24 March 2017
Up-to-date List of EU Harmonised Standards Published for “Radio Equipment” Marketed in the EU
On 11 March 2017, the Official Journal published a European Commission communication in the framework of the implementation of Directive 2014/53/EC relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment. The communication sets out the latest list of harmonised standards, applicable throughout the EU. Indeed, this list replaces all the previous lists published in the Official Journal, and it is the European Commission that ensures the updating of this list.
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. The 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 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 Directive is itself limited to the expression of the essential requirements that radio equipment must comply with. That said, radio equipment which is in conformity with harmonised standards or parts thereof, the references of which have been published in the Official Journal, shall be presumed to be in conformity with the essential requirements covered by those standards or parts thereof. Therefore, Hong Kong companies selling their products, which are covered by the Directive, to EU customers, will need to ensure that they meet the essential requirements as fleshed out in any of the standards listed in the latest Commission communication that was published on 11 March.
While the list of standards in the communication is 15 pages long, with many of the standards having already previously been made available, the new document contains a number of titles which have not been published before. This being their first publication, Hong Kong traders should carefully examine the list to see if their products destined for export are likely to be covered by any of those (or indeed by any others on the list).
For example, the new publications concern short range devices operating in the frequency range 25 MHz to 1000 MH, wideband transmission systems, wireless microphones, ultra-high frequency on-board vessels communications systems and equipment, short range devices using ultra wide band technology, navigation radar for use on non-SOLAS vessels, and mobile communication on board aircraft systems.
As for the Radio Equipment Directive itself, the EU Member States were 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 since June last year. Previous Directive 1999/5/EC on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment had as a result been repealed.
Hong Kong manufacturers of radio equipment must ensure that they are aware of the obligations of the Directive as transposed into the statute books of each Member State.
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 manufacturers may also wish to familiarise themselves with the labelling requirements set out in the Directive. Thus, 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.
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.