Radio Equipment Directive (RED)

Radio Equipment Directive (RED)

The Radio Equipment Directive (2014/53/EU) has been applicable since 13 June 2016. It is in a transitional phase of one year and revises the Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Directive (1999/5/EC). The new RED was adopted on 16 April 2014 and EU countries had to transpose it into their national law before 13 June 2016.

These Directives establish a regulatory framework for placing radio equipment on the free market. During the transitional phase, manufacturers are allowed to place on the market radio equipment compliant with either the new RED rules or the old applicable R&TTE legislation. The transitional period ends on 12 June 2017. The new RED guide and harmonised standards will be available by June 2017.

Latest developments

The information on this page is being updated, please check back regularly.

For the most up-to- date information on RED, R&TTE and the transitional period, please see our RE-D answers to questions document (28 April 2017) and our RED guide (19 May 2017).

New Radio Equipment Directive

The new RED aligns the previous directive with the New Legislative Framework for the marketing of products. The revision takes account of the need for improved market surveillance, in particular for the traceability obligations of manufacturers, importers and distributors. It provides improved instruments for market surveillance, such as the possibility to require prior registration of radio equipment, within those categories affected by low levels of compliance.

The Directive requires equipment to be constructed for efficient use of the radio spectrum, as well as electromagnetic compatibility, to avoid interference with terrestrial and orbital communications.

What does the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) aim to achieve?

The Directive ensures a single market for radio equipment by setting essential requirements for safety and health, electromagnetic compatibility and the efficient use of the radio spectrum. This applies to all products using the radio frequency spectrum.

Implementation of the Radio Equipment Directive is regularly discussed with representatives from EU countries at Telecommunication Conformity Assessment and Market Surveillance Committee (TCAM) meetings. EU countries are expected to continuously improve their national systems of market surveillance, both in a preventative and corrective way.


The RED guide (19 May 2017) is a guidance document to assist with the common application of Directive 2014/53/EU. It has no weight in law but deals with a number of practical issues that will be of interest to manufacturers and other stakeholders. The Guide is a living document and some parts can change or be complemented, following the discussions and the opinion of the TCAM (Telecommunications Conformity Assessment and Market Surveillance Committee), the Committee assisting the Commission in the management of Directive 2014/53/EU.


Notified Bodies

The information below relates to the older R&TTE Directive

What is the R&TTE Directive about and why is it important?

The R&TTE Directive covers all equipment that uses the radio frequency spectrum, with a few exceptions. It also covers all terminal equipment attached to public telecommunication networks. Typical products which are covered by the Directive include radio-terminals (e.g. GSM handsets); other radio equipment (e.g. GSM base stations, car-door openers and other short range radio devices); fixed network terminal equipment (e.g. normal analogue telephones, ISDN terminals, cable and PC modems). The main aspects of the Directive are:

  • Conformity of a product with the requirements of the Directive
    • Assessment of the conformity of a product with the requirements of the Directive is the responsibility of the manufacturer
    • Fixed network terminal equipment must comply with electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility requirements
    • Radio equipment must effectively use the spectrum and not cause harmful interference. In exceptional cases, the EU can introduce additional public interest requirements
    • Requirements are legal, not technical
  • Obligation for network operators to publish their interfaces
    • The Directive obliges operators of public telecommunications services to publish the characteristics of their interfaces, thereby allowing any manufacturer to construct terminal equipment that can be attached to that network.
  • Obligation for EU countries to publish the rules to access the radio frequency spectrum
    • The radio frequency spectrum is not fully harmonised in the EU. The Directive doesn't harmonise the spectrum. It is therefore of major interest to manufacturers to be fully aware of national differences in allocation and usage. EU countries are therefore committed to publishing those details that allow manufacturers to build products capable of operating in as large a market as possible.
  • Obligation for manufacturers to inform the end user of intended use and limitations of use
    • The Directive obliges manufacturers to inform users of the intended use and the limitations of use both on the packaging and in the manual.

Equipment classes

Equipment classes are defined by Article 4.1 of the Directive. The European Commission has adopted a Decision laying down an initial classification – called Commission Decision 2000/299/EC of 6 April 2000. The decision identifies two classes:

Class 1 equipment is equipment that can be placed on the market and be put into service without restrictions as indicated in Article 1(1) of the Decision. The Commission, in consultation with EU countries, publishes an indicative and non-exhaustive list of equipment falling within the scope of Class 1: Subclasses of Class 1 - December 2014 (2 MB)

Class 2 equipment is equipment for which EU countries apply restrictions as indicated in Article 1(2) of the Decision, which also assigns the Alert Sign as Equipment Class Identifier for this class. The following subclasses of Class 2 correspond to radio equipment using harmonised frequency bands for which, in consequence, notification in accordance with Article 6(4) of the Directive is not necessary: Subclasses of Class 2 - December 2014 (300 kB)


A Guide (369 kB) is available to assist with the common application of Directive 1999/5/EC. It has no weight in law but deals with a number of practical issues that will be of interest to manufacturers and other stakeholders.

A quick guide (94 kB) on the obligations of manufacturers under the R&TTE Directive is also available.

Other Guidance and Specific Topics

Cordless telephones

Aeronautical equipment

Health & Safety

Mobile Communication Seminars: "Health, Environment and Safety

Standardisation mandate addressed to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI in the field of electrotechnology, information technology and telecommunications.

Press Release 06/08/2001: Safer mobile phones: European Commission publishes new safety standard on electromagnetic fields.

Council Recommendation 1999/519/EC of 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz).

Information on electromagnetic fields from DG Health and Food Safety

World Health Organization (WHO) Publications page on electromagnetic fields (EMF) - EMF Project Fact Sheet:

Working Groups


Notified Bodies

Reports & Studies

Study on the performance of mobile phone antennas

A workshop 'Receiver performance of mobile phone antennas (324 kB)' was organised on 10th of April 2014 (programme (156 kB)). The results of the study have been presented for clarifying the situation and envisage possible future actions in this field.

Possible ways to improve receivers’ performances of mobile telephones in the market have been debated with main involved actors, mobile phone industry, mobile operators, consumers’ associations, national authorities, etc.


R&TTE ADCO publications

The Administrative Cooperation (ADCO for R&TTE) is an independent Working Group run and chaired by the Member States. It is a forum for cooperation and exchange of information between national market surveillance authorities.


Workshop: Wireless resources for Advanced Manufacturing (2014) (898 kB)

The development and uptake of advanced manufacturing is essential for the future of EU industry. Wireless applications are a key enabler of advanced manufacturing and increasingly present in the manufacturing environment. Therefore a workshop was organised by the Commission to ensure the needs of advanced manufacturing are fully integrated into the policies for spectrum management and related standardisation.

R&TTE and sustainability

One Charger for All

Harmonisation of mobile phones chargers is a key priority of the Commissions environmental sustainability policy.

The environmental benefits of harmonising chargers can be considerable, as the number of chargers sold unnecessarily could reduce the associated generated electronic waste. A common charger is also expected to improve energy-efficiency, complying with the newest European harmonised standards, and thus reducing energy consumption.

To this end, the Commission has initiated the 'One Charger for All' campaign.

Waste and Electronic Equipment

The WEEE Directive promotes the collection and recycling of electronic equipment (Directive 2012/19/EU). It provides for the creation of collection schemes where consumers return their used e-waste free of charge.

The RoHS Directive (2011/65/EU) restricts the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

Contact Points