Radio frequency heating (RFH) machines belong to a class of apparatus known as Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) equipment which is used in a wide range of applications. RFH machines use high power radio waves in applications such as wood glue drying, plastic welding and sealing, textile dye fixing, textile drying and food processing.
We have a range of measures at our disposal in seeking to secure compliance with the law and to ensure a proportionate response to transgressions. We may offer information and advice, issue warnings, serve notices, issue fixed penalty notices, issue simple cautions (England and Wales only) and may prosecute (or report to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution in Scotland).
Ofcom upholds the principles of firm and impartial enforcement underpinned by the principle of proportionality.
In England and Wales Ofcom brings prosecutions for spectrum-related offences, like illegal (pirate) radio broadcasting. The decision to proceed with a court case rests with Ofcom.
In appropriate cases, Ofcom is likely to consider both the evidence and the public interest. We may have regard to the CPS's Code for Crown Prosecutors.
In Scotland the Procurator Fiscal brings prosecutions. The decision about whether to bring a prosecution is the Procurator Fiscal's. This may be on the basis of a submission by Ofcom.
Legislation gives the courts considerable scope to punish offenders and to deter others, including imprisonment for some offences. Unlimited fines may be imposed by higher courts. The courts can also order offenders to forfeit expensive equipment and to pay Ofcom's prosecution costs.