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This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

The Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (EMC)

Directive 2014/30/EU (the “EMC Directive”) sets out requirements for equipment in order to ensure that it complies with an adequate level of electromagnetic compatibility. This is to ensure protection against electromagnetic disturbance. The EMC Directive establishes essential requirements relating to electromagnetic compatibility, labelling requirements, conformity procedures and other obligations.

If you manufacture, import or distribute equipment, you must comply with the requirements of the EMC Directive. You must also comply with national laws and regulations in Member States which implement the EMC Directive.

This material is for informational purposes, and you should not take it as a substitute for legal advice. We encourage you to consult your legal counsel for any concerns about the laws and regulations relating to your product, as well as to consult the national laws and regulations transposing the Directive 2014/30/EU.

What products does the EMC Directive apply to?

The EMC Directive applies to equipment. Equipment is (i) either a single functional unit sold to an end user and liable to generate electromagnetic disturbance or whose performance could be affected by electromagnetic disturbance (defined as “apparatus”) and (ii) combinations of such units (and potentially other devices) that are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location (defined as a “fixed installation”).

There are some exceptions, including: aeronautical products, radio equipment used by radio amateurs, and custom-built evaluation kits intended for professionals to be used solely at research and development facilities for such purposes.

Who has obligations under the EMC Directive?

The EMC Directive sets out obligations for manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors.

  • You are a manufacturer if you manufacture apparatus yourself, or you have apparatus designed and manufactured, and market it under your name or trademark.
  • You are an authorised representative if a manufacturer has given you a written mandate to act on their behalf in relation to specific tasks.
  • You are an importer if you are established in the EU and you sell apparatus from outside the EU into the EU.
  • You are a distributor if you make apparatus available for sale or supply, but are not a manufacturer or importer.

What are the key requirements of the LVD?

Declaration of Conformity and CE marking:

A manufacturer’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Ensuring that the equipment has been designed and manufactured in accordance with the essential requirements set out in the Annex of the EMC Directive
  • Carrying out a conformity assessment and drawing up the required technical documentation in a language or languages required in the Member State(s) in which the electrical equipment is sold
  • Affixing the CE marking visibly, legibly and indelibly to the electrical equipment or to its data plate, and to the packaging

An importer’s responsibilities include ensuring the following:

  • The appropriate conformity assessment procedure has been carried out by the manufacturer
  • The manufacturer has drawn up the technical documentation
  • The electrical equipment bears the CE marking and is accompanied by the required documents
  • While an electrical equipment is under their responsibility, ensuring that its storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its compliance with the essential requirements.

Manufacturers and importers of equipment must keep a copy of the technical documentation and a copy of the declaration of conformity for 10 years after the equipment has been offered for sale or supply.

A distributor’s responsibilities include:

  • Acting with due care in relation to the requirements of the EMC
  • Ensuring that while equipment is under their responsibility, its storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its compliance with the essential requirements.

Labelling and information:

Manufacturers and importers must ensure that the equipment bears:

  • The name, registered trade name or registered trade mark, and the postal address at which they can be contacted of the manufacturer and importer (as appropriate)
  • The type, batch or serial number, or other element allowing the identification of the equipment
  • The CE marking

Distributor responsibilities include verifying that the equipment bears a CE mark, a type, batch or serial number, or other element allowing its identification, and the manufacturer and importer details.

Where it is not possible for this information to be on the equipment itself, the above information should be on its packaging or a document accompanying the equipment. In addition, proper instructions, safety information and the Declaration of Conformity must accompany the electrical equipment.

The above information should be in a language that can be easily understood by end users and market surveillance authorities.

What should you do if equipment is not in conformity with the EMC Directive?

Manufacturers, importers and distributors should immediately take the corrective measures necessary to bring equipment into conformity, or withdraw or recall it, as appropriate.

When the equipment presents a risk, manufacturers, importers and distributors should immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States where it was sold, along with details of the non-conformity and of any corrective measures taken.

Manufacturers, importers and distributors should provide a competent national authority with all the information and documentation, in paper or electronic form, necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the equipment with the EMC Directive, following a reasoned request.

Additional Information

We strongly encourage you to visit the European Commission’s website for more information on the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive:

http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/electrical-engineering/emc-directive_en

http://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/26441

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