What is the EMC Directive?

The EMC Directive (89/336/EEC) came into force on 1 January 1992. The Regulations have since been replaced by the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/281), which came into force on 7 March 2005.

The new regulations consolidate the previous regulations, and also incorporate further amendments. These dissapply the regulations in respect of certain types of apparatus specifically covered by other directives, and provide for a new enforcement authority, OFCOM, to act in place of the Radiocommunications Agency in so far as enforcement relates to the protection and management of the radio spectrum.

The directive applies to most electrical and electronic apparatus ‑ finished products and systems that include electrical and electronic equipment.

To comply with the requirements of the EMC Directive, all electrical and electronic apparatus marketed in the UK (including imports) must carry CE Marking.

What do I need to do to comply with the regulations?

In most cases conformance can be claimed by meeting an appropriate harmonized European standard, which gives a 'presumption of conformity' to the directive. The main standard for EMC is BS EN 61000-6-2

What are the aims of the regulations?
The regulations were implemented for the following reasons:

  • To remove barriers to trade within the European Economic Area (EU countries and Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland).

  • To ensure that the electromagnetic disturbance generated by apparatus does not exceed a level allowing radio and telecommunications equipment and other apparatus to operate as intended.

  • To ensure that apparatus has an adequate level of intrinsic immunity to electromagnetic disturbance to enable it to operate as intended.

  • To comply with the regulations, all electrical and electronic apparatus marketed in the UK (including imports), that satisfy the requirements of the EMC Directive must carry CE Marking.

Browse all EMC standards and publications.

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