Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize federal regulations for electronic devices. The E-LABEL Act would ease certain regulatory requirements on manufacturers of products such as phones, computers, and other electronics, by giving them the option to meet the physical label requirement digitally. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently requires most device manufacturers to etch or otherwise permanently place regulatory information and symbols on the exterior of approved products.  As electronic devices in the marketplace become smaller, physical label requirements may become increasingly difficult to meet and more costly for manufacturers. The e-label option promises to lower costs for both producers and consumers.

The senators issued the following statements:

“As manufacturers continue to produce groundbreaking technologies, it only makes sense that federal labeling requirements for these products are updated to further promote innovation and create new opportunities in the digital age,” said Fischer. “I’m pleased to work with Chairman Rockefeller to introduce the E-LABEL Act, which increases options and lowers costs for manufacturers while also making regulatory information more easily accessible to consumers. This bipartisan measure will provide relief for job creators, benefit consumers, and promote modern regulations that better suit a 21st century marketplace.”

“The E-LABEL Act has the potential to lower device costs for consumers by creating new efficiencies in manufacturing,” said Rockefeller.  “I would like to thank Senator Fischer for her work on this bill.  It will allow consumers to access important information in the way they have grown accustomed:  on the screens of their electronic devices.”

Full text of the senators’ bill is available online HERE.

The E-LABEL Act is supported by FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel, who released the following joint statement:

“We commend Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) for their bipartisan efforts to advance the use of e-labeling.  Modernizing the display of FCC device certification has real benefits.  For starters, more devices and new technologies can be designed with innovation in mind, rather than regulatory labeling requirements. The FCC also has been doing its part.  Thanks to Chairman Wheeler and the talented staff of our Office of Engineering and Technology, the Commission is looking at ways to update our e-labeling policies.  We are optimistic that by working together we can provide innovators more flexibility and speed the delivery of new devices in the marketplace.”

The legislation is also supported by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), CTIA – The Wireless Association, and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). The organizations issued the following statements of support:

“CEA welcomes the E-LABEL Act which would give device manufacturers the option to present on a wireless device’s display or screen the markings and identifiers normally required to be fixed to the device’s casing,” said Veronica O’Connell, Vice President of Government and Political Affairs at CEA. “This is a commonsense approach for the digital age.  E-labeling would be cost-effective, in keeping with the consumer electronics industry’s important ongoing environmental sustainability efforts and a beneficial and innovative use of today’s technology.  We hope that the Senate will consider this important legislation and thank Senators Fischer and Rockefeller for their leadership on this issue.”

“CTIA thanks Chairman Rockefeller and Senator Fischer for their bipartisan leadership on the E-LABEL Act. The communications industry has changed dramatically in the 40 years since the Commission adopted its initial rules on device labeling,” said Jot Carpenter, Vice President of Government Affairs for CTIA-The Wireless Association. “It’s certainly time to bring those rules into the 21st century by giving manufacturers the option of providing labeling information digitally.”

“Granting device manufacturers the ability to use eLabels will ease the technical and logistical burdens on manufacturers while increasing consumer access to important information about their devices--not only the equivalent found on an etching or sticker, but also valuable information about proper device care, recycling programs and warranties,” said Grant E. Seiffert, President of the Telecommunications Industry Association.Importantly, the E-LABEL Act will allow countless American consumers to access easily readable and prominently displayed information about the devices they use every day.”