Sophia Antipolis, 14 June 2016

Extensive work programme to prepare for new radio regulations in Europe

Yesterday, the new Radio Equipment Directive came into force in Europe. This major update of Europe’s single market rules for radio equipment was published in May 2014.

ETSI’s Harmonised European Standards, developed in support of the Directive, are the preferred means for manufacturers to comply with the regulation. Equipment which complies with the Harmonised Standards for this Directive is presumed to comply with the requirements of the Directive.

In August 2015 the European Commission requested ETSI and CENELEC to produce the Harmonised European Standards which the Commission will reference in the Official Journal of the European Union, and which manufacturers can then use for presumption of conformity. To date ETSI has published 53 of these Harmonised Standards, and a further 143 are expected to be published within the next 12 months, despite very stringent time constraints, and the need to ensure high quality for these important specifications. ETSI’s Harmonised European Standards, like all our work, are developed by our members in our technical committees, with much of the work being done in our committee for Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (TC ERM). The list of Harmonised Standards under development for the Directive, including status information and links to published standards, is publicly available in ETSI’s online work programme for the Radio Equipment Directive.

The European Parliament and Council Directive on Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment was revised in 2014 to become the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU. Applicable from today, it aligns the previous Directive with the new legislative framework for the marketing of products. It ensures a single market for radio equipment by setting essential requirements for safety and health, electromagnetic compatibility and the efficient use of the radio spectrum. In contrast to the previous Directive, it puts emphasis on receiver requirements in order to enhance efficient and effective use of the radio spectrum. In particular it now covers end products using radio for communications or to determine position: e.g. broadcast receivers and equipment which derives its location from satellite navigation.

Luis Jorge Romero, ETSI’s Director General, says, “ETSI recognizes the important role we play serving industry and the European Institutions in delivering the standards necessary to support European single market regulations. These Harmonised Standards are so important for industry that they are being developed in ETSI with great voluntary effort to speed delivery.

To assist industry, ETSI has released a guide for the application of articles 3.1b (EMC) and 3.2 (effective and efficient use of the radio spectrum) of the Radio Equipment Directive, EG 203 367, to make it easier for all manufacturers to comply with the new requirements and avoid duplication of testing wherever possible. The field of application of this Directive covers a large scope of equipment, ranging from satellite communications to radars, to products operating below 9 kHz such as telecoil hearing aids and sound and TV broadcast receivers. Examples of equipment covered by the guide include combination of multiple radio products in one radio equipment, combination of radio and IT or electro-technical equipment, RLAN enabled domestic appliances, radio controlled heating systems, radio controlled lighting systems, products including GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.

ETSI is also organizing a workshop on the subject of the Radio Equipment Directive. The workshop, “53 shades of RE-D: 6 months to go. How to place compliant radio equipment on the European market”, is open to all and will take place on 1 December 2016. Register now to secure your place!

Key facts about the Radio Equipment Directive:

  • On 16 April 2014, the European Union adopted a new set of rules for placing radio equipment on the European market, and putting them into service.
  • EU Member States have to adapt their National laws to this new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) (2014/53/EU, published on 22 May 2014), and apply its provisions from 13 June 2016. Manufacturers who were compliant with the existing legislation (RTTED or LVD/EMCD) will have until 13 June 2017 to comply with the new requirements.
  • The existing Radio & Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTED) (1999/5/EC) will be repealed on 13 June 2016.

What has changed:

  • The RED applies to equipment that is placed on the market (this contrasts with the R&TTED, which also applied to “relevant components” of radio equipment).
  • The RED applies to equipment which intentionally transmits or receives radio waves for communications or radiodetermination, regardless of its primary function. For example, a “connected” device that uses an embedded radio module for communications or to determine its position has to meet the same radio requirements as a purpose-built radio equipment.
  • Wired telecommunications terminal equipment that does not function using radio is not covered by the RED.
  • Radio equipment covered by the RED is not subject to the Low-Voltage Directive (LVD) or the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (EMCD): the essential requirements of those Directives are covered by the essential requirements of the RED, with certain modifications.
  • The RED places additional emphasis on efficient and effective use of the spectrum. In particular 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.
  • The RED applies to radio equipment operating at frequencies below 3 000 GHz, including radio equipment operating below 9 kHz that is not covered by the R&TTED or by National frequency regulations.
  • The RED also applies to radiodetermination equipment: equipment that uses the propagation qualities of radio waves to determine its position.
  • The R&TTED specifically excluded Broadcast TV & radio receivers from its scope. These are now specifically included in the scope of the RED.

About ETSI
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, aeronautical, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit association whose more than 800 member companies and organizations, drawn from 66 countries, determine its work programme and participate directly in its work.

Claire Boyer
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 94 43 35
Mob: +33 (0)6 87 60 84 40