Placing radio equipment on the market


A person manufacturing, importing or supplying any radio or electrical apparatus is responsible for ensuring that it complies with all relevant legislation before it can be placed on the market or put into service in Great Britain or Northern Ireland.

From 1 January 2021, and following the end of the Brexit transition period, new rules apply which differ depending on whether goods are placed on the market from this date in Great Britain or in Northern Ireland.

The processes are similar in many respects, however there are some significant changes – the latest guidance for manufacturers, importers and suppliers is set out below.

The Radio Equipment Regulations

Ofcom is an enforcement authority for provisions contained in the Radio Equipment Regulations 2017.

The regime sets essential requirements for safety and electromagnetic compatibility, and the effective and efficient use of the radio spectrum. It applies to all products using the radio spectrum, subject to specific exceptions.

The regulations set out the obligations of manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers, distributors and economic operators.

Ofcom has a duty to enforce these regulations as required to protect and manage the radio spectrum. Non-compliant equipment could cause serious interference to authorised spectrum users. Ofcom can issue notices suspending sales and seize equipment and can bring criminal prosecutions if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that a relevant regulation has been contravened.

The maximum penalty for contravening these regulations is three months’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. In addition, the courts may order forfeiture of stocks of equipment.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published guidance on the Radio Equipment Regulations 2017. The guidance explains how businesses placing radio equipment on the market in Great Britain and on the market in Northern Ireland can do so. There is also guidance which explains Regulation 14 which requires manufacturers to include information on packaging of radio equipment identifying where there are restrictions on putting into service or requirements for authorisation of use.

To report suspected non-compliant equipment, email marketsurveillance@ofcom.org.uk

The Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations

Ofcom is an enforcement authority for provisions contained in the Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016.

The regime ensures that electrical and electronic equipment does not generate, or is not affected by, electromagnetic disturbance.

The regulations set out the obligations of manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers, distributors and economic operators.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published guidance on the Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016.

Ofcom has a duty to enforce these regulations as required to protect and manage the radio spectrum. Non-compliant equipment could cause serious interference to authorised spectrum users. Ofcom can issue notices suspending sales and seize equipment and can bring criminal prosecutions if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that a relevant regulation has been contravened.

To report suspected non-compliant equipment, email marketsurveillance@ofcom.org.uk

Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new UK product marking that is used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) from 1 January 2023. It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published guidance which explains when and how to use the UKCA marking.

For any enquiries on all of the above, please contact enquiries@beis.gov.uk

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