European Commission updates Guide for the EMC Directive 2004/108/EC

The European Commission has made an updated edition of its guide available on its website.

The new version, dated February 8, 2010 replaces the version dated 21 May 2007.  It adds new guidance on the CE marking of systems and expands the guidance on protection requirements in residential areas.

In respect of systems, where a system is placed on the market as a whole, only one CE mark is required, placed on any one of the constituent units.  However this does not stop the manufacturer placing CE marking on other parts of the system, and this would not require conformity assessment of constituent parts.  If parts used separately would fail to comply with the protection requirements of the directive, a warning to this effect should be provided in the instructions for use.  Finally, if any part of the system is placed on the market separately, the requirements of the directive apply to that part, as well as the system as a whole.

The expanded guidance on equipment that may not comply with the protection requirements in residential areas covers the form of wording that the “clear indication” may take, and the way in which it should be presented on the packaging and instructions for use.  Where products are sold via mail order or the internet, the potential purchaser should be able to see the information before purchase.

The European Commission has also produced a short version of its guidance, called the Quick Guide, which provides a brief overview of the obligations for placing equipment on the market under the EMC Directive, and also contains an example declaration of conformity.  It may be downloaded here.

Brian Jones is an independent EMC Consultant, specializing in compliance with European legislation and standards.  He may be contacted at