Purpose of surveillance of electrical equipment

OFCOM performs checks on electrical equipment placed on the market in Switzerland in order to verify that it complies with the requirements for electromagnetic compatibility. Among other things, this is to ensure that its use does not interfere with other equipment or installations.

A fridge, a LED bulb, a lift: the fixed electrical equipment and installations we use every day must operate correctly and without impeding the satisfactory operation of other products. OFCOM plays a role as it is responsible for checking the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of electrical equipment which is available on the market.

This task has three goals:

  • to prevent electromagnetic interference which may inconvenience the user or third parties, as is the case, for example, when a hairdryer interferes with the operation of a television set;
  • to ensure healthy competition between traders by preventing those who sell compliant electrical equipment from being put at a disadvantage compared to those who offer non-compliant products, very often more cheaply;
  • to prevent the placing on the market of electrical equipment which does not comply with the EMC standards.

Market surveillance aims to enforce the conformity rules which are defined at the European level – with OFCOM's participation – and which lay down the following essential requirements:

  • the electromagnetic interference caused by electrical equipment must not reach a level which would prevent the correct operation of other equipment, whether broadcasting, telecommunications or fixed equipment,
  • electrical equipment must be able to continue to work correctly if it is subjected to electromagnetic interference which may be expected as a function of its conditions of use.
  • the fitting of fixed installations must be carried out in accordance with best practice and must be documented.

In addition, an item of electrical equipment must also comply with formal rules. Thus it must:

  • have successfully undergone a conformity evaluation procedure in which the manufacturer checks, by means of regular tests, that the electrical equipment complies with the requirements,
  • have technical documentation drawn up by the manufacturer which in particular includes evidence of conformity,
  • have a written declaration of conformity; a statement by which the manufacturer states that the equipment is in conformity with the requirements,
  • be accompanied by user instructions which clearly indicate any restrictions on use, plus the name of the manufacturer and the measures to be taken at the time of assembly, installation, servicing or use of the equipment,
  • be identifiable through easily legible indications such as its type, its batch, serial number or any other data.

Specialist staff
Last modification 29.05.2012

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