Radio Equipment Directive could have far reaching implications

The European Commission’s new Radio Equipment Directive (RED) supersedes the former Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) Directive and determines that all and any products that are equipped or combined with a device for transmitting or receiving signals via radio waves is in scope of the directive and so can, and will, be regarded as an RED product.

Some would argue that this is an unsatisfactory situation, with most companies taking a pragmatic view and continuing to follow the well-known and fully established procedure in accordance with its predecessor, the R&TTE Directive. In this historical approach, all the equipment that combines to make the machine (and which is now subject to the RE Directive) is shipped as one unit under a single Document of Conformity, and is declared in accordance with the Machinery Directive.

The European Commission (EC) has now published the updated list of harmonised standards in the framework of the implementation of the RED, which came into effect on 14 July 2017 (C 229/24).

Additionally, the EC’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on RED has been recently updated. It covers key clarifications on the scope and application of RED, as well as the status of publication of harmonised standards, and how manufacturers can ensure compliance with the Directive in the absence of standards.

Clearly, the introduction of the RED will create another layer of documentation and conformity requirement that will have far-reaching implications for many equipment manufacturers, as they strive to effectively service the needs of the ‘connected environment’ and the ‘smart factory’.

For further information see the Guidance Document published by Orgalime.