Electro Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive

2014/30/EU replaced 2004/108/EC Directive per 20 April 2016 and it is the directive relating to the electromagnetic compatibility of electronic devices. It is the 3rd directive because on 3rd of May, 1989  the directive 2004/108/EC replaced the previous EMC directive 89/336/EEC. The current directive maintains the same objectives: To guarantee the free movement of electronic devices and installations and the creation of an acceptable electromagnetic environment in the EU community territory. It essentially marks out the requirements and criteria to be satisfied before applying the CE mark.

Essential Requirements of the EMC directive

Compliance with the essential requirements is mandatory, as they are legally binding for all equipment within the scope of the EMC directive. Only compliant equipment may be placed on the market and/or put into service in the European Community.

The essential requirements are split into two parts:

1. Protection requirements

Equipment have to be designed and manufactured in such a way, with regard to the state of the art, as to ensure that:

The electromagnetic disturbance generated does not exceed the level above which radio and telecommunications equipment or other equipment cannot operate as intended; It has a level of immunity to the electromagnetic disturbance to be expected in its intended use which allows it to operate without unacceptable degradation of its intended use.

2. Specific requirements for fixed installations

Installation and intended use of components.

A fixed installation shall be installed applying good engineering practices and respecting the information on the intended use of its components, with a view to meeting the protection requirements set out under the first point. Those good engineering practices have to be documented and the documentation should be held by the person(s) responsible and be made available to the relevant national authorities for inspection purposes for as long as the fixed installation is in operation.

Applicability of the EMC directive

Any company that produces a product that falls within the scope of the EMC directive must comply with the essential requirements before the product can be legitimately placed on the market. In order to prove a product is compliant, a ‘conformity assessment’ must be completed along with a declaration, after which the CE marking must be affixed to the product. Documentation proving compliance with all requirements must be held in a technical file. Annex II, III and IV of the EMC directive contain full details of this procedure.

Our compliance management solution provides you with the most comprehensive product-specific requirement list and enables you to create technical files proving compliance. Want to know more about the EMC directive, the requirements that need to be met and whether the directive applies to your products?

Scope of the EMC directive

All electric devices and installations influence each other when they are interconnected or close to each other. In some cases you can for instance observe interference between your TV set, your mobile phone/tablet, your radio and nearby washing machine or electrical power lines.

The purpose of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is to keep all those side effects under reasonable control. EMC designates all the existing and future techniques and technologies for reducing disturbance and enhancing immunity.

The main objective of the directive 2004/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, which came into effect on 15 December 2004, on the approximation of the laws of member states relating to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is to regulate the compatibility of equipment regarding EMC:

  • Equipment (devices and fixed installations) needs to comply with EMC requirements when it is placed on the market and/or taken into service;
  • The application of good engineering practice is required for fixed installations, with the possibility for the competent authorities in member states to impose measures in the case of non-compliance.

The EMC directive first limits electromagnetic emissions of equipment in order to ensure that, when used as intended, such equipment does not disturb radio and telecommunication as well as other equipment. The directive also governs the immunity of such equipment to interference and seeks to ensure that this equipment is not disturbed by radio emissions when used as intended.

To ensure that this process remains open to future technical developments, the EMC directive only describes the essential requirements along general lines, it is not a guarantee of absolute protection of the equipment.

The EMC directive also does not regulate the safety of equipment with respect to people, domestic animals or property: it is only concerned with the electromagnetic compatibility of equipment. For example, essential requirements under the directive require that any electromagnetic disturbances produced do not affect:

  1. The correct operation of the equipment.
  2. Radio communications, electrical supply networks or telecommunications networks.
  3. The product’s ability to perform without degradation caused by electromagnetic disturbances.

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