Getting radio equipment directive risk assessment right

August 02, 2018 // By Jon Lea, TÜV SÜD Product Service
On 13th June 2017, the RED completely replaced the old Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE), and changes between the two frameworks have a significant bearing on how manufacturers gain a CE Marking.

Manufacturers intending to market radio products within the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries must ensure that the radio products comply with the requirements of the RED otherwise they can no longer be placed on the market. It is therefore crucial to fully understand these regulatory differences in order to avoid time and cost overruns. Products that were already compliant with R&TTE requirements may be subject to additional testing in order to comply with any changes.

The RED’s new requirements are intended to clearly spell out the responsibilities and obligations for every economic operator involved in the supply chain (manufacturer, importer, distributor, authorised representative). The Directive is applicable to all electrical and electronic devices that intentionally emit and receive radio waves at frequencies below 3000 GHz. This is therefore the first time that equipment operating below 9 kHz is required to demonstrate radio compliance, as the R&TTE scope started at 9 kHz.

A significant change is that radio broadcast and TV receivers are no longer excluded from the scope of the directive. Previously such products were required to comply with the EMC and Low Voltage Directives as they were specifically excluded from the old R&TTE Directive. Consequently, many manufacturers, such as those in the automotive industry, are finding achieving compliance to be a significant challenge as they have never before been required to undertake RF testing.

The following definition explains what products are subject to the RED: “Radio equipment – an electrical or electronic product which intentionally emits and/or receives radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination, or an electrical or electronic product which must be completed with an accessory (such as an antenna) so as to intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination.”

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