What to check. In France it is not recommended to use - and therefore purchase - a device on which the following marking does not feature:
- the CE marking;
- the equipment model;
- the batch or serial number.
These markings must be legible, visible and indelibly placed on the product, packaging and supporting documentation (except for the batch or serial number which must only feature on the product).
[Translate to Anglais:] Le marquage CE
The four digit number is that of the notified body requested by the manufacturer or person in charge of putting the device on the market during the procedure to assess the conformity of the device.
This information does not directly concern consumers and users. Rather, it is intended for the administrations interested in the market monitoring for these devices (for inspections carried out at points of sale).
If there is a warning symbol (exclamation mark inside a circle), you must be especially careful, because it indicates that the use of the device is subject to restrictions (or even prohibited) in certain European states.
This information is essential for the user. It should encourage people to carefully read the instructions or even query the administrations that regulate the use of these devices to obtain more accurate information (for example: the ARCEP - Electronic communications and postal regulation authority - for professional networks, the ANFR for VHF). The warning sign must be accompanied by the list of possible uses in the different European Union countries (see an example).
Information in French. Every device placed on the European market must be delivered with:
- a copy of its declaration of conformity (see an example) with the R&TTE directive - or of its simplified version on condition that it features where the complete version can be obtained;
- information about the use for which the device is designed;
- information on the conditions for use (network it is intended to be connected to, geographical zones or European states in which it can be used, existence and type of special conditions to which its use is subject, etc.);
- the statement of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) for the head (see an example) and the usual precautions for the use of the device to limit exposure to electromagnetic fields, when the device is a radio terminal (GMS/UMTS mobile phone, for example).
Restrictions to use. Before turning on the device, it is essential to check whether there are any restrictions to the use of the device in France, such as: power limitation, number of authorised channels, the need to obtain a radio frequency use authorisation from a French administration. When in doubt as to the interpretation of the user manual, as previously, it is possible to ask the vendor directly or even the competent administrations, to obtain more details.
The legal framework applicable to the sale of certain radio installations installed on board ships is covered by the 99/05/EC directive, the so-called R&TTE directive, and therefore provisions of the French Electronic Communications and Postal Code and not the 96/98/EC directive covering marine equipment. One should therefore be specially vigilant when purchasing radio equipment for installation on board a ship in order to have the suitable equipment.
Radio installations used by radio amateurs are also covered by a specific framework. Indeed, only the equipment used by radio amateurs sold commercially are subject to the provisions of the R&TTE (suitable marking, etc.). As a result, the spare part kits or commercially available equipment that is modified by radio amateurs are covered by specific frameworks, namely:
- kits that are sold by retailers and designed to be standardly built into a radio installation are covered by the R&TTE directive;
- kits that are sold by retailers intended for use by radio amateurs to build their own installation are not covered by the directive. The liability for the conformity of the entire installation with the essential requirements laid down by the R&TTE directive therefore lies with the buyer and not the kit manufacturer.