What to know about the EU's new automotive Radio Equipment Directive

Written by: Jean-Louis Evans | Published:

As of 13th June 2017, the new European Union Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU completely replaced the old Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE). This is applicable to all electrical and electronic devices that emit and receive frequencies below 3000GHz.

Changes between the two frameworks have a bearing on how manufacturers gain a CE Mark. It is therefore crucial to fully understand these regulatory differences in order to avoid time and cost overruns. In the automotive industry, the most significant change is that radio broadcast 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 R&TTE directive.

The introduction of RED means if manufacturers want to carry on selling within the EU and European Free Trade Association countries, they must test and, if required, re-certify to the Radio Equipment Directive. Consequently, many manufacturers are finding achieving compliance to be a significant challenge as they have never been required to undertake RF testing before.

To enable full traceability, every economic operator within the supply chain must be able to identify who has supplied them, and to whom they have supplied radio equipment. The product must also be accompanied by instructions, and manufacturer’s contact details, in a language which can be easily understood within the Member State it is being sold.

Under RED, importers must also carry out sample testing, investigate and maintain a register of complaints and product recalls, as well as keep distributors informed of this monitoring process. For up to 10 years after the equipment has been placed on the market, surveillance authorities have a right to request a copy of the Declaration of Conformity (DoC), and it is the importer’s responsibility to ensure it’s available.


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