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The New EU Automotive EMC Directive 2004/104/EC

The New EU Automotive EMC Directive 2004/104/EC

The essential information about which tests apply to automotive product types is now contained within the one directive.

This article discusses the changes implemented in the new European Automotive EMC directive 2004/104/EC1. The new directive, released in November 2004, effectively replaces the existing Automotive EMC directive 95/54/EC from 1st January 2006.


The EU commission recognized shortcomings in the European Automotive EMC Directive 95/54/EC almost as soon as it was released as it contained conflicts with other international standards, in particular CISPR-253 for automotive component testing.

It was considered by most automotive OEMs as being inadequate as a basic standard for automotive products primarily due to lack of conducted transient testing in the directive. Another area of concern expressed by aftermarket equipment suppliers was the status of aftermarket products with "CE" approval to the generic EMC directive 89/336/EEC and telecommunication products type approved to the R&TTE directive 1999/5/EC that have no control function in the vehicle.

The current status of these products in 95/54/EC is that after October 2002 these have to be "e"-marked for vehicle use.

In the late 1990s the EU commission set-up a project to consider revisions to the Automotive EMC directive and York EMC Services YES won the contract to run the project.

YES produced a detailed report on changes requested to the directive by the automotive industry automotive OEMs, automotive tiered suppliers and EMC test service providers, as well as the wider consumer electronics and radio-communications industry. The "York Report"4 was well publicized within the EMC community and made freely available via the Internet. Many of the changes implemented in the new edition of the automotive EMC directive discussed here, reflect the findings of this work.


The new directive is still what is classified as an "old style" directive, this means that the tests and test levels are contained within the single directive document, however, it now references other international standards for some of the test methods and set-up.

The referencing of multiple standards increases the cost for obtaining all necessary documentation, but being an "old style" directive still makes the cost and quantity of necessary documentation lower than with "new style" EMC directives. There is also less confusion over which tests apply to automotive product types as all the essential information is contained within the one directive.

The new directive 2004/104/EC is a significant improvement over the current directive 95/54/EC, it is both clearer in the requirements and test levels. In using international automotive test standards it brings the test methods for the EU directive in-line with the test configurations used by most automotive OEMs. In the future translating the result

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