Results of the 'Internet of Things' market surveillance campaign

European Member States launched a cross-border market surveillance campaign in 2019 in order to evaluate the conformity of 'intelligent' household appliances with legislation relating to these products. The conclusion is that it would be wise to raise awareness of the specific legal requirements for integrating wireless connectivity within a product.

Increasing numbers of appliances that transmit and receive data are legally considered as 'radio equipment': industrial equipment and machines, medical equipment, household appliances, alarm and detection systems, etc. After all, radio equipment refers to all equipment that can transmit and/or receive radio waves. This includes all products and devices that are fitted with a chip or wireless communication module.

Anyone involved in the commercialisation of wireless equipment - manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers - must observe certain obligations as set out in the EU directive 2014/53/EU on radio equipment. A brief summary is available in the information brochure of the IBPT (Institut belge des Postes et des Télécommunications - Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications) responsible for monitoring the proper application of this legislation.

During this year, market surveillance authorities of the 18 member states, including Belgium, launched a cross-border campaign to evaluate administrative compliance of 'intelligent' household appliances (IoT household appliances), the majority of which are connected by WiFi or Bluetooth.

On a sample of 100, 72% did not meet administrative obligations. The low compliance rate indicates that manufacturers of traditional unconnected products are not aware of all their obligations when adding wireless connectivity to their products.

The directive on radio equipment introduces requirements relating to safety, electromagnetic compatibility and efficient use of the spectrum. A limited number of samples, 22 to be precise, were tested according to the effective use of the spectrum requirements. No technical non-compliance was noted.

Sources

https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/38101
Marc Cumps, Regulations & Standardisation Center of Expertise, marc.cumps@agoria.be