The Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (EMC)

Directive 2014/30 / EU of the European Parliament and the Council - 26 February 2014 - harmonizing the legislation of Member States in terms of electromagnetic compatibility of devices that you can place on the market. The EMC Directive arises as a regulator text in the context of the safety standards - referring to IEC / EN ISO technical rules to which the electrical products must meet - and thus ensuring that the equipment approved in one EU member state to comply all other EU countries. These products, They will be liable to be marked with the CE Marking, as well as to be made clear as compliant through the EU declaration of conformity.

This Directive is part of the legislative framework for the free movement and marketing of products in the European community. Its ultimate aim is to avoid the risks related to a product or to a phenomenon, thus defending the common interest of European citizens and companies.

The English name for this directive: Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive;

Its abbreviation is: EMC;

Its code is: 2014/30/I;

Previous directives on this subject, Today they are no longer in force: 2004/108/EC, 89/336/EEC.

E 'useful to know the references of the directives because they often are in the products or components documentation, but also in the European laws and regulations if they have not recently been updated.

Field of application: EMC Directive 2014/30 / EU concerns every finished device – or combination of finished devices – made available in the market as a single functional unit, intended for the final user and capable of generating electromagnetic disturbance, or whose operation can be affected by such disturbances. Moreover, Directive involves the particular combinations of several types of apparatus and possibly other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location.

Essential requirements: affected products from the scope of the Directive, to be put on the European market, must comply with the following essential requirements.

  • The electromagnetic disturbances produced must not exceed the level above which radio and telecommunications equipment or other equipment can not operate normally;
  • The level of immunity to electromagnetic disturbances predictable based on the use to which they are intended for permitting the normal operation, without unacceptable deterioration.

Main contents of the Directive

  • preconditions
  • Field of application
  • Definitions
  • Essential requirements
  • Obligations of the manufacturer
  • Obligations of the other economic operators
  • Free movement
  • Presumption of conformity and harmonized standards
  • Conformity assessment
  • notified bodies
  • CE Marking

Measurements in an anechoic chamberpreconditions

They are intended as "Background" the reasons that led to the writing of that directive.

Field of application

The scope defines the categories of products or phenomena covered by Directive. Often a general criterion is expressed accompanied by explicit lists of products / phenomena that are subject to the Directive and product / phenomena that are excluded from the Directive in order to clarify the specific situations.


In the section "Definitions" means including all those specific explanations of key terms in the Directive, useful to fully understand the scope.

Essential requirements

The essential requirements are the requirements which the product must meet in order to be placed on the market. Often the essential requirements are placed in Annex I to Directive.

Obligations of the manufacturer

The manufacturer (or his authorized representative in the European Community) is the main person responsible for placing a product on the market. This chapter describes the requirements and procedures that they must follow, referring to the Annexes to Directive for explanations and more detailed regulations.

Obligations of the other economic operators

Distributors and retailers are also responsible and liable if they trade items that do not comply with European directives. They must verify that the manufacturer did run the electrical safety testing, that the product is equipped with the EU declaration of conformity and that it bears the CE mark.

Any importer must ensure that the procedures for the verification of conformity of the product have been performed, must verify the presence of the CE marking and make sure that the technical documentation of the product is available to the competent national authorities.

Free movement

Member States must presume that products bearing the CE marking comply with all the provisions of the applicable directives providing for the affixing. They can not therefore be prohibited, restrict or prevent the placing on the market and putting into service in their territory of products bearing the CE marking, unless the provisions relating to CE marking have not been applied improperly.

Presumption of conformity and harmonized standards

At the directives of our interest it is associated with a list of harmonized standards that is published in the European Official Journal. The harmonized standards greatly facilitate the verification of compliance of a product with the requirements of Directive. In these standards is described in detail how the tests should be performed or other kinds of assessment needed to verify that a product complies.

If a product is available the harmonized standards to cover all the requirements of the Directive - if these standards are applied comprehensively and the product passes all tests provided by the same rules – then it can be assumed that the product complies with the requirements of that Directive. In the absence of harmonized standards adequate to the product path it is more complicated and expensive.

Equipping an EMC laboratory suitable to perform the tests required by the Harmonized Standards thing is rather onerous. For this reason, manufacturers will often rely on external testing laboratories.

notified bodies

In Europe it is the body that can make an assessment of compliance by acting as a third party or whether the one made by the manufacturer and its trusted laboratories is correct. In most cases, however, the use of a notified body is not provided or not required.

CE Marking

The products comply with all the provisions of the applicable directives providing for the CE marking must convey it. Such marking is, especially, an indication that the products comply with the essential requirements of all applicable directives and that they were subjected to a conformity assessment procedure provided for by the Directives. Member States are also required to take the necessary measures to protect the CE marking.

Sicom Testing offers a complete service for electromagnetic compatibility tests of electrical products and electronic equipment and radio.

To request more information on this topic, write to
or call +39 0481 778931.

Related Articles

RFID-access-control Modem-router Electromagnetic compatibility Anniversary FCC">FCC mark

15 comments on “The Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (EMC)”

    • Good morning,
      Yes, these devices are subject to CE marking according to Directive 2016/797/EU on the interoperability of the rail system in the European Union.
      Kind regards
      Sicom Test

  1. Howdy, I have a question related to compliance with Directive 2014/30/EU. I am an employee of the quality department of an electronic component manufacturing company and one of the problems we consider in terms of risk is electromagnetic incompatibility. Naturally, the products that we place on the market as manufacturers are certified from a design point of view and are totally safe in terms of emissions and resistance to electromagnetic waves. My question though is: if a situation arises in the manufacturing process where we fail to install or damage a component responsible for reducing emissions, such a product will be illegal (according to the Directive)? Or even more generally, if a product is sold “defective” in terms of guaranteeing the correct emission level (exceeds permissible emission levels), this is a violation of the law? I'm not talking about a structural defect, but of a single case in which the production process will not ensure correct assembly to the 100%. Thanks in advance for your reply. Marcin Lawniczak

    • Good morning,
      The manufacturer, when affixing the CE mark to a product, has the task of ensuring its compliance, this means that all the devices produced must be the same as the samples on which tests have been performed according to the standards of the directive.
      Kind regards
      Sicom Test

  2. In several places I have read that the EMC Directive does not require testing. How can I refute this to my company, that actually doesn't.

    “The Directive does not set emission limits, nor immunity objectives to be achieved, and as such the EMC Directive does not make testing mandatory! That said, the absence of testing is often seen as a high-risk option, while comprehensive EMC testing according to applicable harmonized standards is often considered the best way.”

    Thanks in advance

    • Good morning,

      Tests must be performed, to demonstrate conformity with harmonised standards which, according to the directive they are necessary.
      The Directive states that:
      -When their apparatus is placed on the market, manufacturers shall ensure that they have been designed and manufactured in accordance with the essential requirements set out in Annex I (Article 7).
      -Equipment which is in conformity with harmonised standards or parts thereof the references of which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union shall be presumed to be in conformity with the essential requirements set out in Annex I covered by those standards or parts thereof (Article 13).
      Kind regards
      Sicom Test

  3. Good morning,
    We are a forklift dealer on which we have installed a device to obtain the 4.0. Both trolley and device are CE marked. It is necessary to submit the’ union of the two to expertise certifying electromagnetic compatibility or it is sufficient that both have been individually appraised?

    • Good morning,
      Compliance with the applicable directives must be verified on the finished product, in your case the conformity of the trolley+device union must be assessed.
      Kind regards
      Sicom Test

  4. Good morning,
    My equipment passes EMC tests in accredited laboratories. And then I produce with the same characteristics, I just need to affix the CE mark or I need a notified body to certify my production.

    Thank you

    • Good morning,
      In your case it is not necessary to rely on a notified body, conformity can be demonstrated through internal production control as set out in the Annex 2 of the directive; in addition to affixing the CE marking, the manufacturer must:
      1)fill in a written EU declaration of conformity for a model of the apparatus
      2)keep it available to national authorities, together with the technical documentation, for ten years from the date on which the apparatus was placed on the market.
      Kind regards
      Sicom Test

  5. When it is necessary to have a notified body?
    I understand that only if you want to get the type conformity certificate (EU type examination certificate)

    • Good morning,
      For electromagnetic compatibility the manufacturer must demonstrate compliance of an appliance with the essential requirements by one of the following conformity assessment procedures:
      1)internal production control;
      2)the EU-type examination followed by conformity to type based on internal production control.
      The manufacturer must choose which of the two procedures he wants to use, only if you choose the EU type examination is it necessary to contact a notified body.
      Kind regards
      Sicom Test

  6. Dear Sir / Lady,
    I was wondering if you can help me with my request. I would like to know if there is a list of equipment for which we should apply the EMC directive.
    Thanks in advance

    • Good morning.
      The EMC directive applies to every finished device, or combination of finished devices, made available in the market as a single functional unit, intended for the final user and capable of generating electromagnetic disturbance, or whose operation can be affected by such disturbances, that is, any equipment that incorporates active electronic components.
      It's’ You can consult the list of harmonized standards to verify the types of products to which the EMC directive applies.
      Greetings from Sicom Testing


Questions and comments

If you have questions or comments
Sicom Testing will be happy to answer you.