The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive

Directive 2014/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council - of 26 February 2014 - harmonizes the laws of the Member States regarding the electromagnetic compatibility of devices that can be placed on the market. The EMC directive presents itself as a regulatory text in the context of safety standards - referring to the IEC/ISO EN technical standards to which electrical products must comply - and therefore ensuring that equipment approved in a European Union member country complies in all other EU countries. These products will be subject to being marked with the CE marking, as well as being made explicit as compliant through the EU declaration of conformity.

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

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

Its abbreviation is: EMC;

Its code is: 2014/30/EU;

The previous directives on this topic, which are no longer in force today are: 2004/108/EC, 89/336/EEC.

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

Field of application: the EMC Directive 2014/30/EU concerns any finished device - or combination of finished devices - made available on the market as an independent functional unit, intended for the end user and capable of generating electromagnetic disturbances, or whose operation may be affected effects of such disturbances. Furthermore, the directive involves particular combinations of various types of appliances and possibly other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended for permanent use in a pre-established location.

Essential requirements: the products involved in the scope of the directive, to be placed 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 cannot function normally;
  • The level of immunity to electromagnetic disturbances foreseeable based on the use for which they are intended allows their normal operation, without unacceptable deterioration.

Main contents of the directive

  • Premises
  • Field of application
  • Definitions
  • Essential requirements
  • Manufacturer's obligations
  • Obligations of other economic operators
  • Free movement
  • Presumption of conformity and harmonized standards
  • Conformity assessment
  • Notified bodies
  • CE marking

Measurements in an anechoic chamberPremises

The motivations that led to the writing of the directive itself are understood as "Premises".

Field of application

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


The "Definitions" section includes all specific explanations of the main terms used in the directive, useful for fully understanding the field of application.

Essential requirements

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

Manufacturer's obligations

The manufacturer (or his authorized representative in the European Community) is primarily responsible for placing a product on the market. This chapter describes the obligations and procedures that he must follow, referring to the annexes of the directive for more detailed explanations and regulations.

Obligations of other economic operators

Distributors and retailers are also responsible and liable if they trade in items that do not comply with European directives. They must check that the manufacturer has had the electrical safety test carried out, that the product has the EU declaration of conformity and that it bears the CE mark.

The potential importer must ensure that the procedures for verifying the conformity of the product have been carried out, must verify the presence of the CE marking and ensure 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 provisions of the applicable directives requiring its affixing. They cannot therefore prohibit, limit or prevent the placing on the market and putting into service on their territory of products bearing the CE marking, unless the provisions relating to CE marking have been applied improperly.

Presumption of conformity and harmonized standards

The directives of our interest are associated with a list of harmonized standards which is published in the European Official Journal. Harmonized standards make it much easier to verify the conformity of a product with the requirements of a directive. These standards describe in detail how the tests or other types of assessment necessary to verify that a product complies must be carried out.

If harmonized standards are available for a product to cover all the requirements of the directive - if these standards are applied in a complete manner and the product passes all the tests required by the standards themselves - then it can be assumed that the product complies with the safety requirements. that directive. In the absence of harmonized standards suitable for the product, the path is more complicated and expensive.

Equipping a suitable EMC laboratory to carry out the tests required by the Harmonized Standards is quite expensive. For this reason, manufacturers often rely on external testing laboratories.

Notified bodies

In Europe it is the body that can carry out a conformity assessment by acting as a third party or evaluate whether the one carried out by the manufacturer and its trusted laboratories is correct. In most cases, however, the use of a notified body is not foreseen or in any case not necessary.

CE marking

Products that comply with all provisions of the applicable directives requiring the CE marking must bear it. This marking is, in particular, an indication that the products comply with the essential requirements of all applicable directives and that they have undergone a conformity assessment procedure provided for by the directives themselves. 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 radios.

To request further information on this topic, write to
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15 thoughts on “La Direttiva sulla compatibilità elettromagnetica (EMC)”

  1. Good morning.
    Are railway devices – displays used in rolling stock/passenger carriages subject to CE marking?

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

  2. Hi, I have a question regarding 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 emission and resistance to electromagnetic waves. My question though is: if a situation arises in the production process where we do not install or damage a component responsible for reducing emissions, will such a product be illegal (according to the Directive)? Or even more generally, if a product is sold that is “defective” in terms of guaranteeing the correct emission level (exceeds the permitted emission levels), is this a violation of the law? I'm not talking about a structural flaw, but a single instance where the manufacturing process will not ensure proper fitment to the 100%. Thanks in advance for the reply. Marcin Lawniczak

    • Good morning,
      The manufacturer, when he affixes the CE mark on a product, has the task of guaranteeing its conformity, this means that all the devices produced must be the same as the samples on which the tests were carried out according to the standards of the directive.
      Best regards
      Sicom Test

  3. In several places I read that the EMC directive does not require testing. How can I refute this to my company, which actually doesn't make them.

    “The Directive does not establish emission limits, nor immunity objectives to be achieved, and as such the EMC Directive does not make testing mandatory! That said, no testing is often seen as a high-risk option, while full EMC testing to applicable harmonized standards is often considered the best route.”

    Thanks in advance

    • Good morning,

      The tests must be carried out to demonstrate compliance with the harmonized standards which, according to the directive, are necessary.
      The directive states that:
      -When placing their equipment 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 complies with harmonized standards or parts thereof, the references of which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, shall be considered to comply with the essential requirements set out in Annex I governed by those standards or parts thereof (Article 13) .
      Best regards
      Sicom Test

  4. Good morning,
    we are a dealer of forklifts on which we have installed a device to obtain 4.0. Both trolley and device are CE marked. Is it necessary to subject the union of the two to an assessment that certifies electromagnetic compatibility or is it sufficient that they have both been individually assessed?

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

  5. 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, compliance can be demonstrated through internal production control as indicated in Annex 2 of the directive; in addition to affixing the CE mark, the manufacturer must:
      1)complete a written EU declaration of conformity for a model of the appliance
      2) keep it available to the national authorities, together with the technical documentation, for ten years from the date on which the appliance was placed on the market.
      Best regards
      Sicom Test

  6. When is it necessary to have a notified body?
    I understand that only if you want to obtain the Type Conformity Certificate (EU Type Examination Certificate)

    • Good morning,
      For electromagnetic compatibility the manufacturer must demonstrate the conformity of an equipment with the essential requirements by means of one of the following conformity assessment procedures:
      1) internal production control;
      2)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 he chooses the EU type examination is it necessary to contact a notified body.
      Best regards
      Sicom Test

  7. Dear Sir/Madam,
    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
    Best regards

    • Good morning.
      The EMC Directive applies to any finished device, or combination of finished devices, made available on the market as an independent functional unit, intended for the end user and capable of generating electromagnetic disturbances, or whose operation may be affected by such disturbances , i.e. any equipment that integrates active electronic components.
      It is possible to consult the list of harmonized standards to verify the types of products to which the EMC directive applies.
      Greetings from Sicom Testing


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