Radio Equipment Directive

Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU (RED)

Radio Equipment Directive

EU Compliance Process - RED

In 2017, the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) came into full force, replacing the R&TTE Directive and altering existing regulations. Significant changes include:

• Products covered by Harmonised Standards are still subject to a self-certification process.
• Broadcast TV and radio receivers, equipment operating below 9 kHz, and radio-determination equipment are now included in the scope, while R&D facilities which have custom-built kits for professionals do not have to comply with the RED.

RED dramatically changes the way manufacturers achieved compliance for their wireless devices in the UK & Europe. Previously, approval was obtained from the spectrum authority in each country.

Under RED, the role of a notified body has been trim down and is only required when harmonized standards do not exist. Therefore, the principle of the RED directive is that manufacturers take sole responsibility for their products and should test to verify conformity.

The manufacturer must establish the technical documentation. The technical documentation shall contain all relevant data or details of the means used by the manufacturer to ensure that radio equipment complies with the essential requirements and shall be drawn up before radio equipment is placed on the market and shall be continuously updated in line with the latest technical knowledge.

The manufacturer must also take all measures necessary precautions so that the manufacturing process and monitoring ensure compliance with the technical documentation

Finally, compliance is derived from the manufacturer’s Declaration of Conformity satisfying the applicable requirements of the RED Directive.

In the absence of tight premarket controls, post-market surveillance is the primary enforcement strategy of each member state. For more information on market surveillance go to
Not only is compliance with the applicable technical standards randomly checked, but labelling and user information are thoroughly reviewed as well.

The requirements of the RED are legal rather than technical and are designed to safeguard the RF spectrum. The European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) and CENELEC provide the technical requirements in the form of harmonized standards.

Note: An ETSI standard is considered harmonized once it is published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Although harmonized standards are voluntary, compliance with them gives a presumption of conformity with the directive. Testing to verify compliance with harmonized standards is the easiest route for manufacturers.

In the absence of harmonized standards, manufacturers can use other methods (developed either in-house or under the guidance of a notified body). However, It is important not to confuse harmonized standards with harmonized spectrum.

Although there are many harmonized standards, very few portions of the EU radio spectrum are completely harmonized. Compliance with the applicable harmonized standards is sufficient to apply the CE Mark, but notification to the spectrum authority in each member state is still required prior to marketing a device.

The notification process is relatively simple and can be accomplished on-line or via e-mail. If no reply is received within 30 days of notification, then the manufacturer is free to market its device. The RED provides free movement of radios within the EU, unless the spectrum authority in a member state has good reasons to bar products (usually due to spectrum allocation issues)