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New Delhi: India’s sole SAR certifier has found instances of fake SAR conformance certificates given for imported handsets. A letter written by India’s only authorised lab and certifier of specified absorption rate (SAR) of radiation in a mobile handset to the customs chief in New Delhi brings out rampant misuse and violation of government rules on the same.
Bharat B Jain, chief executive officer (CEO) of BNNSPEAG Test and Calibration Laboratory India Pvt Ltd, told dna he has come across some instances of fake SAR conformance certificates being issued by a Delhi-based entity AB Mobile Standards India Pvt Ltd and has brought it to the notice of the customs.
“This forging of SAR compliance certificate is not only causing a revenue loss to the test lab but also resulting in unchecked mobile phone radiation to general public,” Jain wrote in his letter to the Commissioner of Customs Bhushan Kumar Bansal.
What has surprised Jain is that the customs has cleared mobile handsets imports on production of these forged documents. As evidence, he has provided a copy of SAR conformance certificate issued to Maxx MobilE Communications Limited’s MX425e model by AB Mobile. The model was made manufactured by United Creation Technology Co Ltd.
“It has come to our notice that under-mentioned organisation (AB Mobile Standards India Pvt Ltd) is giving forged SAR certificates to various mobile manufacturers and importers, who are submitting these to customs for clearance of these phone by illegally using ILAC (International Lab Accreditation) symbol,” he states in the letter.
And while Jain is still awaiting response from the customs authority, ILAC – the international body of which his company is a signatory – has already addressed his concerns.
An e-mail sent to him by Sharon Kelly of ILAC has verified that AB Mobile was not an ILAC signatory.
“AB Mobile Standards India is not authorised to use the ILAC MRA Mark as shown on the SAR conformance certificate provided (to us),” she wrote to Jain.
ILAC, which is a global mobile testing and certification body, has taken the matter further and will be carrying out a probe to check whether testing by AB Mobile was done at an accredited laboratory.
“However, this would need to be confirmed with AB Mobile Standards and CNAS (China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment), the accreditation body in China that is a signatory to the ILAC MRA because the conformance certificate indicates the laboratory used was based in China,” she assured Jain in her email.
ILAC has said it will use the evidence given by Jain to contact AB Mobile Standards and advise them against inappropriate use of the ILAC MRA Mark.
G Krishna Kumar, telecom professional from Bangalore, said even though India has set guidelines on acceptable SAR level for mobile phones sold in the country, its implementation was a challenge.
“It is worthwhile to note that SAR value by itself does not guarantee that the phone is safe to be used continuously for hours. Data suggests that a SAR value of 1.6 W/kg (watt per kilogram) means that the phone can safely be used for about 18-20 minutes of continuous talking (with phone held against the ear) in a day,” he said.
According to him, the government or the phone makers or the telcos needs to educate general public on these aspects.
He said the government should mandate the over 150 mobile phone makers to provide the radiation details for all phone models launched in India over the last one year. “This should be available both online and in all the retail outlets,” said Krishna Kumar.