All electric devices or installations influence each other when interconnected or close to each other. Sometimes you observe interference between your TV set, your GSM handset, your radio and nearby washing machine or electrical power lines.
The purpose of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is to keep all those side effects under reasonable control. EMC designates all the existing and future techniques and technologies for reducing disturbance and enhancing immunity.
The main objective of the Directive 2004/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 15 December 2004, on the approximation of the Laws of Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is thus to regulate the compatibility of equipment regarding EMC:
- Equipment (apparatus and fixed installations) needs to comply with EMC requirements when it is placed on the market and/or taken into service;
- The application of good engineering practice is required for fixed installations, with the possibility for the competent authorities of Member States to impose measures if non-compliance is established.
The EMC Directive first limits electromagnetic emissions of equipment in order to ensure that, when used as intended, such equipment does not disturb radio and telecommunication as well as other equipment. The Directive also governs the immunity of such equipment to interference and seeks to ensure that this equipment is not disturbed by radio emissions when used as intended.