New: Information on new Radio Equipment Directive, 2014/53/EU

R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC – can still be used until 13 June 2017

The R&TTE Directive applied to “radio equipment” and “telecommunications termincal equipment” (“TTE”), where:

  • Radio Equipment is a product capable of communication by emission or reception of radio waves. Sound and TV broadcast reception equipment is exempt, as is equipment used by radio amateurs and equipment covered by the Marine Equipment Directive.
  • TTE is a product enabling communication and intended to be connected to the public telecommunications network.

The R&TTE Directive incorporates the protection requirements of the EMC and Low Voltage Directives, the latter being applied without voltage limits.

r&tte directive - mobile phone

Demonstrating compliance with the R&TTE Directive

Whilst there is no such thing as “R&TTE certification” there are several methods for demonstrating compliance available to manufactures and these are set out in Annexes II – V:

Annex II: Internal Production Control is the normal route for non-radio TTE. The manufacturer or his authorised representative in the community must compile a Technical File detailing how compliance with the directive has been demonstrated. This file should include:

  • A general description of the product.
  • Schematics, drawings, bills of materials.
  • Operating instructions and/or user manual.
  • List of standards applied and technical argument detailing how the directive has been met when standards have not been applied in full.
  • Copies of test reports, design calculations etc.
  • Details of the manufacturing quality control process being used to ensure ongoing compliance of all products.

Annex III: Internal Production Control plus specific apparatus tests typically applies to radio equipment, including items such as radars, RFID devices and GPS receivers. In addition to following the requirements in Annex II, the product must be assessed against the Essential Radio Test Suites applied in full. Where these are not detailed in relevant Harmonised Standards, they must be specified by a Notified Body whose number must be placed next to CE mark on the product and included on Declaration of Conformity.

Annex IV: Technical Construction File is applicable to radio transmitting equipment when Harmonised Standards have not been applied in full. Alternatively this route may be followed voluntarily where a manufacturer wishes to have their compliance reviewed and signed off by a recognised 3rd party. After following the requirements of Annexes II and III, the Technical File is reviewed by a Notified Body, who will issue a formal Notified Body Opinion. The Notified Body number must be included on Declaration and next to CE mark.

Annex V: Full Quality Assurance is the most complicated route, with a Quality Assurance system checked and audited by a Notified Body and is most suited to large companies who already operate a full Quality Assurance scheme in design, test and manufacture.

How we could help you comply with the R&TTE Directive:

We have extensive experience in demonstrating compliance of fixed, portable and mobile communication devices including PSTN, TETRA, GSM, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and WiMAX, we can assist you in following all necessary steps to demonstrate compliance prior to CE marking your product by:

  • Identifying the applicable standards.
  • Liaising with a Notified Body where formal opinion is required and/or harmonised standards do not exist.
  • Providing design advice and support during early stage design reviews and product development.
  • Creating streamlined test plans for Pre-Compliance and/or Compliance testing.
  • Performing testing to ETSI and FCC requirements.
  • Managing sub-contracted testing at 3rd party test facilities.
  • Submitting EU Notification Forms for radio products operating in non-harmonised frequency bands.
  • Producing Test Reports, Technical Files to support CE marking and draft Technical Construction Files in preparation for a Notified Body Opinion.

Where a product uses multiple technologies, we can often reduce your overall approval time and cost through the use of a refined test plan and formal Notified Body opinion. Alternatively a Notified Body Opinion is often obtained “voluntarily” when not required by the directive to support product certification in non-EU countries, or provide additional confidence to customers or DoC signatories

For more information, or a free initial telephone consultation, please send us an email or call us on +44 (0)7946 624317.