Update on the Draft R&TTE Directive

March 31, 2014 //By Jean-Louis Evans, TÜV SÜD
Since its introduction in April 2000, the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE) has been the required method for manufacturers to test and show compliance of any radio and telecoms equipment that is sold across Europe.

The Directive encompasses all products that use the radio frequency spectrum, such as car door openers, mobile devices and radio transmitters, as well as all devices connected to public telecommunications networks, including ADSL modems, phones and telephone systems.

The R&TTE replaced the Telecommunications Terminal Directive and national standards that may have previously existed within each individual EU country. It was introduced to reduce trading barriers in Europe, while continuing to ensure that products met minimum requirements related to health and safety, EMC and the protection of the radio spectrum.

As a result of the R&TTE, it now takes less time and money to gain approval than with the previous legislation. As manufacturers are no longer encumbered by any national differences between individual country safety requirements, the time to market for new goods has also been significantly reduced.

A new draft is introduced

Following several market surveillance campaigns, the European Commission is concerned about the low level of compliance with the current requirements of the R&TTE for some categories of radio equipment. This, coupled with the huge increase in the number of mobile devices and wireless applications, has led the European Commission to publish a new draft of the R&TTE. The core goals of the draft are to strengthen the level of compliance with the Directive, so that EU citizens have compliant radio equipment, as well as clarifying and simplifying the Directive.

The new requirements were intended to clearly spell out the responsibilities and obligations for every market player, be they a manufacturer or importer. It was hoped that simplification would come in the form of reduced administrative overheads, such as the suppression of notification requirements of certain products.

A press release issued by the European Commission at the same time as the proposed new draft said: “The proposal aims to make sure all market players comply with the rules regarding the avoidance of interference, so that consumers do not have

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