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Radio equipment: tests and procedures for a correct placing on the market

Radio equipment: tests and procedures for a correct placing on the market

Radio equipment manufacturers who wish to sell to 500 millions of EU consumers have to proceed with the conformity assessment aimed at’affixing of the CE marking. Obligation affecting manufacturers in particular, the presumption of conformity is obtained through the performance of all tests required by the various harmonized standards connected to the product.

Directive 2014/53/EU

Regulating the placing of radio equipment on the European market is the objective of the Directive 2014/53/EU. The so-called "RED" (Radio Equipment Directive) applies to all products and equipment that intentionally transmit or receive radio waves for communications or localization, in the frequency range from just over zero as far as 3000 GHz.

The articles of the Directive define the basic requirements for radio equipment and the general characteristics concerning electromagnetic compatibility, the protection of health and safety. As is the case with the other Community directives, the RED Directive is accompanied by harmonised standards for specific technical requirements, and compliance with these requirements presupposes compliance with the essential principles of the Directive.

The testing of radio equipment

Radio equipment, as it is known, in addition to electromagnetic compatibility and safety requirements, they must also ensure proper use of radio spectrum, avoiding interference with terrestrial and satellite communications.

In relation to this obligation, it is defined that a radio device transmits within the European reference standards and in accordance with the plans of the various Member States, in terms of frequency limits, power and transmission times.

Based on the case and its specificities, various types of tests can be carried out for obtain the certification of radio equipment. These are articulated on the main standards used, including GSM, GPRS, GPS, UMTS, LTE, DECT, SRD, RFID, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi.

Going into detail the tests – carried out by a competent laboratory such as Sicom Testing – may concern checks required by law, performance testing, measurement of service quality. It's’ it is possible to carry out checks on interoperability with telecommunications networks, to the beta testing of the systems to complete – after in-depth analysis on the product – the drafting of the technical file.

Between things, the technical file is responsible for containing the risk analysis, the installation manual, of use and maintenance, the declaration of conformity, the CE label, product-related projects, (Designs, calculation reports, schemes and so on), suppliers and production control procedures.

The obligations of operators

At a general level, obligations in relation to certification of radio equipment are related to the figure of the manufacturer. But not exclusively: the importer and the distributor are also involved at several levels.

The manufacturer has an obligation to ensure that the appliances have been designed and manufactured in accordance with the essential requirements; to prepare the technical documentation and to carry out or have carried out the conformity assessment procedure. Among the fundamental tasks of the manufacturer is to draw up, or have drafted, an EU declaration of conformity, affix the CE marking and keep product-related documentation.

L’importer, for its part, must verify that the manufacturer has carried out the appropriate conformity assessment procedure; has prepared the technical documentation, that the CE marking is affixed to the apparatus and that the apparatus is accompanied by the required documents. The importer must also keep at the disposal of the market surveillance authorities, per 10 years from entry, the EU declaration of conformity and ensure that the technical documentation is made available to those authorities.

The distributor must verify that the apparatus to be marketed bears the CE marking, is accompanied by required documentation as well as the instructions and that the manufacturer and the importer have complied with their obligations; ensuring that, when the appliance is under his responsibility, storage or transport conditions do not jeopardize compliance of the product to the essential requirements.

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