Directive 89/336/EEC Electromagnetic compatibility


The EMC Directive differs from most other directives in that its primary requirement is protection of the electromagnetic spectrum rather then safety of the equipment.

The vast majority of electrical products must comply, whether battery or mains powered. Exceptions include but are not limited to components and sub assemblies with no intrinsic function, products already covered by other directives, (medical, military, automotive, some agricultural, transmitting and communications equipment).

The Directive requires that products must not emit unwanted electromagnetic pollution (interference) and must be immune to a normal level of interference. Compliance with these requirements is usually demonstrated by testing to harmonized standards but testing is not mandatory and a manufacturer may choose provide a technical assessment for compliance as an alternative.

In the UK the Directive is enforced by the Trading Standards Service and Ofcom. Penalties for non-compliance can include three months imprisonment and a £5000 fine but generally involves a recall and replacement of the affected product.