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To ensure only safe, electromagnetic compatible radio equipment is offered onto the market in the European Union (EU), suppliers must ensure products comply with Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU (RED). To reduce the confusion surrounding the assessment of radio modules and host products, REDCA published TGN 01 in November 2018.

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What is RED?

Published in the Official Journal of the European Union on May 22, 2014, Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU (RED) establishes the regulatory framework manufacturers and suppliers must adhere to before placing radio equipment onto the market in the European Economic Area (EEA). It covers essential safety requirements, electromagnetic compatibility, and ensures efficient use of the radio spectrum. In addition, it includes several technical requirements associated with privacy, personal data and protection against fraud. It also ensures interoperability and access to emergency services.

RED entered into force on June 11, 2014 and became applicable as of June 13, 2016 (with a one-year transitional period), abrogating the previous Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTED) 1999/5/EC. In effect, RED aligned the previous directive with the EU’s new legislative framework, introduced in 2008.

In accordance with the requirements of the new legislative framework, RED improves market surveillance, in especial the traceability obligations of manufacturers, importers and distributors. In addition, it sets out clear and transparent rules for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies, clarifies the meaning of CE marking and enhances its credibility, establishes a common legal framework for industry products, and boosts the quality of and confidence in the conformity assessment of products.

What Does RED Cover?

RED defines ‘radio equipment’ as:

“An electrical or electronic product, which intentionally emits and/or receives radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination, or an electrical or electronic product which must be completed with an accessory, such as antenna, so as to intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves for the purpose of radio communication and/or radiodetermination.” 1

This means RED covers:

  1. Televisions and radio receivers – not previously covered by R&TTED
  2. Equipment operating below 9 kHz
  3. Radio-determination equipment
  4. Radio equipment previously covered under R&TTED

Exemptions include fixed line terminal equipment and custom-built evaluation kits.

Products that comply with RED are CE Marked.

REDCA Technical Guidance Note 01

The RED Compliance Association (REDCA) passed Technical Guidance Note (TGN) 01 during a meeting of members in Berlin in November 2018. This guidance covers radio modules – a term not found in RED but which is taken to mean radio equipment that is intended for installation in other equipment. Examples include:

  • Radio equipment that is a plug-in device. Intended to be used with or within a host product; creating combined equipment, using the control and power supply of the host product for operation. E.g. internal mini PCI card or USB dongle
  • Radio equipment module that is intended for installation in a host product. All radio circuitry is contained on the module, including an integral antenna or an antenna connector on the module board. It may use the control and power supply of the host product for operation. It is either soldered or plugged onto the host product and easy to identify as a separate part
  • Radio equipment module which is intended for installation into a host product. All radio circuitry is contained on the module; but the module does not include an integral antenna or an antenna connector. Pins or solder pads are used for connection to a circuit trace on the host product, and the antenna is intended to be placed on the host product. It may use the control and power supply of the host product for operation. It is soldered onto the host product and may take the appearance of an integrated circuit (chip) as part of the host product

The publishing of TGN 01 is intended by REDCA to clear up the confusion concerning assessment requirements about radio modules and/or final radio products – a product containing a radio module. It is hoped it will achieve a harmonized approach regarding EU type examinations under RED by all RED Notified Bodies.

This guidance will also be of interest to manufacturers, installers and test laboratories, as it contains information on conformity assessment, documentation and labeling for:

  • The assessment of a radio module
  • The assessment of a host product which contains a radio module

Stakeholders can download the document directly from the REDCA website >

SGS Solution

SGS is a Notified Body (NB) for RED, identification number 0890, and has considerable experience in assisting organizations with the requirements for compliance with RED. In addition to certification and NB assessment, our experts offer guidance to manufacturers of all forms of radio equipment, including radio modules and host products.

As the world’s leading third-party our experts offer a comprehensive range of services to help you achieve compliance with electrical and electronic regulations covering product safety, EMC, hazardous substances, energy efficiency, Ecodesign ErP, and performance and reliability.

Learn more about SGS Electrical & Electronic Services >

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For more information, please contact:

Salvatore Petrachi 
Consumer and Retail (CRS)
RED Certification Manager
SGS United Kingdom Limited
t: +44 (0)191 377 2000

1 Directive 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014