Any person manufacturing, importing, distributing, supplying or using any radio or electrical equipment is responsible for ensuring that it complies with all relevant legislation before it can be placed on the market or put into service in Ireland or the EU internal market.
Operating radio equipment on a frequency band which is not allocated for use by that specific type of device can cause harmful interference to other services.
Electrical or electronic equipment can generate electromagnetic emissions which may also interfere with other equipment. Such equipment should also have an appropriate level of immunity to electromagnetic disturbances.
Serious cases of these types of interferences can cause damage to people, domestic animals and property and can interfere with Ireland’s radio spectrum.
It is therefore important before using, purchasing and/or importing equipment or devices to ensure they can be used in conformity with the EU and Irish law. In Ireland the relevant EU legislation has been given effect in the European Union (Radio Equipment) Regulations 2017 (the “RE Regulations”); The European Communities (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Regulations 2016; the European Communities (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Regulations 2017 (the “EMC Regulations”). The European Communities Low Voltage Regulations 2016 is also relevant (the “LV Regulations”).
ComReg is the designated Market Surveillance Authority in Ireland for the purposes of the RE Regulations and the EMC Regulations. It also enforces the LV Regulations in certain cases (otherwise it is the CCPC who enforce the LV Regulations, www.ccpc.ie).
It is an offence in many cases not to comply with the requirements of this EU and Irish regulatory regime.
Market surveillance of products and equipment is a requirement of the EU Single Market. It refers to “the activities carried out and measures taken by public authorities to ensure that products comply with the requirements set out in the relevant Community harmonisation legislation and do not endanger health, safety or any other aspect of public interest protection”.
The purpose of market surveillance is to prevent non-compliant and/or unsafe products and equipment from entering the market, anywhere in the EU, and to seek out and remove non-compliant products which have entered the market. Market surveillance can include actions such as product withdrawals, recalls and the application of sanctions to stop the circulation of non-compliant products and/or bringing any such products into compliance.
To support this principle, all products produced in, or imported into, the EU must meet certain identified and harmonised standards. The standards which apply to such devices are of a technical and administrative nature. Their core purpose is to ensure that the integrity of the radio spectrum resource is maintained and in addition to prevent harmful interference and emissions.