A guide into stress-free product compliance

EMC standards

Disclaimer: This document provides guidance and is not a legally binding interpretation and shall therefore not be relied upon as legal advice.

How to pick the applicable one(s) from more than 150 harmonised EMC standards

Start be getting the latest summary list of Harmonised EMC standards from the European Commission's website. Then proceed as follows:

  • If there are relevant product specific standard(s), if so then apply the standard(s); else:
  • Check if there are relevant product family standard(s) if so then apply the standard(s); else
  • Apply the relevant generic EMC standards.

Product standards

An example of a product specific standard is EN 301 489-34 for the power supplies of mobile phones. An example of a product family standard is EN 50498 for aftermarket electronic equipment in vehicles.
The advantage of product (family) standards is that they are specific for a product (group), the contents of the standards is dedicated to the characteristics and use of these products.
Therefore product standards always take precedence over other, less specific or generic EMC standards.

Emission and immunity

Annex I of the EMC Directive 2014/30/EU defines two essential requirements, in plain language:

  • Emission: the product does not emit too much electromagnetic disturbances to its environment;
  • Immunity: the product is immune to the expected electromagnetic disturbances during intended use.

Many EMC standards just cover either emission or immunity; some standards cover both. It is important to keep this in mind, make sure you have standards for both emission and immunity.
For instance the product family standards for lighting products are EN 55015 (emission) and EN 61547 (immunity). For personal alarms the product specific immunity standard EN 50130-4 is combined with a generic emission standard.

EN 61000-3-2 and EN 61000-3-3

These two standards are applicable to a very large family of products, in addition to the above mentioned emission and immunity standards.
The scope of the standards is all "products with rated input current up to and including 16 A per phase (230 V or 400 V)". This means that these standards are applicable to almost all products with a mains supply connection.
In only a few cases the product specific standards replace EN 61000-3-2 and EN 61000-3-3.

Generic EMC standards

There are four harmonised generic standards: emission and immunity standards for two environments.
Emission: EN 61000-6-4 for industrial environments and EN 61000-6-3 for non-industrial environments.
Immunity: EN 61000-6-2 for industrial environments and EN 61000-6-1 for non-industrial environments. Examples of non-industrial environments are: houses, apartments, shops, supermarkets, offices, cinemas, sports centres, workshops and laboratories.
Industrial environments are found in factories where installations with high currents and EM fields exists.

Generic EMC standards are only applicable if no relevant product-specific or product-family EMC standard exists.

Just a few examples of possible EMC standards for mains powered products:

PRODUCTS

EMC STANDARDS

Household appliances

EN 55014-1, EN 55014-2, EN 61000-3-2, EN 61000-3-3

Lighting equipment

EN 55015, EN 61547, EN 61000-3-2, EN 61000-3-3

Multimedia equipment

EN 55032, EN 55035, EN 61000-3-2, EN 61000-3-3

Alarm systems

EN 61000-6-3, EN 50130-4, EN 61000-3-2, EN 61000-3-3

Microwave ovens

EN 55011, EN 55014-2, EN 61000-3-2, EN 61000-3-3

Measuring equipment

EN 61326-1

Uninterruptible power systems

EN 62040-2

For a complete overview of EMC standards and other applicable requirements use the ProductIP platform.

Basic EMC standards

Practically all EMC harmonised standards make reference to the basic standards for the test and measurement methods to be applied. Common basic standards are those from the EN 61000-4-xx series.
Basic standards do not contain requirements and cannot be used to give a presumption of conformity on their own. That explains why basic standards are not included in the list of harmonised standards published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Therefore a declaration of conformity of products with the basic standards has no significance either.

Applying other standards

The single obligation is to comply with the essential requirements of the EMC directive.
The most common approach is to use harmonised standards because they provide a "presumption of conformity" with the essential requirements of EMC Directive 2014/30/EU.
Harmonised standards are designed to satisfy the essential requirements for the relevant products.

It is not mandatory to apply harmonised standards. But if the most relevant harmonised product standards are not applied then the technical documentation shall include an EMC assessment of the product with an explanation for the deviation.
This EMC assessment is done by the manufacturer; it is not mandatory to involve a third party such as a Notified Body.

CENELEC Guide 25

In 2009 CENELEC (the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation) published the third edition of CENELEC Guide 25 "On the use of standards for the implementation of the EMC Directive".


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