Interesting offers for radio equipment can often be found on the internet. These must comply with certain requirements so that they do not cause interference to the frequency spectrum in Switzerland. This fact sheet shows what you should be aware of when importing radio equipment. We limit ourselves to the requirements of the Telecommunications Act. Other statutory requirements which are outside OFCOM's area of responsibility are not covered.
Is this radio equipment approved for use in Switzerland?
OFCOM cannot answer this question, since the Office is not involved in the assessment of conformity of radio equipment. Conformity assessment is performed by the economic operators under their own individual responsibility, without OFCOM's involvement.
This is why the Office does not publish lists of approved radio equipment. However, OFCOM does check random samples in the trade to determine whether the radio equipment complies with the statutory requirements for market access. In this context, information about radio equipment for which technical non-conformity has been identified is published on the OFCOM website (note: the fact that equipment does not appear on this list in no way guarantees its conformity).
Who is responsible for the conformity of radio equipment?
Anyone importing radio equipment from abroad is responsible for its conformity. This applies even if the same radio equipment is being marketed in parallel by another importer.
What frequencies can be used?
If compliant radio equipment is used in Switzerland, it must comply with the provisions of the National Frequency Allocation Plan, which are detailed in the respective technical technical interface regulations (RIR). In the technical interface regulations, information on available frequencies or frequency bands, maximum permitted transmitting power, and any restrictions on use which may apply can be found. You will find also a list of standards; if they are complied with its harmonised version, presumption of conformity can be assumed.
The technical interface regulations can be found here:
Importation of radio equipment in 3 steps
Step 1: Request information
Before you buy the radio equipment, we recommend you to get the supplier to provide you with the following:
- a copy of the declaration of conformity;
- information on the frequency and transmitting power.
If you do not receive this information, we recommend you do not purchase the equipment.
Step 2: consult the technical interface regulations (RIR)
Consult the technical interface regulations, which can be found here:
Technical interface regulations (RIR)
In particular, compare the supplier's frequency and power data with the values specified in the technical interface regulations. Compare the standards listed in the declaration of conformity with those in the technical interface regulations.
In addition, you should be aware of any restrictions on use, which are also listed in the technical interface regulations.
Step 3: inspection
Once you have completed the initial investigations (declaration of conformity/spectrum use/technical interface regulations), we recommend that you purchase a sample. At the same time, request the test reports relating to electrical safety, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and efficient use of the frequency spectrum. It would be even better to obtain the complete technical documentation, as OFCOM may request these documents from you as part of a post-marketing check.
- the declaration of conformity was issued by the manufacturer of the radio equipment,
- the radio equipment is correctly marked,
- the type designation of the radio equipment is identical with that listed on the declaration of conformity and in the test reports,
- the standards and the versions thereof listed in the declaration of conformity are identical with those listed in the test reports,
- the sample is visually identical with the photos from the test reports,
- the versions of the standards are harmonised at the date of import.
The last point will have an effect on whether a correct conformity assessment procedure has been carried out. If a different standard or a version of a standard which is no longer harmonised has been used, you should be able to find the four-digit number of a notified body next to the CE mark on the radio equipment and packaging. If this is the case we suggest you ask your distributor for the certificate of that notified body.
If the radio equipment cannot be used in Switzerland because it does not meet the requirements of the National Frequency Allocation Plan or if there are restrictions on use, the purchaser must be informed of this at the time of purchase and with the aid of the user information.
Other legal requirements falling within the competency of other Offices may apply to the radio equipment. Clarify this before purchasing!
According to the Ordinance on Telecommunications Installations (TIO), all radio equipment which is offered and/or placed on the market in Switzerland must comply with certain minimum requirements.
Compliance with these so-called essential requirements is intended to protect persons and property, e.g. to prevent, as far as possible, interference with other radio equipment and to ensure fair competition between economic operators.
The legal requirements are based on implementation of the provisions of EU Directive 2014/53/EC Directive (Radio Equipment Directive / RED) in the TIO. As a result of the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU, radio systems which comply with the provisions of the European Directive may also be placed on the Swiss market.
In contrast to the specific requirements for radio equipment, use of the frequency spectrum is not regulated internationally but nationally. In Switzerland, use of the frequency spectrum is defined in the National Frequency Allocation Plan.
A distinction must be made between specific conformity for radio equipment and use of the frequency spectrum: for example, compliant radio equipment can be put on the market in Switzerland but cannot be used in Switzerland if the corresponding frequency, power or bandwidth is not available or if the frequency is already occupied by another service. Conversely, a non-compliant item of radio equipment may be neither placed on the market nor used, even if frequencies are in principle available for the application.
Last modification 19.03.2019