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Fair market conditions for telephone handsets & other communication equipment

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Fair market conditions for telephone handsets & other communication equipment

This Directive aims to consolidate the Directives adopted in 1988 and 1994 to open European Union (EU) telecommunications terminal markets to competition. It also aims to improve the transparency of the characteristics of different equipment to allow users to benefit from technological progress and make informed choices as consumers.

ACT

Commission Directive 2008/63/EC of 20 June 2008 on competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment.

SUMMARY

EU countries may not grant special or exclusive rights relating to the importation, marketing, connection, bringing into service or maintenance of telecommunications terminal equipment.

EU countries may not refuse the connection of terminal equipment * to the public telecommunications network or the bringing into service of satellite earth station equipment * in their country, unless this equipment does not satisfy certain essential requirements. These requirements are laid down in Directive 1999/5/EC or in the common technical regulations adopted further to that Directive. EU countries may also ask for technical qualifications from the economic operators in question.

Equipment sold on the market must comply with the essential requirements defined in Directive 1999/5/EC and, where applicable, with the common technical regulations adopted further to that Directive. Manufacturers and importers must guarantee that this equipment is designed to:

ensure the protection of the health and safety of the user and any other person identified in the safety objectives which appear in Directive 2006/95/EC on electrical equipment for use within certain voltage limits;

meet safety requirements concerning electromagnetic compatibility (so that equipment does not cause interference with other equipment) which appear in Directive 2004/108/EC;

allow use of the spectrum allocated to earth/space radio communication and to orbital resources (e.g. satellites) in such a way as to avoid harmful interference.

The new interfaces of the public telecommunications network must be accessible to users. In order to enable the latter to have access to the terminal equipment of their choice, EU countries must ensure that operators publish technical specifications for the terminal equipment and interface to which the equipment will be connected.

EU countries must inform the Commission of draft technical specifications (the basis of potential future standards) according to the procedure laid down in Directive 1999/5/EC. All terminal equipment specifications must be formalised and published.

The bodies entrusted with monitoring the application of specifications designated by EU countries must be independent from public or private organisations offering goods and/or services in the telecommunications sector.

Context

This Directive repealed the provisions of Directive 88/301/EEC, as amended in 1994. It represented the first phase of a policy aimed at the liberalisation of telecommunications markets and which led to the complete liberalisation of these markets on 1 January 1998.

Key terms

* Terminal equipment: equipment directly or indirectly connected to the interface of a public telecommunications network to send, process or receive information. Earth station equipment is included in this category.

* Satellite earth station equipment: equipment which is capable of being used for the transmission only (‘transmit-only’), or for the transmission and reception (‘transmit/receive’), or for the reception only (‘receive-only’) of radio communication signals by means of satellites or other space-based systems.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2008/63/EC

11.7.2008

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OJ L 162 of 21.6.2008, p. 20-26.

RELATED ACTS

Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 1999 on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity (Official Journal L 91 of 7.4.1999, p. 10-28).

Directive 2004/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility and repealing Directive 89/336/EEC (Official Journal L 390 of 31.12.2004, p. 24-37).

Directive 2006/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the harmonisation of the laws of Member States relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (codified version) (Official Journal L 374 of 27.12.2006, p. 10-19).

Directive 2014/35/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (Official Journal L 96 of 29.3.2014, p. 357-374).

Directive 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment and repealing Directive 1999/5/EC (Official Journal L 153 of 22.5.2014 of p. 62-106).

Last updated: 29.07.2015

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