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Directive 89/336/EEC Electromagnetic compatibility

The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive is a performance directive rather than a safety directive but, clearly, has implications on the safety of equipment. It concerns the both the electromagnetic emissions and immunity of electrical equipment, to confirm that, in use, the equipment does not interrupt radio and telecommunication, as well as other equipment, and also determines the immunity of the equipment to interference, so that it is not disturbed by radio emissions generally present when used as intended.

The original directive 89/336/EEC has been entirely rewritten, and there are a number of significant changes. The directive now recognizes two classes of equipment and different regimes to apply to each:-

  1. Apparatus - defined as a finished appliance or combination thereof, made commercially available as a single functional unit, which is intended for the end user, and which is liable to generate, or be affected by, electromagnetic disturbance
  2. Fixed Installations – defined as a particular combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location.

Routes to compliance have been easy particularly for fixed installations which must be installed applying good engineering practices, which have to be documented and the documentation held by the person answerable for the installation for as long as it is in operation. Fixed installations are not subjected to conformity assessment with the necessary desires of the directive, and therefore need not carry the CE mark.