Electromagnetic compatibility gets easier

The European Commission has recently proposed revising the European Directive on the electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic equipment.

European legislation on electromagnetic compatibility (Directive 89/336/EEC, the ‘EMC Directive’) lays down common requirements intended to limit interference among all electric and electronic equipment such as domestic appliances, audio-video appliances and computer equipment placed on the market in the European Union.

The purpose of the revision is to simplify the regulatory procedures for manufacturers (abolition of some procedures, reduction of costs), while increasing information and documentation on products to provide additional means of control for inspection authorities (easier traceability of products).

As before, however, manufacturers will still be able to rely on harmonised European standards for certification of their products and CE marking.

Key features of the revised Directive include simplified conformity procedures. The existing Directive contains three conformity assessment procedures. Two of these require the mandatory involvement of an independent inspection and verification body. The revised text abolishes this requirement and makes manufacturers solely responsible for establishing the conformity of their products and for CE marking.

There are also stricter requirements concerning information and documentation. The revised Directive requires manufacturers or their agents to provide inspection authorities with additional means of control, such as clear identification of a product (type, serial number, etc) and an indication of the name and address of the manufacturer or his agent and, if necessary, of the importer established in the territory of the European Union.

The 1989 EMC Directive has been mandatory throughout the European Union since January 1 1996.

Details of the Directive can be found at:


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