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EU EMC Electromagnetic Compatibility FAQ

Regulatory Guide > European Area > European Union > EU EMC Electromagnetic Compatibility FAQ

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive

All electric devices or installations influence each other when interconnected or close to each other, e.g. interference between TV sets, GSM handsets, radios and nearby washing machine or electrical power lines. The purpose of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is to keep all those side effects under reasonable control. EMC designates all the existing and future techniques and technologies for reducing disturbance and enhancing immunity.

The electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) Directive 2014/30/EU ensures that electrical and electronic equipment does not generate, or is not affected by, electromagnetic disturbance.

The EMC directive limits electromagnetic emissions from equipment in order to ensure that, when used as intended, such equipment does not disturb radio and telecommunication, as well as other equipment. The directive also governs the immunity of such equipment to interference and seeks to ensure that this equipment is not disturbed by radio emissions, when used as intended.

The main objectives of the directives are to regulate the compatibility of equipment regarding EMC:

  • equipment (apparatus and fixed installations) needs to comply with EMC requirements when it is placed on the market and/or taken into service
  • the application of good engineering practice is required for fixed installations, with the possibility that competent authorities of EU countries may impose measures in instances of non-compliance.

The (EMC) Directive 2014/30/EU was published in the Official Journal of the European Union L 96/79, 29 March 2014, and repealed Directive 2004/108/EC as from 20 April 2016.

This directive is aligned to the new legislative framework policy and will keep the same scope as Directive 2004/108/EC.

Issues with respect to implementation are regularly considered.


The working party (EMC WP) deals with general policy issues related to the management and implementation of the directive. It is chaired by the Commission and involves EU national authorities, standardisers, notified bodies, Industry and other interested parties. EMC WP documents are not legally binding. They aim at clarifying certain provisions or elements of the directive.

Documents adopted or endorsed by EMC WP:

European harmonised standards are developed by the European standardisation organisations (ESOs) following a mandate issued by the European Commission. The EMC directive also requires publication in the OJEU of the references to these standards in order for them to be harmonised and so provide for a presumption of conformity.


M/552 - general mandate for harmonised standards under EMC Directive 2014/30/EU

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