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    Radio & Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive

    The new Radio Equipment Directive (2014/53/EU) has been published. There will be a 2-year transition period before this comes fully into force on 20 April 2016.

    This CE marking directive was introduced in 1999, replacing the interim directive 98/13/EC, which in turn consolidated the requirements of the Telecommunications Terminal Equipment and Satellite Earth Station Equipment Directives. This has led to a conformity assessment regime based on manufacturers' declarations, rather than independent tests. The new Directive came fully into force in April 2000 and now covers all radio communication equipment, apart from certain specific exclusions.

    It is important to note that equipment within the scope of this Directive must meet the essential requirements of both the Low Voltage Directive and the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive. The Directive also requires equipment to be constructed for efficient use of the radio spectrum, and to avoid interference with terrestrial and orbital communications. Additional requirements are made for certain classes of equipment.

    There are a number of possible ways in which manufacturers can ensure that their product complies. If harmonized standards exist for the equipment, they may self-declare. If these do not exist, the manufacturer will have to involve a notified body to assess the ability of the equipment to meet the essential requirements of the Directive before self certification can take place. The CE logo is used on the product to indicate it complies with the Directive. Additionally, equipment which uses a non-harmonized frequency band needs to be marked with an exclamation mark to warn that its use may not be legal in every member state.


    The Directive applies to “ radio equipment” and to “Telecommunications Terminal Equipment”. TTE is equipment that can be connected directly or indirectly to the public telecommunications network. The method of connection can be by wire, optical fibre, radio or any other electromagnetic means.

    The Directive includes provisions that apply to equipment which is capable of being connected to a public telecommunications network even if that is not its intended purpose.

    Examples of equipment which are included within the scope of the Directive are mobile radio transceivers, telephones, fax machines, private exchanges (PABX), modems, terminal adapters and extension bells. Cordless and mobile 'phones are included as are satellite transceivers.

    It is also important to realise that equipment which is within the scope of this Directive may also fall within the scope of other Directives (in particular the Medical Devices directives) and the requirements of these directives must also be met if appropriate. 

    Certain equipment is specifically excluded from the Directive. These are:

     Equipment for police, military and state-security purposes

     Radio equipment for radio amateurs, unless it is commercially available

     Equipment within the scope of directive 96/98/EC on Marine Equipment

     Cables and wiring

     Receive-only equipment intended solely for the reception of sound and TV broadcasts

     Certain apparatus for civil aviation and air traffic management