ICES-003 — Information Technology Equipment (Including Digital Apparatus) — Limits and Methods of Measurement
Published on January 19, 2016
Updated April 2019
Extended the transition period for external thermostats to December 31, 2019. See Preface.
Interference-Causing Equipment Standard ICES‑003, Issue 6, sets out standard requirements for information technology equipment (ITE), including digital apparatus.
This document will come into force upon its publication on the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada website. All external thermostats sold, offered for sale, manufactured, imported, distributed or leased on the Canadian market will have to comply with this issue of ICES-003 by December 31, 2019.
List of Changes:
- Updated Section 2.1 to clarify the definition of an ITE device.
- Updated Section 2.3 to include storage media.
- Updated Section 2.4 to clarify applicability of broadcasting equipment.
- Updated Section 3(b) to reference the latest version of ANSI C63.4-2014.
- Updated Section 4(e) to clarify that external thermostats are subject to the requirements of ICES-003 with a revised transition period outlined above the list of changes.
All Spectrum Management and Telecommunications publications are available on the following website: www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.
Issued under the authority of
the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch
- 1. Scope
- 2. Purpose and Applications
- 2.1 Information Technology Equipment (ITE)
- 2.2 Classes of Limits for ITE
- 2.3 ITE Peripheral Devices
- 2.4 Radio Apparatus and Broadcasting Equipment
- 2.5 Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) Radio Frequency Generators
- 2.6 AC Adapters, Battery Eliminators and Battery Chargers
- 2.7 Determination of Interference
- 3. Normative Reference Publications
- 4. Exemptions
- 5. Technical Requirements
- 6. Limits Using ANSI C63.4
- 7. Test Report
- 8. Labelling Requirements
This Interference-Causing Equipment Standard (ICES‑003) sets out the technical requirements relating to radio noise generated by information technology equipment (ITE).
2. Purpose and Applications
2.1 Information Technology Equipment (ITE)
ITE is defined as devices or systems that use digital techniques for purposes such as data processing and computation. ITE is any unintentional radiator (device or system) that generates and/or uses timing signals or pulses having a rate of at least 9 kHz and employs digital techniques for purposes such as computation, display, data processing and storage, and control. An ITE device used to create an ITE system shall comply with the requirements of ICES‑003 prior to its integration into the final system if offered for sale, imported or marketed individually.
ITE is designated as Category II Equipment,Footnote 1 meaning that no technical acceptability certificate (TAC) or equipment certification is required. ITE subject to ICES‑003 is approved through the method of a “supplier’s declaration of conformity (SDoC)” by the manufacturer, importer or distributor of ITE, which shall ensure that compliance with all technical requirements prescribed by ICES‑003 has been demonstrated and that the results have been compiled into a test report. The test report shall clearly state which test method was used to determine compliance. The methods of measurement are set out in the standards incorporated by reference in ICES‑003, and are specified in Section 3.
2.2 Classes of Limits for ITE
ICES‑003 prescribes two Classes of limits of radio noise for ITE: Class A limits for non-residential operation and Class B limits for residential operation, as set out in Section 5.
Only ITE intended strictly for non-residential use in commercial, industrial or business environments, and whose design or other characteristics strongly preclude the possibility of its use in a residential environment, shall be permitted to comply with the Class A limits.
All ITE that cannot meet the definition for Class A operation shall comply with the Class B limits.
Note: The ITE shall comply with both the conducted and the radiated emissions limits for power lines, within the same Class, with no intermixing.
2.3 ITE Peripheral Devices
A peripheral device is any device that feeds input data to and/or receives output data from an ITE. Peripherals include any device externally connected to the ITE, any device internal to the ITE that connects it to an external device by wire or cable, and any device designed for external or internal connection to the ITE for increasing the operating or processing speed of the ITE (e.g. turbo cards or enhancement boards). Examples of peripherals include printers, storage media, monitors, keyboards, external memory cards and other input/output devices that may or may not contain digital circuitry.
Peripheral devices are themselves considered ITE and shall comply with ICES‑003, subject to the following provisions:
Peripheral devices that are marketed as separate items shall be tested for compliance with ICES‑003 while connected to an ITE system in an intended configuration and normal modes of operation, and shall also comply with the reporting and labelling requirements of ICES‑003.
For peripheral devices that are only available as part of an ITE system, the ITE system shall be tested for compliance with the included peripheral devices connected in their intended configuration and in normal modes of operation.
For peripheral devices that are supplied exclusively to equipment manufacturers for inclusion in an ITE system, compliance of the peripheral device on the part of the original supplier is not required. Rather, responsibility for compliance of the peripheral device shall rest with the equipment manufacturer or importer of the final product.
2.4 Radio Apparatus and Broadcasting Equipment
A radio apparatus that is specifically subject to an Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Radio Standard Specification (RSS) and contains an ITE is not subject to ICES‑003 provided that the ITE is used only to enable operation of the radio apparatus and that the ITE does not control additional functions or capabilities.
Broadcasting equipment is subject to the requirements of the applicable Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Broadcasting Equipment Technical Standards (BETS), and may also be subject to this standard (ICES‑003) if it is capable of functioning as an ITE device. In both cases, the labelling requirements of the applicable BETS apply, rather than the labelling requirements in ICES‑003.
2.5 Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) Radio Frequency Generators
ISM radio frequency generators may contain ITE; however, they are excluded from the definition of ITE and are not subject to ICES‑003. They are instead subject to Interference-Causing Equipment Standard ICES-001, Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) Radio Frequency Generators, which specifically addresses ISM radio frequency generators.
2.6 AC Adapters, Battery Eliminators and Battery Chargers
ITE employing only battery power and having no provision for operation while connected, directly or indirectly, to the AC power lines is not required to meet the power line conducted limits.
ITE that includes or makes provision for the use of AC adapters, battery eliminators or battery chargers, that permits operation while charging, or that is connected to the AC power lines indirectly while obtaining its power through another device that is connected to the AC power lines, shall be tested for compliance with the power line conducted limits.
2.7 Determination of Interference
The following applies to all interference-causing equipment.
Where the Department determines that a model or several models of equipment cause or are likely to cause interference to radiocommunication, the Department shall give notice of the determination to the responsible parties. No person shall manufacture, import, distribute, lease, offer for sale, sell, install or use such equipment where a notice has been given.
Where the Department determines that a unit of equipment causes interference or obstructs radiocommunication, the Department shall order the persons in possession or control of the equipment to cease its operation until such time as it can be operated without causing interference, obstructing radiocommunication or such adverse effects.
3. Normative Reference Publications
This regulatory standard (ICES‑003) refers to the following publication, and where such reference is made, it shall be to the edition listed below. Where there may be discrepancies between the requirements as stated in ICES‑003 text and the relevant text of the publications referenced in this section, the ICES‑003 text shall take precedence.
- Canadian Standards Association Standard CAN/CSA-CISPR
22-10, Information technology equipment — Radio disturbance
characteristics — Limits and methods of measurement
This is an adoption with Canadian deviations of the identically titled IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) Standard CISPR (International Special Committee on Radio Interference) 22, Sixth edition, 2008-09.
A copy of this standard can be purchased online at www.csa.ca.
- ANSI C63.4-2014, American National Standard for Methods of
Measurement of Radio-Noise Emissions from Low-Voltage Electrical and Electronic
Equipment in the Range of 9 kHz to 40 GHz
A copy of this standard can be purchased online at www.ieee.org.
The following types of ITE are exempt from all requirements set out in this standard:
- ITE factory-installed in vehicles, boats and other devices propelled by an internal combustion engine, electrical means or both (subject to ICES-002); ITE not factory-installed in vehicles, boats and other devices propelled by an internal combustion engine, electrical means or both do not qualify for this exemption;
- ITE used exclusively in any aircraft;
- ITE used exclusively as an electronic control or in a power system, either by a public utility or in an industrial plant/factory;
- ITE used exclusively as industrial, commercial, or medical test equipment;
- ITE used exclusively in an appliance or electrical machinery, e.g. dishwasher, clothes dryer, air conditioner (central or window), power tools, electric motors and generators. ITE that is not contained within the appliance does not qualify for this exemption (e.g. an external thermostat for a furnace or air conditioner);
- specialized medical ITE, used under the direction of a licensed health care practitioner, whether in a domestic environment or a health care facility (non-specialized medical ITE retailed to the general public and ITE used by health care practitioners for purposes other than medical treatment do not qualify for this exemption);
- ITE that has a maximum power consumption of 6 nW;
- joystick controllers or similar devices, such as a mouse, used with ITE but which contain only non-digital circuitry or a simple circuit to convert the signal to the format required (viewed as passive add-on devices);
- ITE in which both the highest frequency generated and the highest frequency used are less than 1.705 MHz and which neither operates from, nor contains provision for operation while directly or indirectly connected to the AC power lines;
- ITE used exclusively in central office telephone equipment operated by a telecommunications common carrier in a central office;
- ITE used exclusively in broadcasting equipment unless the ITE can be used separately from the broadcasting function of that equipment.
5. Technical Requirements
The technical requirements prescribed by this standard comprise methods of measurement and limits for conducted emissions from AC power lines and for radiated emissions. Within the approaches to compliance described in this section, no intermixing is permitted between the two publications referenced in Section 3 for the methods of measurement; that is, whichever of the two publications referenced in Section 3 is chosen for methods of measurement of conducted and radiated emissions below 1 GHz, that same reference publication shall be used for the methods of measurement in order to measure radiated emissions above 1 GHz.
- Below 1 GHz
For power line conducted emissions and radiated emissions measurements below 1 GHz, compliance with ICES‑003, Issue 6, can be demonstrated in one of three ways:
- by complying with the power line conducted emission limits and radiated emissions limits and employing the methods of measurement contained in the publication referenced in Section 3(a) (CAN/CSA‑CISPR 22-10);
- by complying with the power line conducted emission limits and radiated emissions limits, shown in Section 6 of this ICES‑003 (Issue 6), and employing the methods of measurement described in the publication referenced in Section 3(b) (ANSI C63.4-2014); or
- by complying with the power line conducted emissions limits in Section 6 of ICES‑003, Issue 6, and the radiated emissions limits contained in the publications referenced in Section 3(a) (CAN/CSA‑CISPR 22-10), while employing the methods of measurement contained in the publication referenced in Section 3(b) (ANSI C63.4-2014).
Note: If, as per Section 5(a)(iii) above, ANSI C63.4-2014 is used for the methods of measurement and compliance with the radiated limits below 1 GHz contained in CAN/CSA‑CISPR 22-10 is chosen, then Table 3 applies for determining the frequency range of measurement.
- Above 1 GHz
For radiated emissions measurement above 1 GHz, if applicable, compliance may be demonstrated in one of two ways:
- by complying with the limits and methods of measurement above 1 GHz contained in CAN/CSA CISPR 22-10, or
- by complying with the limits above 1 GHz shown in Section 6 and employing the methods of measurement for above 1 GHz contained in ANSI C63.4-2014.
5.1 Use of Normative Reference Publications (Test Method)
Only one of the publications referenced in Section 3, CAN/CSA CISPR 22-10 or ANSI C63.4-2014, may be used for methods of measurement, in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 5. If one referenced publication is chosen to be used for methods of measurement below 1 GHz, the same publication shall be used for methods of measurement above 1 GHz.
5.2 Test Facilities
Test facilities performing measurements on ITE do not need to be registered on Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s website as a recognized test facility. The test site shall comply with the requirements in CISPR 16‑1‑4:2007 referenced in CAN/CSA-CISPR 22-10 or with ANSI C63.4-2014 depending on which test method was followed.
6. Limits Using ANSI C63.4-2014
Compliance with the limits set out in this section shall be demonstrated using only the method of measurement described in the publication referenced in Section 3(b) (ANSI C63.4-2014).
6.1 AC Power Line Conducted Emissions Limits
Class A: ITE that meets the conditions for Class A operation defined in Section 2.2 shall comply with the Class A conducted limits set out below in Table 1.
|Frequency (MHz)||Class A Conducted Limit (dBμV)|
|0.15 to 0.5||79||66|
|0.5 to 30||73||60|
Class B: ITE that does not meet the conditions for Class A operation shall comply with the Class B conducted limits set out in Table 2.
|Frequency (MHz)||Class B Conducted Limit (dBμV)|
|0.15 to 0.5||66 to 56*||56 to 46*|
|0.5 to 5||56||46|
|5 to 30||60||50|
6.2 Radiated Emissions Limits
Radiated emissions from ITE shall be measured from 30 MHz up to the frequency determined in accordance with Table 3 below.
|Highest Frequency Generated or Used in Device||Upper Frequency of Radiated Measurement|
|Below 1.705 MHz||No radiated testing required|
|1.705 MHz – 108 MHz||1 GHz|
|108 MHz – 500 MHz||2 GHz|
|500 MHz – 1 GHz||5 GHz|
|Above 1 GHz||5th harmonic of the highest frequency or 40 GHz, whichever is lower.|
At frequencies at or above 30 MHz, measurements may be performed at a distance other than what is specified in this section. Measurements are not made in the near field except where it can be shown that near field measurements are appropriate due to the characteristics of the device; and it can be demonstrated that the signal levels needed to be measured at the distance employed can be detected by the measurement equipment. Measurements shall not be performed at a distance greater than 30 metres unless it can be demonstrated that measurements at a distance of 30 metres or less are not practical. When performing measurements at a distance other than that specified, the results shall be extrapolated to the specified distance, using an extrapolation factor of 20 dB/decade (inverse linear‑distance for field strength measurements).
6.2.1 Radiated Emissions Limits Below 1 GHz
Class A: ITE that meets the conditions for Class A operation defined in Section 2.2 shall comply with the Class A radiated limits set out in Table 4 determined at a distance of 10 metres.
|Frequency (MHz)||Class A Radiated Limit (dBμV/m)|
|30 to 88||39|
|88 to 216||43.5|
|216 to 960||46.4|
|960 to 1000||49.5|
Class B: ITE that does not meet the conditions for Class A operation shall comply with the Class B radiated limits set out in Table 5 determined at a distance of 3 metres.
|Frequency (MHz)||Class B Radiated Limit (dBμV/m)|
|30 to 88||40|
|88 to 216||43.5|
|216 to 960||46|
|960 to 1000||54|
6.2.2 Radiated Emissions Limits Above 1 GHz
Radiated disturbance measurements above 1 GHz shall be performed over the frequency range determined from Table 3. The appropriate average detector to carry out radiated disturbance measurements above 1 GHz shall be the linear average detector as defined in CISPR 16-1-1.
Class A: ITE that meets the conditions for Class A equipment shall comply with the Class A radiated limits set out in Table 6 determined at a distance of 10 metres.
|Frequency (MHz)||Class A Radiated Limit (dBμV/m)|
|Linear Average Detector||Peak Detector|
Class B: ITE that does not meet the conditions for Class A equipment shall comply with the Class B radiated limits set out in Table 7 determined at a distance of 3 metres.
|Frequency (MHz)||Class B Radiated Limit (dBμV/m)|
|Linear Average Detector||Peak Detector|
7. Test Report
A test report shall be compiled, providing a record of the tests and results demonstrating compliance with the ICES‑003 technical requirements. The test report shall indicate that the date the tests were completed.
The test report shall clearly identify which Class of limits (Class A or B) was used to demonstrate compliance of the ITE, and shall clearly state which reference publication from Section 3 was used for the methods of measurement. The test report contents shall be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the reference publication used from Section 3.
The test report shall be retained by the manufacturer or importer for as long as the ITE model is manufactured, imported, distributed, sold, offered for sale and/or leased in Canada, and shall be made available to the Department upon request.
8. Labelling Requirements
The manufacturer, importer or supplier shall meet the labelling requirements set out in this section and in Notice 2014‑DRS1003 for electronic labelling for every unit:
- prior to marketing in Canada, for ITE manufactured in Canada and
- prior to importation into Canada, for imported ITE.
Each unit of an ITE model shall bear a label (see below) that represents the manufacturer’s or the importer’s SDoC with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s ICES‑003. This label shall be permanently affixed to the ITE or displayed electronically and its text must be clearly legible. If the dimensions of the device are too small or if it is not practical to place the label on the ITE and electronic labelling has not been implemented, the label shall be, upon agreement with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, placed in a prominent location in the user manual supplied with the ITE. The user manual may be in an electronic format and must be readily available.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada ICES‑003 Compliance Label: CAN ICES-3 (*)/NMB-3(*)
* Insert either “A” or “B” but not both to identify the applicable Class of ITE.
- Date modified: