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New rules for the commercialisation of radio equipment

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2014/53/EU harmonising the EU Member States’ laws relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

  • It sets out rules for putting radio equipment on the European Union (EU) internal market.
  • The new rules aim to keep pace with the growing number and variety of radio equipment devices, to ensure that they do not interfere with each other and respect essential health and safety requirements.
  • The directive also sets out additional means for market surveillance to track and monitor products which fail to comply with the essential requirements (e.g. health and safety).
  • It repeals Directive 1999/5/EC with effect from 12 June 2016.

KEY POINTS

Scope

  • The directive applies to all equipment which emits or receives radio waves for radiodetermination (determining the position, speed or other characteristics of an object using radio waves) or communication purposes. This includes devices such as mobile phones, car door openers and modems.
  • It does not cover radio equipment used for public security and defence activities or radio equipment used by radio amateurs.
  • Amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 on civil aviation rules (see summary) also excludes from the scope of Directive 2014/53/EU the following aviation equipment intended exclusively for airborne use:
    • aircraft, other than unmanned aircraft, as well as associated engines, propellers, parts and non-installed equipment;
    • unmanned aircraft, as well as associated engines, propellers, parts and non-installed equipment, the design of which is certified in accordance with that regulation and which are intended to operate only on frequencies allocated by the radio regulations of the International Telecommunications Union for protected aeronautical use.

Obligations of manufacturers, importers and distributors

  • The directive contains lists of obligations of manufacturers (Article 10), importers (Article 12) and distributors (Article 13).
  • For example, before manufacturers put their radio equipment on the market for sale, they need to ensure that it has been designed and manufactured in such a way that it meets a number of essential requirements. One of these is to ensure the protection of the health and safety of people and of domestic animals.
  • Other requirements are set out in Article 3 and relate to the protection of personal data and privacy, protection against fraud and access to emergency services.

Battery chargers

  • On 23 September 2021, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a directive to revise Directive (EU) 2014/53/EU. The proposal includes, in particular, rules which:
    • establish a harmonised charging interface for certain categories and classes of radio equipment capable of being recharged via wired charging;
    • harmonise the charging communication protocol for such radio equipment;
    • lay down the framework for the future adaptation of the harmonised charging solution and the potential future harmonisation of the charging requirements for radio equipment capable of being recharged by any means other than wired charging;
    • relate to the unbundling of the sale of a charger from the sale of the concerned radio equipment;
    • improve the information to be provided to consumers.
  • On 7 June 2022, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached a political agreement on the Commission’s proposal. After the summer recess, the Parliament and the Council are expected to formally approve the agreement before it is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Once formally approved and published, the requirements will become applicable after 24 months. As a result, as from 2024 all new handheld mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld videogame consoles, headphones, headsets, portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems and earbuds will have to be equipped with the harmonised charging solution (namely, with a USB-C charging port). In the case of laptops, the requirements would become applicable as from 2026.

Delegated acts

The Commission has adopted two delegated acts.

  • Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/320 supplements Directive 2014/53/EU with regard to the application of the essential requirements to ensure caller location in emergency communications from handheld mobile telephones with features similar to those of a computer in terms of capability to treat and store data.
  • Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/30 supplements Directive 2014/53/EU with regard to the application of the essential requirements. It requires manufacturers to integrate privacy and personal data, network security and fraud prevention considerations into the design of radio equipment.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

Directive 2014/53/EU has applied since 13 June 2016 and EU Member States were required to transpose it into their respective national laws by 12 June 2016.

BACKGROUND

For further information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

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).

Successive amendments to Directive 2014/53/EU have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/30 of 29 October 2021 supplementing Directive 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the application of the essential requirements referred to in Article 3(3), points (d), (e) and (f), of that Directive (OJ L 7, 12.1.2022, pp. 6–10).

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/320 of 12 December 2018 supplementing of Directive 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the application of the essential requirements referred to in Article 3(3)(g) of that Directive in order to ensure caller location in emergency communications from mobile devices (OJ L 55, 25.2.2019, pp. 1–3).

last update 22.06.2022

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