I agree with Brett. From what I’ve gathered thus far in my research the need for (or not for) compliance is based on the intended application of your creation.
If all I will be doing is tinkering in my home or research area then this is my ‘project/research’ but if I’ve decide to smack them together to create an end user product that I will be selling to customers then it’s on me to see about getting my ‘product’ certified. I see it as analogous to someone buying a set of ICs and designing a PCB toward creating a product that they want to put on the market. At some point you have to certify the product.
You see the quandary for me is that my students, for example, buy these boards to learn to programme C# etc. So there in the lab, in their dorm in the cafeteria, they’re using these mainboards and modules like you would a Lego Mindstorms, VEX or Raspberry PI kit. What if the products are not compliant, are they disrupting the EM environment in which they are working.
On another note, I have read of other members of the community who have indicated that they are using the boards and modules which do not currently indicate certification for products for their ‘customers’. So again another grey area.
Again taking point from Lutz1, using certified modules in your product goes a long way to ensuring that the end device is compliant. I’m checking the standards right now to verify whether if having ALL/ ONLY certified modules in your product would exempt you from the need to undertake certification (i.e. your compliant by default). I will update as I learn more, these standards are some heavy reading…
Finally, I think you guys might find this to be a really good read:
It’s about the Raspberry PI and the process that they went though to get compliance (yup that little cutey is compliant!). The reference to the ‘China Export’ label is hilarious!