New EU directive should simplify electronic device manufacturing in
6 January 2005
Brussels. A revised directive on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) has
been published in the Official Journal. It will greatly simplify regulatory
procedures and reduce costs for manufacturers, while increasing information
and documentation on products for inspection authorities.
The revised directive abolishes two cumbersome conformity assessment
procedures for producers which required the mandatory involvement of an
independent inspection and verification body, thus reducing costs.
Manufacturers will be solely responsible for establishing the conformity of
their products and for the “CE” marking.
The EMC directive governs the electromagnetic emissions of electrical and
electronic equipment and their immunity to interference. It ensures for
instance that a microwave oven does not interfere with radio reception, or
that a radio alarm clock must not come on if a mobile phone is used nearby.
The directive will come into force in the Member States within the next
Mr Günter Verheugen, Commission Vice-President in charge of Enterprise
and Industry, commented: “The new directive underlines that reducing the
administrative burden for industry is a top priority for the new
Apart from the simplified conformity procedures, the main elements of the
revised directive are:
- Stricter requirements concerning information and documentation. The
new directive requires manufacturers or their agents to provide
inspection authorities with additional means of control, such as clear
identification of a product (type, serial number, etc) and indication of
the name and address of the manufacturer or his agent and, if necessary,
of the importer established in the territory of the European Union. This
improved product traceability will make it easier for the authorities to
monitor the market. By eliminating products for which it is difficult at
the moment to identify the origin, competition will be on a fairer
- Special regime for fixed installations. It is harder to check the
conformity of installations of this type (changes over time,
alterations, difficulties in implementation). However, it is essential
that they comply with the directive's protection requirements in order
to limit potential interference and to create a common electromagnetic
environment in the European Union.
For instance, this regime will provide a harmonised regulatory framework
for large localised systems, like a power plant, but as well for
distributed systems like telecommunications or power distribution
networks, which are often trans-European.
- Compliance with new-approach concepts. Ten years of applying the
Directive have demonstrated the effectiveness of the new-approach
concepts in the field of electromagnetic compatibility. These principles
restrict regulatory harmonisation to essential public-interest
requirements and allow manufacturers to ensure the conformity of their
products by applying "harmonised" standards. These standards, drawn up
by European standardisation bodies, are regularly updated and make it
possible to ensure a high degree of protection without amending the
regulatory framework. These principles have naturally been incorporated
in this Directive.
More details can be found at: