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Changes in new Radio Equipment Directive

Changes in the EU legislation: The new Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU

The new implemented European Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU (RED) has replaced the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directives 1999/5/EC (R&TTED) on the 13th of June 2016 and brings many changes along with it. This has a direct effect to producers, importers, and economic operators related to radio equipment.

Entering into force

The Radio Equipment Directive has been compiled in line with the New Legislative Framework by the European Commission and provides more clarity to the provisions in comparison to the R&TTED. Due to rapid developments regarding communication equipment and unclear provisions in the R&TTED, the European Commission made a proposal for a new Directive which resulted into an agreement in 2014. The RED has entered into force on the 13th of June 2016. The RED includes a provision which describes that there will be a one-year transition period before the R&TTED will be completely repealed.

The exact dates to take into account when placing radio equipment onto the Union market:

  • Placed on the market before 13th of June 2016: must apply to R&TTED.
  • Placed on the market between 13th of June 2016 and 13th of June 2017: may apply to R&TTED or RED (choice of the economic operator).
  • Placed on the market after 13th of June 2017: must apply to RED.

Although the R&TTED can still be applied between 13th of June 2016 and 13th of June 2017, it is recommendable to apply the Radio Equipment Directive as the provisions are up-to-date, in line with the New Legislative Framework and can be applied for the next produced products.

Scope

The scope of the RED has been extended and includes new features. The key changes can be found below:

  • Terminal equipment does not fall within the scope of the Radio Equipment Directive.
  • Radio and television broadcasts (broadcast receivers), which were explicitly excluded in the R&TTED, are now falling within the scope of the RED.
  • The scope of the RED includes radio equipment which intentionally receives or transmits radio waves for the purpose of communication and radio-determination, irrespective of the primary function of the equipment.
  • The protection of health and safety for people is now extended to domestic animals, which is explicitly mentioned in the RED.
  • Radio equipment operating at frequencies below 9 kHz now fall within the scope of the RED.
  • Radio equipment covered by the RED is not subjected to the Low Voltage Directive and EMC Directive; the essential requirements of those Directives are covered by the essential requirements of the RED.
  • The radio equipment needs to demonstrate the performance of its receiver part, as well as its transmitter as both are considered to affect the efficient and effective use of the spectrum. This concludes that there are also requirements for recipients.

Clarity and structure

For every economic operator, there are specific obligations included in the RED. The provisions outline the applicable obligations of the manufacturer, importer, Authorised Representative and distributor which make it easier for them to recognise their obligations and prevent misinterpretation.

Not only the roles of the economic operator have been outlined; the roles of other parties, such as Notified Bodies and Market Surveillance Authorities have also been determined for a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

In addition, the provisions related to the compilation of the Technical Documentation and the EU Declaration of Conformity are now elaborated and structured. This gives the economic operator more clarity on which documents are required and which information must be provided to comply to the requirements of the RED.

CE-marking and other markings

The CE-mark is still applicable and must be affixed on the radio equipment if the radio equipment complies to the essential requirements of the RED. Contrary to the provisions in the R&TTED, the size of the CE-mark may now be smaller than 5 mm, as long as it remains visible and legible.

The CE-marking can be accompanied by a Notified Body number when and if applicable. Weather a economic operator requires a Notified Body for its services, will depend on the Conformity Assessment Procedure of the product concerned. However, if the economic operator chooses to let the Notified Body perform a Full Quality Assurance Assessment (Module H), then the Notified Body’s number must accompany the CE-marking.

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