5
\$\begingroup\$

I realise that this may be largely legal in nature and may be off topic, but I think that the users of this site are most likely to be able to answer accurately, so I shall ask and risk being shot down!

We have a device (which I helped to design) that we have sold globally for a long time with no issues. It was tested against the following standards in 2014:

  • EN 55022:2010 incorporating corrigendum October 2011
  • EN 55024:2010 incorporating corrigendum 2011
  • 47CFR15.109 ICES-003 Issue 5 August 2012

However, an Australian reseller that we have just shipped an order to asked to see test reports (including some which were not relevant, which made me question their understanding of the matter). We sent them over and they have accepted them, but were not happy that the test results were over a year old. They suggested that the next shipment will require test results taken in the previous 12 months.

Has anyone else ever heard anything like this? Sounds like rubbish to me - we haven't changed the design, we haven't changed any suppliers and I don't remember physics having changed in the last 12 months - but is it another weird legal requirement? Is this particular to Australia, or is it also the case in other countries?

Secondarily, thinking about this, it strikes me that these standards may be updated in the future. Will we be required to retest every time that a standard has an update, or can we continue in perpetuity once a product has been certified provided that no additional legislation is passed which precludes the sale (I'm thinking about things like the RoHS and WEEE legislation which changed the landscape for a lot of products, but had a grace period built in).

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Certainly, if the standards are updated, you have no proof that your product complies with these updated standards, do you? \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Jun 9 '16 at 9:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm reasonably sure under the Australian C-Tick regulations (if that's what they're using) it doesn't even matter if the standards have been updated as long as it was on the market before the regulations changed and hasn't been modified. \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Jun 9 '16 at 9:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry @PlasmaHH - I was unclear in my comment on this. Obviously if limits are changed, or something else that would require retesting from a physics point of view retesting would be required. However if there is a more subtle change - i.e. a change of scope that includes a broader set of products to which the standard is applicable, is a full retest still required? \$\endgroup\$ – stefandz Jun 9 '16 at 9:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @stefandz: In most countries and with most products, it has to just comply with the standards that were around when it came on the market, unless its some specific cases (like closing of an rf band for consumers etc.) but there are areas (I think in some countries medical products) where it has to comply to these standards at the moment of sale, and proof is needed to comply to that new standard, which then can not be handwaved as "oh they just did some spelling correction". \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Jun 9 '16 at 10:00
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ In the USA the product has to comply with rules and regulations at the time that the product is sold. It is up to the manufacturer to certify that the requirements are met at that time. (In the case of a system integrator they generally must certify conformance of the final system even though all the sub-assemblies may have already been certified by their individual manufacturers). If it takes repeated testing to ensure compliance then that is what you must do. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Karas Jun 9 '16 at 11:23
4
\$\begingroup\$

You generally don't need to do new tests. The test you have done before putting the product on the market are what applies. The age of the test protocol is not relevant, as long as the test complies with current legislation.

If the standards or directives change in the future, you only need to carry out new tests if there are significant changes of the technical requirements. If so, there is usually a grace period of a couple of years, during which you can state compliance either to the old or the new directive.

This only applies to products that are in production (still put on market). You don't have to make new tests for older products that you don't sell any longer, even if they still exist on the market.

Though of course, you will have to carry out new tests if you have made significant changes to the product. Particularly if you changed things that may have impact on EMC and radio. (Most notably changes to voltage regulators, clocks/oscillators or changes to anything radio-related.)


However.

In this specific case, I think your customer might have a valid point - it would appear that these standards are superseded(?). See this, note "Superseded by EN 50561-1:2013 EN 55032:20122". I did some very brief research and it appears that they were updated together with the new European EMC directive 2014/30/EU.

EN 55022:2010 was listed as expired at 1.12.2013 by the "EU Official Journal" (European law) and it is not part of the current list of harmonized standards for the EMC directive. Apparently you should now follow EN 50561-1:2013 instead, so there might have been significant technical changes.

When it comes to EN standards, the rest of the world that accept such standards typically updates their legislation accordingly whenever EU changes the standards/directives.

Anyway, I only did a brief check and I don't know these standards, so if I were you, I'd go double-check this with some EMC expert at your nearest test house.

If you did tests in 2014, you'd think a professional test house should have told you about these on-going/upcoming changes.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

Generally you don't need to retest your product. First of all for importing product to Australia, immunity test as per CISPR24 is not required. Secondly CISPR22 has been replaced by CISPR32, however the limit does not change. CISPR32 simply just combining CISPR22 and CISPR13 and several additional clarification regarding test method etc.

What could be beneficial for you is to write a rationale that address the difference between CISPR22 and CISPR32 and describe that it does not affect your current product.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

Australia may be different in some ways from the reset of the world but I do know this: Even though the product was tested at some particular point in time the manufacturer bears the responsibility to make sure the product continues to be compliant with current laws and regulations if it continues to be sold. A common way to be assured of this is to re-test the product from time to time - whether that be every year, every two years or whatever.

There are a number of reasons to re-test periodically even though you think you are building the same product:

  1. Manufacturing procedures change and some minor details can change things.
  2. Manufacturing personnel change and new folks may interpret notes and documentation differently.
  3. Materials change such that the composition of plastics, metals, plating or coatings can change behavior with respect to ESD or RF emissions.
  4. Legal requirements can change over the years.
  5. Electronics components can have improvements made to their internal design that you the buyer may not even be aware of that may make your product change its sensitivity to noise or cause it to change its emissions characteristics.
  6. Software running in the product may be changed and induce new behavior in the component interactions that can change sensitivity or emissions.
| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.