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EU-wide Implementation of Revised Law on Radio Equipment

By 12 June 2016, Member States are required to have adopted and published the laws relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment in compliance with Directive 2014/53/EU. Previous Directive 1999/5/EC on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment is thereby repealed.

The new Directive establishes a regulatory framework for the making available on the market and putting into service in the Union of radio equipment. Hong Kong manufacturers of radio equipment must ensure that they are aware of the obligations of the new Directive as transposed by each Member State.

This Directive applies to all radio equipment other than the equipment listed in Annex I of the Directive, and radio equipment exclusively used for activities concerning public security, defence and State security.

For the purposes of the Directive, ‘radio equipment’ means an electrical or electronic product, which intentionally emits and/or receives radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radio determination, 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 radio determination.

For example, TVs, remote controls, radio communicators, and radio equipment used in broadcast radio and TV, are all deemed to fall within the Directive’s scope. Additionally, the new Directive will apply to radio equipment operating below 9 kHz.
The objective of the Directive is to ensure that radio equipment made available on the European market fulfils requirements by providing: 

a. a high level of protection of health and safety;
b. an adequate level of electromagnetic compat¬ibility;
c. an effective and efficient use of radio spectrum; and
d. avoidance of harmful interference.

These are known as the “essential requirements”; they are set out in Article 3 of the Directive and apply to all economic operators. Hong Kong traders should be aware that all economic operators are responsible for ensuring that radio equipment placed on the EU market complies with this Directive. Importers and distributors must ensure that while radio equipment is under their responsibility, its storage or transport conditions do not jeopardise its compliance with the essential requirements.

In particular, manufacturers must ensure that procedures are in place for series production of radio equipment to remain in conformity with this Directive. Furthermore, if necessary, with regard to the risks presented by radio equipment, manufacturers shall, to protect the health and safety of end-users:

1. carry out sample testing of radio equipment made available on the market;
2. investigate, and, if necessary, keep a register of complaints, of non-conforming radio equipment and radio equipment recalls; and
3. keep distributors informed of any such monitoring.

Hong Kong manufacturers of radio equipment may wish to families themselves with the labelling requirements set out in this Directive. In accordance with the Directive, manufacturers shall:

a) draw up the  necessary technical documentation (referred to in Article 21);

b) carry out the relevant conformity assessment procedure referred to in Article 17 or have it carried out, and draw up an EU declaration of conformity and affix the CE marking;

c) keep the technical documentation and the EU declaration of conformity for 10 years after the radio equipment has been placed on the market;

d) ensure that radio equipment which they have placed on the market bears a type, batch or serial number or other element allowing its identification and indicate on the radio equipment their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the postal address at which they can be contacted. Where the size or nature of radio equipment does not allow it, these requirements can be placed on the radio equipment’s packaging, or in a document accompanying it. The contact details shall be in a language easily understood by end-users and market surveillance authorities;

e) ensure that the radio equipment is accompanied by instructions and safety information in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users, as determined by the Member State concerned. Instructions shall include the information required to use radio equipment in accordance with its intended use. Such information shall include, where applicable, a description of accessories and components, including software, which allow the radio equipment to operate as intended. Such instructions and safety information, as well as any labelling, shall be clear, understandable and intelligible.

The following information shall also be included in the case of radio equipment intentionally emitting radio waves: (a) frequency band(s) in which the radio equipment operates; and (b) maximum radio-frequency power transmitted in the frequency band(s) in which the radio equipment operates.

In addition to manufacturers, importers are required to indicate on the radio equipment their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the postal address at which they can be contacted or, where that is not possible, on its packaging or in a document accompanying the radio equipment. This includes cases where the size of radio equipment does not allow it, or where importers would have to open the packaging in order to indicate their name and address on the radio equipment. In all cases, the contact details shall be in a language easily understood by end-users and market surveillance authorities.

Hong Kong traders of radio equipment are advised to examine the Directive in full. Please click on the following link to view Directive 2014/53/EC.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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