Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is something that concerns us all. The problems caused by electromagnetic interference (EMI) have long been understood and regulations to limit radiated emissions have been in place for decades. That is certainly the case in the sphere of IT equipment, broadcast radio and TV receivers, and various professional audio, video and lighting control apparatus, where compliance to a number of standards has been a mandatory requirement since the 1980s and 1990s. So why is it then that the European Union is now replacing three existing standards with one new standard regulating all such “multimedia” equipment? More importantly, what does it mean for manufacturers of this equipment and their suppliers?

The first thing that needs to be grasped is that this is happening now. The publication of the new EN55032 standard in the European Union Official Journal last summer requires all multimedia equipment§ destined for Europe to be compliant from March 5, 2017. And, as there is no grandfathering under the new standard, pre-existing product designs will all need to be reassessed to ensure compliance and, where necessary, brought into line with the new requirements.

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EN55022 dates from 1987, EN55013 from 1990 and EN55103 from 1996.

§ Medical equipment is exempt from EN55032.