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Electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic apparatus

Directive 2004/108/EC aims to harmonise the provisions of national law ensuring the protection of equipment * against electromagnetic disturbance *. The Directive is based on the principles of the "new approach" to technical harmonization and standards. In accordance with this new approach, the design and manufacture of equipment is subject to essential requirements in relation to electromagnetic compatibility *.

ACT

Directive 2004/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility and repealing Directive 89/336/EEC.

SUMMARY

The purpose of this Directive is to regulate the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of equipment *.

It aims to harmonise the provisions of national law ensuring the protection of equipment against electromagnetic disturbance in order to guarantee the free movement of electrical and electronic apparatus within the internal market.

The "EMC Directive" also seeks to create an electromagnetic environment in the EU, without lowering justified levels of protection in the Member States.

In accordance with the principles of the " new approach " to technical harmonization and standards, the design and manufacture of equipment is subject to essential requirements in relation to electromagnetic compatibility.

Scope

The Directive applies to equipment, i.e. apparatus * and fixed installations *. Member States shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that equipment placed on the market and/or put into service complies with the requirements of the Directive. At the same time, Member States shall not impede the placing on the market and/or the putting into service in their territory of equipment which complies with the Directive.

The "EMC Directive" shall not apply to:

  • equipment covered by Directive 1999/5/EC on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment;
  • aeronautical products, parts and appliances as referred to in Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002;
  • radio equipment used by radio amateurs within the meaning of the Radio Regulations adopted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU);
  • equipment which, by its very nature, is incapable of generating electromagnetic emissions which exceed a level allowing radio and telecommunication equipment and other equipment to operate as intended;
  • equipment which, by its very nature, operates without unacceptable degradation in the presence of the electromagnetic disturbance normally consequent upon its intended use.

Essential requirements

Some of the provisions of the Directive apply in common to both apparatus * and fixed installations *. This is especially the case for the provisions on essential requirements in terms of generic electromagnetic protection. These stipulate that equipment should be designed and manufactured in such a way that:

  • the electromagnetic disturbance generated does not exceed the level above which radio and telecommunications equipment or other equipment cannot operate as intended;
  • it has a level of immunity to electromagnetic disturbance which allows it to operate without unacceptable degradation of its intended use.

Conformity assessment

A distinction is made between apparatus and fixed installations, particularly with regard to the procedure forassessing conformity with the essential requirements of the directive. For apparatus, it is up to the manufacturer to assess compliance with the requirements of the directive, in accordance with a specific procedure. The conformity has to be demonstrated through a technical file and attested through the issue of a declaration of conformity. Apparatus which complies and can be placed on the European market shall bear the " CE" marking.

Manufacturers are at liberty to request the assistance of a notified body. Notified bodies can issue certificates confirming compliance with the essential requirements of the directive.

Such formalised conformity assessment procedures were not considered appropriate for fixed installations (such as electricity distribution networks and telecommunications networks). Nor are they obliged to bear the CE marking. However, these fixed installations should be set up in accordance with good engineering practice and documentation which is made available to the competent national authorities. Where there are elements indicating non-compliance by the fixed installation (particularly where there are complaints about disturbances being generated), the competent national authorities may request evidence of compliance by the fixed installation, or initiate an assessment. Where non-compliance is established, the competent authorities may impose appropriate measures to bring the fixed installation into compliance with the essential requirements.

Apparatus which may be incorporated into a fixed installation is subject to all relevant provisions for apparatus. However, in the case of apparatus specifically intended to be incorporated into a fixed installation and not otherwise commercially available, it is not compulsory to apply the provisions on:

  • the essential requirements ;
  • the conformity assessment procedure;
  • the "CE" marking;
  • the provision of product information.

Product information

In accordance with Decision 93/465/EEC, each apparatus shall be accompanied by information (such as type or batch number) allowing the product to be clearly identified, including the name and address of the manufacturer. The manufacturer shall provide information on any specific precautions that have to be taken when the apparatus is assembled, installed, maintained or used. If the manufacturer is not established within the EU, the apparatus shall be accompanied by the name and address of his authorised representative or the person in the Community responsible for placing the apparatus on the Community market.

Repeal of Directive 89/336/EEC

Directive 2004/108/EC repeals Directive 89/336/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility as from 20 July 2007.

Key terms used in the act
  • Equipment: any apparatus or fixed installation.
  • Apparatus: any finished appliance or combination thereof made commercially available as a single functional unit, intended for the end user and liable to generate electromagnetic disturbance, or the performance of which is liable to be affected by such disturbance.
  • Fixed installation: a particular combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location.
  • Electromagnetic compatibility: the ability of equipment to function satisfactorily in its electromagnetic environment without introducing intolerable electromagnetic disturbances to other equipment in that environment.
  • Electromagnetic disturbance: any electromagnetic phenomenon which may degrade the performance of equipment. An electromagnetic disturbance may be electromagnetic noise, an unwanted signal or a change in the propagation medium itself.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2004/108/EC [adoption : Codecision COD/2002/0306]20.01.200520.01.2007OJ L 390 of 31.12.2004

RELATED ACTS

Council Decision 93/465/EEC of 22 July 1993 concerning the modules for the various phases of the conformity assessment procedures and the rules for the affixing and use of the CE conformity marking, which are intended to be used in the technical harmonization directives [Official Journal L 220 of 30.08.1993].

Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 1999 on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity [Official Journal L 091 of 07.04.1999].

Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2002 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency [Official Journal L 240 of 07.09.2002].

 
Last updated: 17.11.2005
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