The new Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU was published in April of 2014 and by June 13, 2016 it will become law, wherein all products within its scope must meet the requirements. These new requirements are taking place on The Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE), which has been in effect for the past fifteen years.
With a growing number of radio equipment on the market, the purpose of the new directive is to further ensure that they do not interfere with each other, or with human or animal health and safety. The European Commission also called for mobile phones and other portable devices to be compatible with a common charger, to help reduce waste and cost. The objectives of RED are: to simplify certain provisions (including the scope), to facilitate the uses of radio equipment, to omit certain administrative obligations that created unnecessary burdens, and to reinforce the responsibilities of the economic operators. RED has been a work in progress for several years and is aligned with the requirements of the New Legislative Framework (NLF).
Below, we will outline some significant changes between RED and R&TTE and the impact.
- RED only applies to wireless/radio products
- Wired Telecom Terminal Equipment (TTE) is excluded
- Evaluation kits are now excluded
- Radio communication and radio determination equipment (including radar, RFID and movement detection)
- Broadcast TV & radio receivers (did not previously fall under R&TTE)
- Additional emphasis on efficient and effective use of the spectrum, particularly demonstrating the performance of the equipment’s receiver and transmitter parts
- Additional emphasis on traceability and market surveillance
- No lower limit of the covered frequency range; upper limit remains at 3000 GHz
- Radio equipment covered by RED is no longer subject to the Low-Voltage Directive (LVD) or the
Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive
- Omission of some administrative obligations, including the prior notification of radio equipment using non-harmonized frequency bands.
- Deletion of Class 2 “Alert” labeling or notifications to national FSA
- No more Notified Body number with CE mark for single product approvals; the Notified Body number can only be used under the ‘Full Quality Assurance’ procedure and not under the Type Examination procedure
- Notified Body Opinion will be replaced by “Type Examination Certificate”
- No more CE mark in the user manual
- Safety requirements now explicitly apply to animal-related equipment
- Safety assessments must also take into account: reasonably foreseeable usage conditions, rather than just intended use of the equipment
- Software can only be used with radio equipment after compliance of that particular combination of software and equipment has been determined
- Assessment of the conformity of a product with the requirements is the responsibility of the manufacturer
- Clearer obligations for manufacturers (Article 10), authorized representatives (Article 11), importers (Article 12) and distributors (Article 13)
- Responsibilities of market surveillance authorities are more clearly defined (Article 39 & 40)
- Registration of radio equipment within a Central System
The transition from R&TTE to RED may seem overwhelming at first glance, but we are available to aide in your understanding of the process; as well as the roles and responsibilities of each party. In fact, a number of administrative obligations have been omitted from RED, aiming to make the overall process more streamlined and efficient.
Manufacturers who were compliant with the R&TTE Directive prior to the implementation of the RED will have until 13 June 2017 to comply with the new requirements. All new equipment placed on the market after the implementation of the RED (June 12, 2016) will have to comply with the new directive.
Beginning June 13, 2016, RED will be in effect, and if your product is going to be on the market after that date, it is best to meet those requirements now.
It is important that radio equipment manufacturers understand these changes and how to prepare. For more information about this directive and how it may affect you, please contact Jason Gerke.