European law – the e-mark (BBC South Today/BBC Southampton Online, 17 October 2001)
Every ambulance, every fire engine and every police car will become illegal next year, under an obscure European directive. It’s expected to cost the South’s emergency services millions of pounds. Every blue flashing light and every siren will have to carry a European e-mark. Almost none of them do. Without the marking, they’ll be illegal. The reason is a European directive designed to protect vehicle electrical systems from interference. It was written in 1995 and comes into effect next year. … It will affect millions of ordinary cars too. If you have fitted a CD player or hands-free phone kit, that too will be illegal without the e-mark.
This story dates back to the 1970s when the directive on electromagnetic compatibility requirements (EMC) was drawn up. A law dating back to 1995 required that from 1 October 2002 only vehicles with equipment meeting the EMC directive can be sold new or enter into service in the EU. This is nothing new because all new types of vehicles and components approved since 1996 have had to meet this standard.