Radio equipment

What equipment?

In short, it concerns all the devices that can transmit and/or receive radio waves, be it for communication purposes or the provision of audiovisual media services and/or radiodetermination services. 

Here are some examples: 

  • Smartphones and DECT cordless telephones;
  • Mobile radio transmitters/receivers (PMR) used in the maritime and aviation domains, security services, broadcasting...;
  • Remote controls of doors (garages, cars, etc.);
  • Wireless alarm systems, wireless microphones and earpieces, wireless cameras;
  • Devices equipped with a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth chip: computers, tablets, smartwatches, remote-controlled toys...;
  • Aids to navigation (GPS, Galileo, Glonas), radars, trackers;
  • Connected home appliances: fridge, coffee machine...


In other words, any device that has a radio transmitter and/or receiver.

Legislation

The Act of 13 June 2005 on electronic communications, in particular Art. 32, and the Royal Decree of 25 March 2016 on the making available on the market of radio equipment represent the transposition into Belgian law of the directive 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (RED).

The legislation provides that radio equipment placed on the market (marketed) must comply with essential and other requirements.

These requirements are related to:

  • an effective and efficient use of radio spectrum to avoid harmful interference;
  • electromagnetic compatibility;
  • health;
  • the safety of persons and of domestic animals;
  • the protection of property; 
  • certain administrative provisions.


Compliance 

What can you check before buying radio equipment?

  • the marking on the packaging

CE marking on the packaging

  • the marking on the product

CE-marking on the product

  • the EU declaration of conformity of the manufacturer or the presence of an Internet link to the declaration, which must be enclosed with the product.

By affixing the marking and by adding the UE declaration of conformity, the manufacturer declares that its device complies with the legislation referred to in its declaration. 

However, there are a few exceptions in certain domains such as the maritime and aeronautical domains, etc. which are subject to other more specific legislations.

National restrictions

Some States within the European market may apply usage restrictions which may apply to radio equipment.

The legislation provides that the information available on the packaging shall allow the identification of the Member States where such restrictions exist.

There are 2 types of restrictions:

  • restrictions on putting into service related to national specifications for the use of spectrum (e.g. : usage only indoors); 
  • using the device is subject to prior authorisation or an operator certificate (e.g.: aeronautical, maritime, radio amateurs).


The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1354, which entered into force on 9 August 2018, provides two ways to present the information concerning the restrictions on the packaging:

  1. A table which must include the pictogram below, as well as (under or next to the pictogram) the abbreviations of the Member States concerned.
    National restrictions
  2. The words “Restrictions or Requirements in”, followed by the abbreviations of the Member States concerned.


The purpose of this information is to draw the attention of importers, distributors and potential buyers on the restriction conditions.

Situation in Belgium

The possession and use of certain types of radio communication devices require a prior authorisation as well as an operator certificate in some cases.

Examples: marine radio, aeronautical radio or amateur’s radio, they all require an operator certificate.

This certificate is obtained after having passed an exam.

For more information, see:

  • Possession and/or use of radio equipment subject to an authorisation, see Radio networks
  • Certificates / exams: