Radio Equipment Directive Labelling: Implementing Regulation

Steve Hayes

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Steve Hayes

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Steve Hayes has over 30 years of experience in the product approvals industry and serves on numerous national and international standards committees.

The radio equipment directive labelling of radio and wireless products is often a source of confusion for both end users and to a limited extent, manufacturers. Both ‘harmonized frequency’ and ‘harmonized standard’ are referenced within the Radio Equipment Directive (2014/53/EU) but mean completely different things.


Harmonized standards vs. harmonized frequency

Harmonized standards are applied to the product in terms of test requirements, but the actual frequency that a product operates may be different in one EU Member State compared with another (i.e. non-harmonized frequency).

Historically, the CE Mark warned users of a potential non-harmonized frequency with an exclamation mark as the illustrative symbol:


CE Mark with Alert

What is the directive 2014 53 EU on radio equipment?

In 2014, the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) (2014/53/EU) was published which allowed for Implementing Regulations to be added to address specific issues with the directive. Since it is recognized that consumers often misunderstand labelling, an Implementing Regulation was enacted to resolve this issue.

The labelling Implementing Regulation (EU/2017/1354) came into force on 9 August 2018.


Labelling and packaging guide

The packaging of products which could potentially have an issue with a non-harmonized frequency in a specific country will now carry that country’s code to warn the consumer.

For example, “UK” for United Kingdom and maybe a color coding traffic light system, with ‘red’ warning that the product cannot be used or ‘amber’ to highlight potential restriction(s) – indoor used only, for example.

Products which are approved to use in the country will not require labelling.

radio equipment directive labeling


The Element advantage

Element is a Notified Body for the key EU product safety and communications directives including radio (RTTE/RED) and is able to provide expert help and guidance not only to support your product through the relevant product testing process but also to ensure all obligations have been met.

For more information on your responsibilities under RED, including the regulations regarding products using potentially non-harmonized frequencies, please contact us.



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