Equipment classes are defined by Article 4.1 of the R&TTE Directive. The European Commission has adopted a Decision laying down an initial classification (Commission Decision 2000/299/EC of 6 April 2000).
The decision identifies two classes:
Class 1 equipment is equipment that can be placed on the market and be put into service without restrictions as indicated in Article 1(1) of the Decision. The Commission, in consultation with Member States, publishes an indicative and non exhaustive list of equipment falling within the scope of Class 1:
Class 2 equipment is equipment for which Member States apply restrictions as indicated in Article 1(2) of the Decision, which also assigns the Alert Sign as Equipment Class Identifier for this class.
The following subclasses of Class 2 correspond to radio equipment using harmonised frequency bands for which, in consequence, notification in accordance with Article 6(4) of the Directive is not necessary:
Class 1 and 2 equipment classes can also be searched for in EFIS under documents by selecting frequency range and/or application term.
The link to the webpage of the European Commission for the Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE) Directive reference documents is here.
The Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU: OJ L153 22 May 2014 replaces the Radio & Telecommunication Terminal Equipment Directive (R&TTE Directive) 1999/5/EC, repealed with effect from 13 June 2016. The RED can be applied from 13 June 2016 and within a transition period of one year, the R&TTE Directive can still be applied until June 2017.
The following provisions are included in the Radio Equipment Directive:
Definition 6 in article 2(1): “radio equipment class’ means a class identifying particular categories of radio equipment which, under this Directive, are considered similar and those radio interfaces for which the radio equipment is designed;”
Article 8 RED - Notification of radio interface specifications and assignment of radio equipment classes 1
Member States shall notify, in accordance with the procedure set out in Directive 98/34/EC, the radio interfaces which they intend to regulate except:
the radio interfaces which fully and without any deviation comply with the Commission decisions on the harmonised use of radio spectrum adopted pursuant to Decision No 676/2002/EC; and
the radio interfaces which, in accordance with implementing acts adopted pursuant to paragraph 2 of this Article, correspond to radio equipment which can be put into service and used without restrictions within the Union.
The Commission shall adopt implementing acts establishing the equivalence between notified radio interfaces and assigning a radio equipment class, details of which shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 45(3).
Article 10(10) RED
“In cases of restrictions on putting into service or of requirements for authorisation of use, information available on the packaging shall allow the identification of the Member States or the geographical area within a Member State where restrictions on putting into service or requirements for authorisation of use exist. Such information shall be completed in the instructions accompanying the radio equipment. The Commission may adopt implementing acts specifying how to present that information. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 45(2).”
From those articles, it appears that radio equipment classes are maintained. Note that subclasses of Class 2 developed under R&TTE that corresponded to radio equipment using harmonised frequency bands and for which, in consequence notification in accordance with Article 6(4) of the Directive was not necessary, do not exist anymore.
Class 1: radio equipment that can be operated without any restriction in EU, EEA and EFTA. According to Article 8(1)b of the RED, it is clarified that no national radio interfaces specifications are required to be notified under RED;
Class 2 : radio equipment subject to restrictions in one or more EU, EEA and EFTA countries where:
The technical parameters are not harmonised through EU, EEA and EFTA;
The technical parameters are harmonised through EU, EEA and EFTA and do not fall in above class 1 definition.
For the following Class 2 applications, the frequency use is harmonised, however with restrictions (e.g. indoor restrictions, specific application restriction, no fixed outdoor, etc.): see the following radio interface specification templates as adopted by ECC WGFM in February 2016.
Furthermore, the implementing act establishing the equivalence between notified radio interfaces and assigning a radio equipment class (art. 8.2 RED) is going to be prepared on the base of these classes.
The link to the webpage of the European Commission for the Radio Equipment (RE) Directive reference documents is here.