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This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

Radio Equipment Directive

Directive 2014/53/EU (“RED”) regulates radio equipment. RED is the overarching framework for the essential health and safety requirements and electromagnetic compatibility for the design and manufacture of radio equipment, labelling requirements for radio equipment, and the applicable conformity assessment procedure.

If you manufacture, import or distribute radio 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 information 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 implementing RED.

What products does RED apply to?

Red applies to radio equipment. Radio equipment is defined as:

  • any electrical or electronic product that intentionally emits and/or receives radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radio-determination,


  • an electrical or electronic product which must be completed with an accessory, such as an antenna, to intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radio-determination.

There are some exceptions listed in Annex I of RED (which include amongst other examples, certain marine equipment, certain equipment used by radio amateurs) and radio equipment exclusively used for activities concerning public security, defence and State security.

Who has obligations under RED?

RED sets out obligations for manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors.

  • You are a manufacturer if you manufacture radio equipment yourself, or have radio equipment 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 radio equipment from outside the EU into the EU.
  • You are a distributor if you make radio equipment available for sale or supply, but are not a manufacturer or importer.

What are the key requirements of RED?

Declaration of Conformity and CE marking:

A manufacturer’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Ensuring that the radio equipment has been designed and manufactured in accordance with the essential requirements set out in RED
  • Drawing up the technical documentation
  • Carrying out a conformity assessment and drawing up an EU declaration of conformity
  • Affixing the CE marking visibly, legibly and indelibly to the radio equipment or to its data plate, and to the packaging
  • Carrying out sample testing, if appropriate, with regard to the risks presented, investigating, keeping a register of complaints and non-conforming radio equipment, and keeping distributors informed about the monitoring.
  • 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 radio equipment bears the CE marking
  • While an item of equipment is under their responsibility, ensuring that its storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its compliance with the essential requirements
  • Carrying out sample testing, if appropriate, with regard to the risks presented, investigating, keeping a register of complaints, non-conforming radio equipment and keeping distributors informed about the monitoring.

A distributor’s responsibilities include:

  • Acting with due care in relation to the requirements of RED
  • 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 radio 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/or importer
  • The type, batch or serial number, or other element allowing the identification of the radio equipment
  • The CE marking.

Distributor responsibilities include verifying that the radio 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 radio equipment itself, the above information should be on its packaging or a document accompanying the radio equipment.

In addition, proper instructions, safety information and the Declaration of Conformity or the Internet address at which the Declaration of Conformity can be accessed must accompany the radio equipment.

Information available on the packaging must allow the identification of the Member States or the geographical area within a Member State where any restrictions on putting into service or requirements for authorisation of use exist.


As of June 12, 2018, manufacturers must register radio equipment types that fall within certain categories of radio equipment that are affected by a low level of compliance with the essential requirements of RED. The allocated registration number should be affixed to the radio equipment.

What should you do if electrical equipment is not in conformity with RED?

When radio equipment does not conform with RED, manufacturers, importers and distributors should immediately take the corrective measures necessary to bring radio equipment into conformity, or withdraw or recall it, as appropriate.

When radio 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 the non-conformity details and of any corrective measures taken.

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

Additional Information

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

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