France implements European directives

Paris, 17 December 2001

France's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ART) informs consumers, manufacturers and fitters that a number of administrative simplification measures were implemented, pursuant to ruling no. 2001-670 of July 25 2001, to "adapt French intellectual property law and the Posts and Telecommunications Code to EU law."

This ruling transposed into national law several EU directives concerning telecommunications adopted by Member States and the European Parliament since the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of July 26 1996.

These directives include, in particular, directive 1999/5/EC which brings about an amendment to Article L.34-9 of the Posts and Telecommunications Code relating to procedures for assessing the conformity of radio and telecommunications terminal equipment and the procedures for installers acceptance.

· The type approval procedure for terminal equipment was abolished

ART's ex-ante authorisation procedure to put on the market radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment such as fixed and mobile telephones, automatic diallers and private branch exchanges, was permanently abolished.

From now on, telecommunications equipment can be freely put on the market as soon as the manufacturer has assessed its conformity with the essential requirements defined by EU directives, such as the protection of the health and the safety of the user.Terminal equipment is deemed to comply with the essential requirements when it conforms to the relevant harmonised European standards. In the rare cases where no harmonised standards exist, the opinion of a notified body is still necessary. The ART no longer acts as a notified body but it is still responsible for designating and monitoring new notified bodies.

The following items must be clearly marked on the packaging of the equipment concerned:
- The intended use, that is, the networks to which terminal equipment is intended to be connected and/or the countries where radio (transmitter) equipment is authorised for use.
CE marking and, where relevant, the number of a notified body, and in the case of radio equipment operating on non-harmonised frequencies, an "alert symbol" informing the user of any restrictions of use that may apply in some countries.

In addition, stricter penalties for violating these new provisions have been imposed.

· ART's procedure for accepting fitters has been abolished. For the time being, Ficome , the fitter's professional association will identify fitters.

The obligation requiring that complicated items of equipment be installed by "accepted" fitters has been abolished. This obligation mainly concerned equipment intended for companies such as private branch exchanges and radio networks.

ART will no longer issue numbers indicating admission to the list of fitters. These numbers will no longer be required to install telecommunications equipment or radiocommunications equipment.

Ficome will update the list of accepted fitters until a new system for identifying and tracing fitters operating on telecommunications networks has been set up.

ART wishes to stress the outstanding role played by fitters - in partnership with operators and manufacturers - in developing the telecommunications services market. Since ART was formed, fitters have been associated with various consultative bodies such as the CCRST and CCR and with specialised working groups via their professional associations (Ficome and SNIR). Fitters will continue to provide ART with their expertise in this respect.

ART would like to point out that the European "QUALIF'COM" voluntary certification and marking schemes for telecommunications and radiocommunications fitters was set up by professional bodies under the aegis of the OPQESTE and with ART's support.


Linked documents

Qualif'com website:  www.qualif.com  OPQUESTE website:  www.opqeste.com/f1.htm  Ficome and SNIR website:  www.ficome.fr