CE Marking FAQs

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANT IMPACT OF THE NEW RADIO AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS TERMINAL (R&TTE) DIRECTIVE?

This directive shows how not only standards but directives can change as a result of the CE marking program. The R&TTE Directive (1999/5/EC) went into force on April 8, 2000 and replaces the previous directive on telecommunications terminal equipment (98/13/EC). The purpose of the new directive is to cover both radio and telecommunications terminal equipment.

The new R&TTE Directive allows manufacturers of telecommunications terminal equipment to self-certify, an option they didn't have in the past, by adhering to the appropriate European standards and getting a test result from a qualified laboratory, preferably an EU-affiliate lab. (There are EU-affiliate labs in the United States.) Types of equipment for which manufacturers can now self-certify include fax machines, phones, modems, and digital telecom equipment. Manufacturers of radio communications and wireless equipment will still need to get their product certified at an EU-affiliate lab authorized by a notified body.

Under the U.S.-EU Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on telecom, there are now U.S. labs that are certified to do testing and certification for the R&TTE Directive. For a list of these labs, consult the website: http://ts.nist.gov/mra.

Manufacturers who have already complied with the old directive (1999/5/EC), and whose product has been put in service will not need to re-certify their products, but they will have to take off the old marking, put on the CE marking, and be able to back up the CE marking with technical documentation. Manufacturers who have products in inventory certified under the old directive will have until April 2001 to sell their products. After that, only products certified under the R&TTE Directive will be allowed to enter the European market. For more information on the R&TTE Directive, consult the website: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/rtte/index_en.htm.