Help Print this page 

Summaries of EU Legislation

Title and reference
Electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic appliances

Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

This summary is archived.
Languages and formats available
HTML html ES html DE html EN html FR
Multilingual display
Miscellaneous information
  • Archived: true

Electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic appliances


To ensure the free movement of all electrical and electronic appliances on the Community market through full harmonisation of the protection requirements with which they must comply.

2) ACT

Council Directive 89/336/EEC of 3 May 1989 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility [Official Journal L 139 of 23.05.1989].

Amended by:

Council Directive 91/263/EEC of 29 April 1991 [Official Journal L 128 of 23.05.1991];

Council Directive 92/31/EEC of 28 April 1992 [Official Journal L 126 of 12.05.1992];

Council Directive 93/68/EEC of 22 July 1993 [Official Journal L 220 of 30.08.1993].


The Directives apply to all electrical and electronic appliances together with equipment and installations containing electrical and/or electronic components likely to create electromagnetic disturbance or whose functioning is liable to be affected by such disturbance.

They define the objectives or "essential requirements" of protection to be complied with in the manufacture of the above-mentioned equipment and before marketing.

Harmonised European standards are drawn up by the European standardisation bodies on the basis of the essential requirements. These standards, which are not mandatory, are published in the Official Journal of the European Union and transposed in their entirety into national standards.

Any apparatus manufactured in accordance with harmonised standards is presumed to meet the essential requirements.

The procedures for assessing the conformity of appliances with the essential requirements are based on the modular approach set out in Council Decision 93/465/EEC, concerning conformity assessment procedures and the affixing of the CE conformity marking. Assessment of the conformity of materials is the responsibility of:

  • bodies designated by the Member States in accordance with common assessment criteria and notified to the Commission and the other Member States, or
  • the manufacturers themselves.

Directive 93/68/EEC requires that before being placed on the market appliances must bear the EC conformity marking, which:

  • indicates conformity with the above-mentioned Directives;
  • takes the form of the distinctive "EC" letters;
  • is affixed by the manufacturer or his representative established in the Community.

Where appliances are also covered by other Directives providing for the EC marking, the presence of the marking on the appliances indicates that they meet the requirements of these Directives.

Other marks may also be affixed to appliances, provided there is no risk of confusion with the conformity marking.

A safeguard clause sets up a Community procedure and requires any Member State which has introduced a measure to:

  • withdraw from the market;
  • ban the placing on the market;
  • restrict the free movement of an appliance which is accompanied by one of the means of attestation provided for in the Directives and which bears the EC marking,

to immediately notify that measure to the Commission.

Directive 91/263/EEC

This Directive deletes the provisions of Directive 89/336/EEC (Article 10(4)) in so far as they refer to the definition of telecommunications terminal equipment and to the conformity assessment procedures to be applied for such equipment.

Directive 92/31/EEC

This Directive introduces a transitional period. Member States will, for the period up to 31 December 1995, authorise the placing on the market and/or the putting into service of apparatus referred to in Directive 89/336/EEC conforming to the national regulations in force in their territory on 30 June 1992.

Directive 93/68/EEC

A transitional period from 1 January 1995 to 1 January 1997 has been granted during which time the manufacturer has the option of:

  • placing on the market a product which meets the requirements of the Directives and bears the EC marking, whereby the free movement of the product is ensured even if a more restrictive national regulation is still in force; or
  • placing on the market a product which does not meet the requirements of the Directives and does not bear the EC marking. The product must in this case meet the requirements of a law in force on 31 December 1996.

Sanctions may be adopted by the Member States should they find that the EC marking has been affixed unduly.


Dateof entry into force

Final date for implementation in the Member States

Directive 89/336/EEC



Directive 91/263/EEC



Directive 92/31/EEC



Directive 93/68/EEC



4) implementing measures

Commission communications publishing the lists of titles and references of European standards meeting the essential requirements set out in Directive 89/336/EEC:

Official Journal C 98 of 23.04.2004.

This list replaces the previous lists published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

List of titles and references of harmonised standards

Notified bodies

The NANDO-IS database will enable you to find the European notified bodies as well as third country bodies which are responsible for carrying out the conformity assessment procedures referred to in the New Approach directives.

5) follow-up work

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility [COM(2002) 759 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

This proposal for a Directive aims to repeal Directive 89/336/EEC and replace it with a new text with the objective of:

  • clarifying the scope by means of clearer definitions (including exemptions);
  • establishing a more appropriate regulatory regime for fixed installations;
  • setting out more detailed essential requirements;
  • clarifying the role of harmonised standards;
  • simplifying the conformity assessment procedure and placing it under the sole responsibility of the manufacturer;
  • cutting "red tape";
  • improving market surveillance through better traceability of the manufacturer.

Codecision procedure COD/2002/0306

See also

For further information, please consult:

Site of Enterprise Directorate-General on the revision of the Directive

Site of Enterprise Directorate-General on the electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic devices

Last updated: 27.04.2004