The new Radio Equipment Directive will come into force in June next year and will replace the previous Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTED). While the R&TTED did not apply to domestic appliances, the new RED may apply to the increasing number of appliances equipped with internet or Bluetooth technologies.
There are several complications for our industry associated with this scenario. Firstly, the safety of domestic appliances is currently assured by the LVD and, for lower voltages, the General Product Safety Directive, but the RED disapplies these Directives if the equipment includes technologies that intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination [the same is also true for EMC]. Secondly, any product that falls within the scope of RED must list only this Directive on its Declaration of Conformity. For the R&TTED it is only the radio module itself that is covered, so domestic appliances list both the LVD and EMC with the radio module separately covered by the R&TTED.
Richard Hughes of AMDEA is assisting in the writing of guidance on the new Directive but there are diverging views on its application. The view from BIS is that the whole appliance, including but not exclusively the radio module, would be covered by RED; whereas CECED believes that only the radio module would be in scope.
As a Directive the RED will need to be transposed into UK law and we expect to see a draft of the UK legislation shortly.