Since 1970, cars and trailers sold in Europe have required formal type approval and e-marking. On January 1, 1996, European Commission Directive 95/54/EC extended these requirements to cover in-vehicle electronic subassemblies (ESAs) by defining acceptable performance criteria for the electromagnetic emissions and susceptibility of such devices.
In the directive, ESAs are defined in two distinct groups: (i) components and (ii) separate technical units (STUs). STUs are specific to a given make of vehicle and are usually fitted by the vehicle manufacturer. Aftermarket electronic products fall into the category termed components that may be fitted to differing makes and models of vehicles. Article 2 of 95/54/EC requires all ESAs to comply with the legislation and to be appropriately e-marked.
An example of an e-mark is shown in Figure 1. It comprises the lowercase letter e followed by a country code number in a square box. The number identifies the EU member state granting type approval. The number placed adjacent to the e-mark in Figure 1 is the base approval number issued by the approval body and printed on the type approval certificate. The first two digits indicate the sequence number assigned to the most recent amendment of directive 72/245/EEC.4 For the Automotive Directive 95/54/EC, the sequence number is 02.