ETSI publishes Harmonised Standards for new EU Radio Equipment Directive
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

The new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) came into force in Europe on 13 June, having been published in May 2014. ETSI is developing and publishing Harmonised European Standards to support the directive and these are the preferred means for manufacturers to comply with the regulation. Equipment that complies with the Harmonised Standards for RED is presumed to comply with the Directive’s requirements.

In August 2015 the European Commission requested that ETSI and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) produce the Harmonised European Standards which the Commission will reference in the Official Journal of the European Union, and which manufacturers can then use for presumption of conformity.

So far ETSI has published 53 Harmonised Standards and expects to publish a further 143 within the next 12 months. Links to the published Harmonised Standards and a list of those under development can be found here.

The European Parliament and Council Directive on Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment (R&TTED) was revised in 2014 to become the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU. After 13 June 2017, equipment can no longer be placed on the market under the R&TTED.

RED aligns the previous Directive with the new legislative framework for the marketing of products. It has been written to ensure a single market for radio equipment by setting essential requirements for safety and health, electromagnetic compatibility and the efficient use of the radio spectrum.

In contrast to the previous Directive, it puts emphasis on receiver requirements to enhance efficient and effective use of the radio spectrum. In particular it now covers end products using radio for communications or to determine position: e.g. broadcast receivers and equipment that derives its location from satellite navigation.

ETSI has released a guide for manufacturers on how to apply articles 3.1b (EMC) and 3.2 (effective and efficient use of the radio spectrum) of the Radio Equipment Directive, EG 203 367, to make it easier for them to comply with the new requirements and avoid duplication of testing wherever possible. ETSI is also organising a workshop on RED, which is open to all and will take place on 1 December 2016.

ETSI recognizes the important role we play serving industry and the European Institutions in delivering the standards necessary to support European single market regulations. These Harmonised Standards are so important for industry that they are being developed in ETSI with great voluntary effort to speed delivery,” said Luis Jorge Romero, ETSI’s Director General.

Key facts about the Radio Equipment Directive:

  • On 16 April 2014, the European Union adopted a new set of rules for placing radio equipment on the European market, and putting them into service.
  • EU Member States have to adapt their National laws to this new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) (2014/53/EU, published on 22 May 2014), and apply its provisions from 13 June 2016. Manufacturers who were compliant with the existing legislation (RTTED or LVD/EMCD) will have until 13 June 2017 to comply with the new requirements.
  • The existing Radio & Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTED) (1999/5/EC) will be repealed on that date.

What has changed:

  • The RED applies to equipment that is placed on the market (this contrasts with the R&TTED, which also applied to “relevant components” of radio equipment).
  • The RED applies to equipment, which intentionally transmits or receives radio waves for communications or radiodetermination, regardless of its primary function. For example, a “connected” device that uses an embedded radio module for communications or to determine its position has to meet the same radio requirements as a purpose-built radio equipment.
  • Wired telecommunications terminal equipment that does not function using radio is not covered by the RED.
  • Radio equipment covered by the RED is not subject to the Low-Voltage Directive (LVD) or the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (EMCD): the essential requirements of those Directives are covered by the essential requirements of the RED, with certain modifications.
  • The RED places additional emphasis on efficient and effective use of the spectrum. In particular radio equipment needs to demonstrate the performance of its receiver part, as well as its transmitter, as both are considered to affect the efficient and effective use of the spectrum.
  • The RED applies to radio equipment operating at frequencies below 3,000 GHz, including radio equipment operating below 9 kHz that is not covered by the R&TTED or by National frequency regulations.
  • The RED also applies to radiodetermination equipment: equipment that uses the propagation qualities of radio waves to determine its position.
  • The R&TTED specifically excluded Broadcast TV & radio receivers from its scope. These are now specifically included in the scope of the RED.


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