Heading Off in a New Directive...

June 9, 2014, 1:00 am

One of the most interesting dynamics of working in the 3rd party regulatory and test industry is the revolving door of products, both prototype and legacy, that we’re provided the opportunity to assist our clients with.  We are afforded opportune glimpses into technologies on the horizon, preview upcoming improvements to everyday products, and even assist in the development of technology with some of the most talented engineers in the Midwest. 

In addition to the myriad of products, we interact with an ever-expanding library of technical regulations, specifications, standards for countries all over the world; which, as you can imagine, are updated frequently to keep pace with changes in technology and its applications. However, there are exceptional circumstances when changes to certain regulations are a significant event, typically legislation or specifications that take many years to author, approve, and implement.  Right now, at least from the perspective of European EMC and Radio Equipment conformity, is one of those exceptional moments.

It has been nearly a decade since the last revision of the EMC directive in 2004, and nearly 15 years since the RED (formerly R&TTE) directive got its last update; so the significance of these directives getting revised is apparent; however, the effect of these revisions is not quite as evident; at least, not yet.

The EMC directive 2014/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of February 26, 2014 was “recast” to align with the “New Legislative Framework” of the European Commission.  Those familiar with LSR’s EMC Blog will recognize the New Legislative Framework from our October 29, 2012 discussion regarding EMC Testing.   The intent of the NLF is enhancing the credibility of CE Marking, improving market surveillance rules, building more robust requirements for Conformity Assessment / Notified Bodies, and establishing a common legal framework for products for use in future legislation.  The new EMC Directive went active in April 2014, and will be enforced April 2016 (repeal 2004/108/EC).

The Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU was most recently published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and will eventually replace the R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC.  Much like the EMC Directive, the RED will align the directive with the “New Legislative Framework”, providing a toolbox for future legislation.  In addition, the RED will introduce provisions on obligations to other economic operators, such as requirements for distributors and importers in addition to manufacturers.  Also, requirements for Conformity Assessment / Notified Bodies have been revised, and those rules regarding Technical Construction File and Declarations of Conformity have been refined as well.  The RED will go active in June 2014, with enforcement slated for June 2016; however, manufacturers will be allowed to market devices compliant with the R&TTE Directive until June 2017.

So, what does all this mean?  How is it different from what you’re doing now?  When we speak “new obligations” for market surveillance and legal frameworks for future legislation, what does that translate to for your product and the distribution channels that are currently utilized?  The answers to these questions are coming.  With the release of these new directives will come learning and training opportunities, and we encourage you to stay tuned to www.lsr.com’s resource center for blogs, videos, and technical papers to remain up to date on all of this new information and more.  Please subscribe to our newsletter, connect with us on LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter at @lsresearch.

If you have any further questions or would like to get more information / resources for the New Legislative Framework and/or the new directives for EMC and Radio Equipment, feel free to contact us at your convenience and we’ll be happy to assist you.