The RED Directive 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council - issued on 16 April 2014 and repealing Directive 1999/5/EC - regulates the harmonization of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment in Union, defining obligations and conditions to be able to proceed in this direction.
The Directive defines “radio equipment” as an electrical or electronic product which intentionally emits and/or receives radio waves for the purposes of radio communication and/or radio determination or an electrical or electronic product which must be completed with an accessory, such as an antenna, to be able to intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves for radiocommunication and/or radiodetermination purposes.
Excluded from the application of the directive are radio equipment used or modified by radio amateurs, radio equipment used exclusively in activities concerning public safety, marine equipment that falls within the scope of application of Directive 96/98/EC, certain equipment for aviation – defined by Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 of the European Parliament and of the Council – and tailor-made assessment kits for professionals, intended for use in research facilities only.
The general principles of the directive for radio equipment concern compliance with the essential requirements for the electrical safety of the product, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the effective use of the radio spectrum. Focal parameters in the certification process of radio equipment which - when compliant - are demonstrated by the presence of the CE marking and the declaration of conformity.
In the radio equipment certification process, the directive identifies different types of economic operators responding to different obligations. These are manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers and distributors.
When placing their radio equipment on the market, manufacturers are required to ensure that these have been designed and manufactured in compliance with the directive, preparing the technical documentation and carrying out - or having a competent laboratory such as Sicom Testing carry out - the relevant conformity assessment procedure for the certification of radio equipment.
Manufacturers are required to draw up - or have drawn up - an EU declaration of conformity, affix the CE marking, keeping the technical documentation and the EU declaration of conformity for a period of ten years from the date on which the radio equipment was placed on the market. market and providing it to the competent authorities when required.
The manufacturers' obligation is also to ensure that production continues to comply with the directive, ensuring that a type, batch or serial number is affixed to the radio equipment they place on the market, on the packaging or in an accompanying document. their name, trade name or registered trademark and the postal address at which they can be contacted, in a language easily understandable by the end user.
To accompany the product, manufacturers ensure that each individual radio equipment is accompanied by a copy of the EU declaration of conformity or a simplified EU declaration of conformity.
Finally, manufacturers have a duty to take the necessary corrective measures where it is believed that radio equipment they have placed on the market does not comply with the Directive.
Obligations of authorized representatives
The manufacturer may appoint, by written mandate, an authorized representative who will have the duty to keep the EU declaration of conformity and the technical documentation at the disposal of the national market surveillance authorities for a period of ten years from the date on which the radio equipment has been placed on the market and provide all the necessary documentation following a reasoned request from a competent national authority.
The importer who wishes to place radio equipment on the market has the obligation to verify its conformity, ensuring that the manufacturer has carried out the appropriate conformity assessment procedure, being in possession of the technical documentation relating to the certification of radio equipment described in previous point.
Importers, like manufacturers, are obliged to indicate on the radio equipment, on the packaging or in an accompanying document, their name, their registered trade name or their registered trademark and the postal address to which they can be contacted.
They also ensure that the radio equipment is accompanied by instructions and safety information and that storage or transport conditions do not put the conformity of the equipment at risk.
For a period of ten years from the date on which the radio equipment was placed on the market, importers shall keep the EU declaration of conformity available to the market surveillance authorities; they also guarantee that, upon request, the technical documentation will be made available to these authorities.
Finally, as in the case of manufacturers, importers who have reason to believe that radio equipment they have placed on the market does not comply with the Directive are required to take the necessary corrective measures.
Obligations of distributors
Before making the radio equipment available on the market, distributors have the obligation to verify that it bears the CE marking, is accompanied by the necessary documentation, as well as instructions and safety information.
It is their duty to ensure - as in the case of importers - that during storage or transport the radio equipment does not suffer damage that could put its conformity at risk. They are also required to inform the supervisory authority if they suspect that the product does not comply with the essential safety requirements, taking the necessary corrective measures or withdrawing the product from the market when necessary.
Distributors, following a reasoned request from a competent national authority, are obliged to cooperate by providing the latter with all the information and documentation, in paper or electronic format, necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the radio equipment.
Sicom Testing carries out all the tests required for the production in its laboratories certification of radio equipment and for those products of different kinds that involve the use of radio interfaces.
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