||The EMC Directive (89/336/EEC) is primarily concerned with
removing trade barriers in the area of electromagnetic compatibility and,
being a total harmonization directive, it replaces national provisions
where they previously existed.
It is a new approach directive, which means that it lays down mandatory
essential requirements and describes the methods by which conformity with
these requirements can be demonstrated.
||The directive relies on the availability of harmonised
standards which provide test methods and limits, and significant work has
been done to provide such methods and limits for the major industrial
||The following represents a necessarily brief overview of
the subject. The text of the directive is at all times the definitive
guide to its requirements. Under its terms apparatus shall be constructed
||the electromagnetic disturbance it generates does not
exceed a level allowing radio and telecommunication equipment and
other apparatus to operate as intended, and that
||the apparatus has an adequate level of intrinsic
immunity to electromagnetic disturbance to enable it to operate as
||There have been difficulties in establishing exactly what
equipment comes within the scope of the directive, and in October 1993 the
Commission published "Guidelines on the Application of the Council
||The directive applies to 'all electrical and electronic
appliances' together with equipment and installations containing
electrical and/or electronic components liable to cause electromagnetic
disturbance, and the performance of which is liable to be affected by such
||In order to clarify this point, the guideline document
defines a 'non-restrictive' but comprehensive range of equipment which
must be considered as being covered by the directive, as follows :-
||Emission and Immunity aspects
||Telecommunications terminal equipment (in so
far as the protection requirements are not peculiar to this
equipment) (see 13th recital of Directive 91/263/EEC).; [Note:
"recital" is a reference to the numerous clauses commencing
with the word "whereas", with which Directives begin.] |
||Electrical household appliances, portable tools
and similar equipment (last recital of the EMC Directive and
Annex III (g)); |
||Radio equipment used by radio amateurs if it is
available commercially (Article 2(3) and Annex III (c) and
||Radio and television receivers (Annex III (a));
||Aeronautical and marine radio apparatus (Annex
III (h)); |
||Radio and television broadcast transmission
(Annex III (k)); |
||Fluorescent lighting luminaries fitted with
starters (last recital of the relevant Directive); |
||Lights and Fluorescent lamps (Annex III (I));
||Industrial equipment (Annex III (b)); |
||Telecommunications apparatus (Annex III (j));
||Information technology equipment (Annex III
||Educational electronic equipment (Annex III
||Emission aspect only
||Non-automatic weighing instruments (immunity
aspect is covered by Annex I, paragraph 8(2), Directive
||Immunity aspect only
||Agricultural and forestry tractors (the
emission aspect is covered by Directive
||The following is a non-restrictive list of apparatus
specifically excluded from the scope of the directive.|
||Emission and immunity aspects
||Radio equipment used by radio amateurs unless
the apparatus is commercially available (Article 2 (3)).|
||Motor vehicles (covered by Directive
||Active implantable medical devices (covered by
Specific Directive 90/385/EEC).|
||Medical devices (covered by Directive
||Emission aspects only
||Agricultural or forestry tractors (covered by
||Immunity aspects only
||Non-automatic weighing instruments (covered by
Annex 1, para 8
||Some important definitions are listed below|
The person who accepts responsibility for the design and
manufacture of a product covered by the directive with a view to
placing it on the Community market on his own behalf. As part of
this responsibility he takes on the obligation.
- to design and manufacture the product in line with the
essential requirements of the directive.
- to follow the relevant conformity assessment procedures as
detailed in the directive.
This is the person who is expressly appointed by the manufacturer
and who acts on his behalf in respect of certain obligations laid
down under the directive.
This is the person who places on the Community Market products
covered by the directive and imported and a third country. The
importer must keep the manufacturer's declaration of conformity and
technical file at the disposal of the authorities, where neither the
manufacturer nor his authorized representative is established within
the Community. (Article 10(1) 3rd paragraph and Article 10(2), 3rd
The directive does not apply to components, which are defined as
any item which is used in the composition of an apparatus and which
is not itself an apparatus with an intrinsic function intended for
the final consumer.
The directive applies to all apparatus as defined in the
directive : that is, a finished product with an intrinsic function
intended for the final user and intended to be placed on the market
as a single commercial unit. The term equipment is synonymous with
The directive applies to systems, which are several items of
apparatus combined to fulfill a specific objective and intended to be
placed on the market as a single functional unit.
The directive does not apply to installations, which are defined
as several combined items of apparatus or systems put together at a
given place to fulfill a specific objective but not intended to be
placed on the market as a single functional unit. Apparatus and
systems which make up the installation are however subject to the
provisions of the Directive.
||Placing a product on the market
This means the first making available against payment, or free of
charge, of a product covered by the directive in the Community
Market for the purpose of distribution and/or use on the Community
||Putting into service
This means the first use on the Community territory, by its final
user, of a product referred to in the directive.
||Conformity assessment is the means of demonstrating that
the apparatus complies with the essential requirements of the directive.
These means are described in Article 10 of the Directive. Article 10
describes the procedure by which the manufacturer applies harmonised
standards. This is a self-certification approach, whereby having satisfied
himself that this equipment compiles with the relevant harmonised
standards, the manufacturer makes a declaration of conformity as defined
in Annex I(I) and applies the CE Marking. (This follows Module A of the
Council Directive 93/465/EEC on page 5 of this document).|
||Article 10(2) describes the procedure where the
manufacturer has not applied the standards or has applied them only in
part, or in the absence of relevant standards. Under these circumstances,
the manufacturer compiles a technical construction file containing all the
relevant technical data required to assess the product.
The file must include a certificate or technical report form a
Competent Body, confirming compliance with the relevant standards.
||Having satisfied himself that the equipment complies with
the directive's requirements, the manufacturer draws up the declaration of
conformity ( Annex I(I) ) and applies the CE Marking. This also follows
Module Aa of Directive 93/465/EEC. (Page 5).
||Under each approach the manufacturer must take all measures
necessary to ensure that products within the scope of the directive comply
with the protection requirements described in the declaration of
conformity in the former case, and the technical construction file and the
applicable requirements of relevant standards in the latter.
Article 10 (5)
||This article concerns equipment designed for transmission
of radio communications.
The manufacturer must obtain an EC Type-Examination certificate from a
Notified Body, and declare that his series - manufactured products conform
to the type as described in the certificate, and ensure that they satisfy
the protection requirement of the directive.
He then declares conformity with directive (Annex I(I) ) and applies
the CE Marking.
Bodies defined under the EMC Directive
These are the administrations of the Member States which are
responsible for Market Control.
The EMC Directive defines a body as competent if it fulfills the Annex
II of the Directive criteria. They are presumed competent if they can
prove their conformity with the appropriate harmonised standard of the EN
The Competent body issues the technical reports or certificates
referred to in Article 10 (2) of the Directive. The "guideline document"
lists the known Competent Bodies.
A notified body must fulfill the requirements as set out an Annex II of
the directive. It must be able to furnish proof that it conforms to the
appropriate harmonised standards in the EN 45001.
||The provisions of this directive have applied since 1st
January 1992. However due to its wide scope, it was necessary to introduce
a transitional period in order to ensure that a smooth changeover from
purely national systems to an exclusively community-wide system took
place. On 28th April 1992, the Council adopted Directive 92/31/EEC to
allow a transitional period until 31st December 1995. During this
transitional period, national systems may continue to be used, alongside
the system given in the directive. Since 1st January 1996, the EMC Directive has become mandatory.