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Single Market extends to telecommunications terminal equipment

A new Directive on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment will establish a Single Market in terminal equipment, thus completing the total liberalisation of the telecommunications sector in an important area for both manufacturers and consumers.

The new Dire...
A new Directive on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment will establish a Single Market in terminal equipment, thus completing the total liberalisation of the telecommunications sector in an important area for both manufacturers and consumers.

The new Directive was adopted by the European Council following the agreement reached with the European Parliament in the Conciliation Committee on 8 December 1998.

Faster technological progress in this sector and shorter times taken to develop terminal equipment, together with mass distribution, mean that the Community regulations in force applicable to such equipment have to be radically revised through rationalisation and simplification, in line with the Community's "New Approach" to technical harmonisation.

It has been argued that while the average lifetime of telecommunications terminal and radio equipment has shrunk to as little as three years, assessment and approval procedures even in straightforward cases can take 18 months to complete.

The new Directive follows the route of a "light" conformity assessment regime based upon the principle of manufacturers' declaration.

The deadline for implementation of the new Directive by the Member States is 1 January 2000. It will then replace two existing texts (Directive 91/263/EEC on telecommunications terminal equipment and Directive 93/97/EEC concerning satellite earth station equipment).
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