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The previous directives on this topic, which are no longer in force today are: 2004/108/EC, 89/336/EEC.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
- Field of application
- Essential requirements
- Manufacturer's obligations
- Obligations of other economic operators
- Free movement
- Presumption of conformity and harmonized standards
- Conformity assessment
- Notified bodies
- CE marking
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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