From EMC for Product Designers, Fourth Edition

2.1 History

The relaxed EMC regime that existed throughout most of Europe up until the early 90s was overturned with the adoption by the European Commission on 1st January 1992 of the EMC Directive, 89/336/EEC [177]. This was at the time widely regarded to be the most comprehensive, complex and possibly contentious Directive ever to emanate from Brussels [34]. It has eventually been superseded by its second edition, published at the very end of 2004. This chapter examines the provisions of the new Directive and how manufacturers will need to go about complying with it. But first, we have to understand the background to European Directives and the history of the first EMC Directive.

2.1.1 The New Approach Directives

Of the various aims of the creation of the Single European Market, the free movement of goods between European states [ ] is fundamental. All Member States impose standards and obligations on the manufacture of goods in the interests of quality, safety, consumer protection and so forth. If there are detailed differences in procedures and requirements, these act as technical barriers to trade, fragmenting the European market and increasing costs because manufacturers have to modify their products for different national markets.

For many years the Commission tried to remove these barriers by proposing Directives which gave the detailed requirements that products had to satisfy before they could be freely marketed throughout the Community, but this proved difficult because of the detailed nature of each Directive and the need for unanimity before...

Copyright Tim Williams 2007 under license agreement with Books24x7

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