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EMC Directive (2014/30/EU) - Compliance and CE Marking Guide

23/6/2019 Ferry Vermeulen Law & Legislation

1. What is the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive 2014/30/EU?

Electrical devices, when placed close to each other or interconnected, tend to interfere with one another’s performance. For example, a television set or a washing machine may affect nearby radio or electrical power lines. Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) reduces this influence and minimizes these disturbances and side effects as much as is possible.

The purpose of the Electromagnetic Directive is to ensure that any electrical and electronic equipment minimize electromagnetic disturbances which may influence other equipment, including radio and telecommunication devices. Also, this directive requires equipment to be able to resist the interference of other equipment or radio emissions.

The manufacturers must keep in mind the following:

  • Equipment must conform to the EMC requirements.
  • Good engineering practices must be applied for fixed installations.

2. Directive Name

Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive

3. Directive Number & Download Link to Legal Directive

Directive 2014/30/EU can be downloaded from the following link:

Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive 2014/30/EU

4. Notified Body (aka, Independent Assessment) Required?

Before a manufacturer can start with the required procedure to assess their product, it is important that they determine whether their product allows self-assessment or requires involvement of a Notified Body.

A notified body is an organisation which is responsible for carrying out conformity tests to assess products before they are release to the EU market. These bodies are designated by individual European Union member states.

To ensure the quality of each of these products, the EMC directive might reuire notified bodies to carry out tests on electrical and electronic equipment to gauge whether they conform to the requirements of the directive or not. Their approval is mandatory for placement of products in the EU market.

5. Products Covered

This directive is one of the broadest in scope, as it covers all electrical and electronic equipment, regardless of whether they are mains or battery powered.

Equipment that does not come under the scope of this directive includes those which do not work independently and/or are sub components. However, if incorporation of such a sub component into another equipment is to be performed by the end user, the equipment will fall under the scope of the EMC directive.

Also, any equipment which is required to conform to any other directive, will not be required to conform to the EMC directive. For example, products that fall under the scope of the Radio Equipment Directive, Medical Devices Directive or Automobiles Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive will not be covered by the EMC directive.

6. Examples of Products Covered

This directive covers all mains and battery powered equipment which are affected by electromagnetic waves or tend to generate such waves.

7. Examples of Products NOT Covered

Any equipment requiring incorporation into another piece of equipment by the manufacturer in order to function are not covered by the EMC directive.

Furthermore, any electrical or electronic equipment covered by other directives does not fall under the scope of EMC Directive. For example, most communication devices and equipment emit electromagnetic waves, but are required to conform exclusively to the Radio Equipment Directive. Similarly, medical devices, automobiles and military equipment are also covered by directives other than Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive. Their respective directives require assessment for their electromagnetic compatibilities.

8. Enforcement & Penalties

Each EU member state is required to lay down rules on penalties for not complying with the EMC Directive. Below you can find the penalties for member states Germany and the UK as an example. For penalties relevant to other specific EU member states, please consult that state's local legislation on product safety.

  • Germany - violation of the "Produktsicherheitsgesetz" (product safety legislation) can result in fines of €3,000 - €30,000 (§ 19) and imprisonment of up to 1 year (§ 20).
  • In the UK, directive violations are are covered under Section 33 HSWA offenses and can result in an unlimited fine and up to two years imprisonment.

9. How to Comply: Requirements & Process

Check Conformity

Manufacturers need to review all related directives and judge if their product is covered by the EMC Directive. If it is, they must then verify that the equipment conforms to the basic requirements of the directive.

Specifically, they must verify that the equipment:

  • does not generate electromagnetic waves that interrupt the performance of the other equipment
  • is immune to electromagnetic emissions from other products.

Perform Laboratory Tests

Look for and choose appropriate lab tests to certify your product’s conformity to the requirements of the directive. These tests may or may not require notified bodies, depending upon the manufacturer’s preference. A certificate from the lab should be obtained to prove that the equipment qualifies to be placed on the European market.

Declaration of Conformity (contents)

The basic layout and content of a declaration of conformity are common for all directives, but may differ slightly for each directive.

The following are required by most directives:

  • Manufacturer’s name and address
  • The equipment’s description and/or serial number
  • Reference to relevant harmonized standards
  • Reference to the specifications, where necessary, by which conformity is declared
  • Details of the signatory
  • The two ending digits of the year of CE mark affixation 

Technical Documentation

Directive 2014/30/EU requires technical documentation to be established by the manufacturer. The technical document is instrumental in the assessment of the conformity of the said appliance with the Directive’s requirements.

The technical document must contain the following elements:

  • description of the electrical or electronic equipment
  • a proof that the product complies with harmonised standards, completely or partially
  • if harmonised standards have not been complied with or have been partially applied, details of the steps taken to conform to the directive’s requirements
  • results of design calculations and examinations
  • test reports
  • statement or certificate from the notified body, if specific procedures have been carried out by them

Affix CE Mark

When all the necessary steps have been taken, it is time to get the product affixed with the CE mark. The mark should be placed either on the equipment, the packaging or the instructions. The letters must be vertically equal in dimensions and must not be smaller 5 millimeters. If there are other Directives which cover the product as well, the CE marking must be affixed only when all the Directives have been met.

10. Template Download

For a free Declaration of Conformity template for the EMC directive, please refer to the downloads section of the page below:

Declaration of Conformity Templates

We also offer (paid) templates to create the user instructions for electrical and electronic equipment

11. User instructions

Watch this video on how to create compliant user instructions:


12. Related Directives

Some of the directives which are related to EMC directive in their functions are as follows:

  • Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU)
  • Machinery Directive (2006/42/EU)
  • Medical Device Directive (93/42/EEC)
  • Active Implantable Medical Device Directive (90/385/EEC)
  • In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Device Directive (98/79/EC)
  • Marine Equipment Directive (96/98/EC)
  • Agricultural and Forestry Tractors Directive (75/322/EEC)
  • Two or Three-Wheeled Motor Vehicles Directive (97/24/EC)
  • Auto EMC Directive (95/54/EC).

13. Useful Links (testing Labs, further information)

Links you may find useful in gaining more information regarding the Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive.


Ferry Vermeulen is a technical communication and compliance expert. He also is a parttime trainer at the Dutch standardisation institute (NEN). Listen to the INSTRKTIV podcast on Spotify or read one of his latest blog articles

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