The EMC Directive applies to the vast majority of electrical and electronic equipment sold in the EU. Radio, Telecommunications and equipment intended to be installed on aircraft are exempt as EMC requirements for these products are covered by additional directives.
One change to the 2004/108/EC directive is that it no longer excludes military equipment, which was exempt under the old 89/336/EC directive. Military standards have a reputation for being more stringent than commercial standard – this is often true for some phenomena, though there are others which are covered in commercial standards that are not present in Military standards or not required by the customer. When CE marking a product there are no “optional” phenomena – assessment must be made against all emissions and immunity requirements applicable to a particular product type.
The EMC directive requires equipment to be designed and manufactured such that
- Electromagnetic Disturbances generated by the equipment is not above a level at which radio, telecommunications and other equipment can operate:
- the equipment has a level on immunity which allows it to operate without unacceptable degradation in performance when used as intended.
There are 2 main ways a manufacturer may demonstrate compliance with the directive prior to drawing up Declaration of Conformity and affixing CE mark:
- Assess product against harmonised standards and draw up technical file detailing how the equipment complies with all the requirements of the standards. This may be done for a single product or for a range of products. When assessing a range of products, a detailed technical argument can be used to greatly reduced the amount of testing required and reduce overall cost of compliance
- Draw up a Technical file detailing how the product complies with the Directive and obtain a formal opinion from a Notified Body that is meets the EMC Directive. This approach is often done when a new type of product is developed that may not be covered by existing harmonised standards.