
manufacturers the option to provide required information on an 
electronic device's display screen.

                           Legislative History

     On July 10, 2014, Senator Fischer introduced S. 2583, the 
E-LABEL Act. The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Rockefeller. 
The Committee held an Executive Session on September 17, 2014, 
during which S. 2583 was considered. The Committee, without 
objection, ordered S. 2583 reported favorably without 
amendment.

                             Estimated Costs

  In compliance with subsection (a)(3) of paragraph 11 of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states 
that, in its opinion, it was necessary to dispense with the 
requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of that subsection in 
order to expedite the business of the Senate.

                            Regulatory Impact

     In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:
     The bill, as reported, will direct the FCC to issue formal 
rules or take other appropriate action to allow for electronic 
labeling of radiofrequency devices with display. Because S. 
2583 does not create any new programs, the legislation will 
have no additional regulatory impact, and will result in no 
additional reporting requirements. It will have no effect on 
the number of individuals or businesses regulated or on the 
personal privacy of such persons. For manufacturers of 
radiofrequency devices with display, however, the costs of 
compliance with regulations and the amount of paperwork 
required for such compliance may be reduced.

                    Congressionally Directed Spending

     In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                       Section-by-Section Analysis


 Section 1. Short title.

     The short title is the ``Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and 
Branding of Electronic Licenses Act of 2014'' or the ``E-LABEL 
Act''.

 Section 2. Findings.

    This section would identify key findings of the bill 
concerning the history of FCC labeling rules, the challenges 
presented by the FCC's current physical label and etching 
requirements, and the benefits of providing manufacturers with 
the option for electronic labeling of certain types of radio 
frequency devices.

 Section 3. Authorization for Federal Communications Commission to 
        allow electronic labeling.

    This section would add a new section 720 to the 
Communications Act of 1934 that directs the FCC to promulgate 
regulations or take other appropriate action, as necessary, to 
allow manufacturers of radiofrequency devices with display the 
option to use electronic labeling in place of affixing physical 
labels to the equipment. The FCC would be required to take 
action within nine months of the date of enactment.
     This section would define the terms ``electronic 
labeling'' and ``radiofrequency device with display.'' 
``Electronic labeling'' would mean displaying required labeling 
and regulatory information electronically. ``Radiofrequency 
device with display'' would mean any equipment or device that 
is required under regulations of the FCC to be authorized by 
the FCC before the equipment or device may be marketed or sold 
within the United States; and has the capability to digitally 
display required labeling and regulatory information.

                         Changes in Existing Law

     In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                       COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934


                   TITLE VII. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

                        [47 U.S.C. 601 et seq.]

SEC. 720. OPTIONAL ELECTRONIC LABELING OF COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section--
          (1) the term ``electronic labeling'' means displaying 
        required labeling and regulatory information 
        electronically; and
          (2) the term ``radiofrequency device with display'' 
        means any equipment or device that--
                  (A) is required under regulations of the 
                Commission to be authorized by the Commission 
                before the equipment or device may be marketed 
                or sold within the United States; and
                  (B) has the capability to digitally display 
                required labeling and regulatory information.
  (b) Requirement To Promulgate Regulations for Electronic 
Labeling.--Not later than 9 months after the date of enactment 
of the Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic 
Licenses Act of 2014, the Commission shall promulgate 
regulations or take other appropriate action, as necessary, to 
allow manufacturers of radiofrequency devices with display the 
option to use electronic labeling for the equipment in place of 
affixing physical labels to the equipment.

                                  [all]