What is the RED (Radio Equipment Directive)?
The Radio Equipment Directive (RED) came into force on the 13th June 2016 & immediately replaced the R&TTE Directive without any transition period. This should have little effect on manufacturers of new equipment apart from the following:
Radio Equipment Directive Summary
The RED’s predecessor directive, the R&TTE Directive, was introduced in 1999. This has led to a conformity assessment regime based on manufacturers’ declarations, rather than independent tests.
It is important to note that the equipment within the scope of RED must meet the essential requirements of both the Low Voltage Directive & the EMC Directive. RED also requires the equipment to be constructed for efficient use of the radio spectrum, and to avoid any interference with the terrestrial or orbital communications networks. Additional requirements are made for certain classes of equipment.
There are a number of ways in which a manufacturer can ensure that their product complies with RED. If Harmonized Standards exist for the equipment produced, 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 essential requirements of the Directive before self-certification can take place. The CE or UKCA logo is used on the product to indicate it complies with the Directive.
The Purpose of The Radio Equipment Directive
The Objective of the Radio Equipment Directive is to provide an open market for telecommunications equipment and permit apparatus which has been approved for use in one EEA country to be sold without any restrictions in any other EEA country. By mandating the application of common technical requirements for all apparatus within the EU, even when these are not strictly Harmonised Standards, the Directive aims to ensure compatibility between all equipment such that it can be used in any member state without loss of performance or danger to the user or to public communications networks.
RED applies to “Radio Equipment” which is defined as follows:
“An electrical or electronic product, which intentionally emits and/or receives radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination, or an electrical or electronic product which must be completed with an accessory, such as an antenna, so as to intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination”.
Examples of apparatus which is included under the RED scope are:
It is also important to be aware 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) & the requirements of these Directives must also be met if possible.
Certain apparatus is specifically excluded from the Radio Equipment Directive:
RED Essential Requirements
The RED has significantly simplified the Essential Requirements to those contained within it’s predecessors, leaving the details of interpretation to the Harmonised Standards & to common technical regulations.
The basic essential requirements of the RED are that the apparatus in question meets the essential requirements of both LVD & EMC Directives. In addition, radio equipment must be constructed for efficient use of the radio spectrum & to avoid interference with terrestrial or orbital satellite communications.
For certain types of equipment, the Commission can also introduce additional requirements:
The Directive also mandates the use of a “common charger” – in basic terms this is a USB power supply.
RED Admin Requirements
The Directives provide for a number of different administrative routes for the requirements of the Directives. For equipment that is covered under a Harmonised Standard, all that is required is that a manufacturer confirms by self-declaration that they meet the requirements of the Harmonised Standards which apply to the product.
For equipment for which no Harmonised Standard exists, manufacturers have two options:
Manufacturers may apply different conformity assessment procedures for the safety & EMC aspects of the apparatus from those which are used to demonstrate compliance with other essential requirements.