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FCC to Ban Hikvision, Dahua Cameras, in all USA Facilities

Between now and Nov 2022, the FCC will ban all surveillance camera imports from select Chinese manufacturers.
Nov 15, 2021

Between now and Nov 2022, the FCC will ban all surveillance camera imports from select Chinese manufacturers. The legislation, signed into law on Nov 11 by President Biden, follows a series of increasingly strict mandates against these vendors.

Initially, the ban in 2019 applied to government agencies. It then expanded to prohibit all solution providers who service government agencies from stocking and providing the blacklisted equipment to other clients. Now, the ban includes the full gamut of public and private sectors.

The basis for the original ban was concerns over human rights abuses in mainland China as well as the fear of backdoor vulnerabilities. The blacklisted companies are part-owned by the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party. Since then, the concern between these Chinese IP cameras and American national security has gained traction.

The new bill, H.R. 3919 Secure Equipment Act of 2021 requires the FCC to no longer approve or review applications for equipment that pose an unacceptable risk to national security. This follows an earlier FCC intention to ban five specific Chinese manufacturers including Hikvision, Dahua, Huawei, Hytera, and ZTE.

In practice, this means that once the FCC adopts the ban – which can be anytime between now and November 11, 2022 – these security cameras will no longer be sold in the USA. Therefore, we strongly caution any facility from installing these cameras in the interim. Once the ban is in effect, there will be minimal support or maintenance, and certainly no camera upgrades. In a bid situation, look carefully at any proposed camera solutions and ensure it does not include the blacklisted vendors.

Still to be clarified is whether the FCC will revoke prior authorizations i.e. whether facilities will be mandated to remove any existing Hikvision or Dahua cameras. Additionally, should the FCC go this route, we must find out whether the FCC will reimburse purchases if it decides to revoke existing authorizations.

As previously shared here, back in 2018, DES has never partnered with either Hikvison or Dahua. These surveillance cameras have lower-grade quality and are geared to the small-to-medium markets because of their affordability. If your facility does include these vendors, now is the time to plan for an upgrade. DES has a wide toolbox of quality vendors, including Axis, Bosch, and Hanwha, with competitively priced products for these midsize markets.

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