Nadine Simpfendörfer - Technical Marketing Specialist
Nadine Simpfendörfer
Electronics Insight
27. June 2024
Reading time: 6 Min.

What is EMC? Guidelines and regulations

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Technical developer in the lab works with circuit boards and boards

Noise on the radio, interference with avalanche transceivers and interference with pacemakers - these examples give just a small insight into the possible effects that poor electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) can lead to.

As explained in the previous blog post using these examples, the effects of device failure due to electromagnetic interference (EMI) can be annoying, but harmless and even life-threatening. For this reason, there are numerous guidelines for EMC. They aim to ensure the safety of electronic devices and guarantee that no unwanted interference occurs.

Product markings to confirm that all regulations have been observed vary internationally and have different requirements. However, most refer to the European standard and deviate only slightly.

Depending on the device, there are specific EU directives that must be adopted into national law by the individual member states in order to be legally binding. Some examples are listed below:

  1. Machinery Directive – 2006/42/EC
  2. Low Voltage Directive – 2014/35/EU
  3. EMC Directive – 2014/30/EU
  4. Medical Devices Directive – 93/42/EEC
  5. Personal Protective Equipment Directive – 89/686/EEC

In Germany, the EMC Act applies, which was derived from the European Directive 2014/30/EU and is monitored by the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency). In order to place a product on the German market, CE marking is required, of which EMC is an essential aspect [1].

In this context, the Bundesnetzagentur checks the product documentation on the basis of random samples and carries out physical inspections and laboratory tests. The manufacturer is responsible for CE marking and therefore for compliance with all regulations.

If a product does not pass these tests, the manufacturer is requested in an official journal to rectify the defects found. The products are also listed on the website of the Federal Network Agency under "Ongoing market-restrictive measures" [2].

If the risk is classified as particularly high, a sales ban can also be imposed directly. This also happens if the manufacturer does not rectify the defects within the deadlines set. These cases are also shown on the website of the Bundesnetzagentur.

A current example is an LED transformer which, among other things, exhibits EMC interference emissions and for which there is no declaration of conformity. The risk posed by the product is rated as high by the Bundesnetzagentur, as the interference emissions affect IP services, among other things. This means that problems with the Internet and local computer networks (LAN) can occur if this product is used [3].


[1] EMV-Konformität für CE von Elektronikprodukten 1 & 2 (

[2] Bundesnetzagentur - Marktüberwachung - Laufende markteinschränkende Maßnahmen

[3] Bundesnetzagentur - Marktüberwachung - Abgeschlossene markteinschränkende Maßnahmen

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Profile picture: Nadine Simpfendörfer - Technical Marketing Specialist

Nadine Simpfendörfer

Technical Marketing Specialist