The current Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (2014/30/EU) was published in 2014 to bring it into line with the New Legislative Framework (NLF). It came into force on the 20th April 2016 and immediately replaced the previous Directive 2004/108/EC without a transition period. This had little effect for manufacturers apart from:
- The exclusion of, ‘custom built evaluation kits destined for professionals to be used solely at research and development facilities for such purposes’, from the scope of the directive.
- Article 14 of the Directive states that the manufacturer may choose to restrict the application of the EU-type examination (Annex III) procedure to some aspects of the essential requirements, provided that for other aspects of the essential requirements the Internal Production Control (Annex II) procedure is applied
- The technical file contents remain largely the same however there is now a new addition with the need to complete ‘an adequate analysis and assessment of the risk(s)’ as part of the technical documentation.
The EMC Directive differs from most other CE Marking directives in that its primary requirement is the functionality of equipment and the protection of the electromagnetic spectrum rather than the safety of the equipment.
The vast majority of finished electrical products must comply, whether battery or mains powered. Exceptions include -- but are not limited to -- components and sub assemblies with no intrinsic function and products already covered by other directives (radio equipment; medical devices; aircraft and their components; road vehicles and items for automotive applications; agricultural tractors).
The Directive requires that products must not emit unwanted electromagnetic pollution (interference) and must be immune to a normal level of interference. Compliance with these requirements is usually demonstrated by testing to harmonised standards but testing is not mandatory and a manufacturer may choose to provide a technical assessment for compliance as an alternative.
In the UK, the Directive is enforced by the Trading Standards Service and Ofcom. Penalties for non-compliance can include three months imprisonment and a £5000 fine but generally involves a recall and replacement of the affected product.