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2005 News Releases




The European Commission EMC Directive 2004/108

Date : 21 / 01 / 2005
Author : Phil Wait - VK2DKN

The European Commission has released a new EMC Directive which contains some positive news for European Amateurs in their fight against interference from BPL/PLC.

The Directive is the result of a review and restatement of an earlier Directive (89/336) that states the general principle that radiocommunications services are to be protected from emissions from electrical equipment and networks.

For the first time the Amateur Radio Service is specifically mentioned as a service which requires protection against "intolerable" interference. Unfortunately, the Directive does not establish "the level" (or levels) considered "intolerable".

Kitsets, homebuilt, or modified equipment used by radio amateurs are not included in the Directive so there are no onerous EMC framework compliance requirements on home brew.

It's important to note that this does not represent a death blow for BPL in Europe, rather it's another step along the way with much work still to be done by everyone concerned. The simplification from the previous Directive will be welcomed by industry, administrations, and also the BPL industry.

The main changes are:

Recital (2)

Member States are responsible for ensuring that radiocommunications,including radio broadcast reception and the amateur radio service operating in accordance with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) radio regulations, electrical supply networks and telecommunications networks, as well as equipment connected thereto, are protected against electromagnetic disturbance.

Article 1.2

This Directive shall not apply to:

(c) radio equipment used by radio amateurs within the meaning of the Radio Regulations adopted in the framework of the Constitution and Convention of the ITU, unless the equipment is available commercially. Kits of components to be assembled by radio amateurs and commercial equipment modified by and for the use of radio amateurs are not regarded as commercially available equipment.

Article 2

For the purposes of the Directive, the following definitions shall apply:

(c) 'fixed installation' means a particular combination ofseveral types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location;

(d) 'electromagnetic compatibility' means the ability of equipment to function satisfactorily in its electromagnetic environment without introducing intolerable electromagnetic disturbances to other equipment in that environment;

(e) 'electromagnetic disturbance' means any electromagnetic phenomenon which may degrade the performance of equipment. An electromagnetic disturbance may be electromagnetic noise, an unwanted signal or a change in the propagation medium itself;

(f) 'immunity' means the ability of equipment to perform as intended without degradation in the presence of an electromagnetic disturbance;

(g) 'safety purposes' means the purposes of safeguarding human life or property;

(h) 'electromagnetic environment' means all electromagnetic phenomena observable in a given location.

The full text of the article can be viewed via the following Link

Thanks to Hilary Clayton-Smith (G4LKS) member ITU region 1 EMC committee.

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