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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Fair market conditions for telephone handsets and other communication equipment

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Fair market conditions for telephone handsets and other communication equipment

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2008/63/EC on competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

  • It aims to open up telecommunications terminal equipment* markets to competition.
  • It also aims to improve the information available to consumers on different equipment to allow users to benefit from technological progress and make informed choices as consumers.

KEY POINTS

  • EU countries may not grant special or exclusive rights relating to the import, 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.
  • As of 13 June 2016, the safety and electromagnetic compatibility requirements for radio terminal equipment are laid down in Directive 2014/53/EU (and any delegated acts adopted further to this directive) which provides for a 1-year transitional period.
  • The safety requirements for fixed-line (non-radio) terminal equipment, depending on the characteristics, are laid down in the Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU). If the equipment has a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current or between 75 and 1500 V for direct current, the requirements for electromagnetic compatibility are laid down in the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (2014/30/EU).
  • To enable users to have access to the terminal equipment of their choice, it is necessary to know and make transparent the characteristics of the interface points of the public network to which the terminal equipment is to be connected (directly or indirectly). EU countries must ensure that operators publish these characteristics and that users have access to the interface points of the public network.
  • 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.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

This directive has applied since 11 July 2008. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 8 August 1995 the date indicated in the Directive 88/301/EEC, which Directive 2008/63/EC has codified*.

BACKGROUND

This directive represented the first phase of a policy to liberalise telecommunications markets and which led to the complete liberalisation of these markets on 1 January 1998.

* KEY TERMS

Terminal equipment: equipment directly or indirectly linked to the interface of a public telecommunications network to send, process or receive information, including satellite earth station equipment.

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

Codification: a new legal act which replaces another act that has been amended substantially. The new act preserves the rules in the act which is being codified and therefore passes through the decision-making process rapidly by means of an accelerated procedure.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Commission Directive 2008/63/EC of 20 June 2008 on competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment (codified version) (OJ L 162, 21.6.2008, pp. 20-26)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Directive 2014/30/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 electromagnetic compatibility (OJ L 96, 29.3.2014, pp. 79–106)

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 (OJ L 96, 29.3.2014, pp. 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 (OJ L 153, 22.5.2014, pp. 62–106)

last update 14.11.2016

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