Radio Equipment Directive - now the only route to compliance
As of June 13th 2017, the new European Union Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU fully replaces the old Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE). After this date, radio and telecoms equipment compliant with the R&TTE Directive may no longer be placed on the market within the European Union (EU), as the RED is now the required method to show compliance.
If manufacturers want to carry on selling within the EU and European Free Trade Association countries, they must test and if required re-certify to the Radio Equipment Directive. The RED is applicable to all electrical and electronic devices that intentionally emit and receive radio waves at frequencies below 3000 GHz. The following definition explains what products are subject to the RED:
“Radio equipment – an electrical or electronic product which intentionally emits and/or receives radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination, or an electrical or electronic product which must be completed with an accessory (such as an antenna) so as to intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination.”
This is the first time that satellite, TV and radio broadcast receivers fall within the scope of a ‘radio’ directive, as previously such products were only required to comply with the EMC and Low Voltage Directives. Consequently, many broadcast receiver manufacturers are finding achieving compliance to be a significant challenge as they have never before been required to undertake RF testing.
This is also the first time that equipment operating below 9 kHz requires radio testing as the RED scope is for products operating below 3000 GHz, whereas the R&TTE scope started at 9 kHz.
The RED does exclude:
Radio equipment exclusively used for activities concerning public security, such as defense and State security.
Marine equipment that falls within the scope of Council Directive 96/98/EC.
Airborne products, parts and appliances falling within the scope of Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008.
Custom-built evaluation kits designed for professionals to be used solely at R&D facilities.
Radio equipment assembled or modified by and used by radio amateurs.
Supply chain responsibilities
To enable full traceability, every economic operator within the supply chain must identify who has supplied them and to whom they have supplied radio equipment. The product must also be accompanied by instructions, and manufacturer’s contact details, in a language which can be easily understood within the Member State in which it is being sold.
One key change, which is causing confusion amongst manufacturers, is that the conformity assessment process now requires them to undertake a risk analysis and assessment. Many manufacturers are struggling to fully understand these changes, as there is no explicit description of the risk assessment process within the RED - it is instead referenced in the EU’s New Legislative Framework.
Under the RED, importers also have new responsibilities as, when appropriate, they must now carry out sample testing, investigate and maintain a register of complaints and product recalls, as well as keep distributors informed of this monitoring process. For up to ten years after the equipment has been placed on the market, surveillance authorities have a right to request a copy of the Declaration of Conformity (DoC), and it is the importer’s responsibility to ensure that this is available.
The RED has also changed who is responsible for re-branded equipment within the supply chain. Importers and distributors take on the responsibilities, which were once those of the original manufacturer, where radio equipment is re-badged and supplied under their own name or trade mark.
How can TÜV SÜD help you?
As both the requirements and the number of products that fall under the RED have changed, so many economic operators are faced with a new and complex route to compliance assurance.
TÜV SÜD is one of the world’s leading independent certification bodies for telecommunications and certifies wireless products for the European Union, USA, Canada and Japan. As an EU Notified Body, TÜV SÜD is authorized to evaluate products for compliance with the requirements of the RED and approve the use of the CE Mark.