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The Comité International Spécial des Perturbations Radioélectriques (CISPR), or the International Special Committee on Radio Interference, was established in 1934 to protect radio frequencies between 9 kHz to 400 GHz from interruption by electronic devices.

The CISPR works under the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) standards. Before we delve into CISPR 16 details, here is a brief background on the EMC standards.

What Are EMC Standards?

EMC standards are a collection of rules, emission limits, test methods, and immunity levels for producing devices that emit electromagnetic waves.

As the world becomes more interactive, it is essential to have global and regional standards to ensure that devices would be compatible in cross-border environments. The EMC standards make measurements repeatable and comparable through standardized testing methods.

Standardization harmonizes the frequencies of different electromagnetic devices, ensuring that a device from one part of the world would not interfere with the radio transmission on devices from other parts of the world.

Global and regional EMC committees come together and draft, revise and update the EMC standards as new technologies are introduced in different parts of the world.

Categories of EMC Standards

There are different categories of EMC standards, with each type focusing on a particular class of devices. Here are some common examples.

  • CISPR standards
  • IEC standards
  • ISO standards
  • SAE electromagnetic compatibility standards
  • American standards
  • European standards on unwanted electrical emissions

This article focuses on the CISPR 16 standards, the latest CISPR standards after the CISPR 11 and CISPR 32.

What Are CISPR 16 Standards?

As earlier mentioned, CISPR 16 standards protect radio reception on devices operating between 9kHz to 400 GHz from electromagnetic interference by other devices.

Who Develops the CISPR Standards?

The CISPR comprises seven subcommittees that draft, evaluate, and revise the CISPR 16 standards. Six of these committees are dedicated to technical standards, while one focuses on management standards. Each committee manages one of the following areas:

  • H – Limitations for the protection of radio frequencies
  • AA – Radio-interference measurements and statistical methods
  • S – Steering Committee
  • D – Electromagnetic disturbances caused by electric/electronic equipment on internal combustion engine-powered devices
  • F – Interruption relating to household appliances, lighting equipment, and related apparatus
  • I – Electromagnetic pairing of IT equipment, multimedia, and receivers
  • B – Interference caused by scientific, medical radio-frequency, and industrial apparatus to other (heavy) industrial equipment, high voltage equipment, overhead power lines, and electric traction

Types of CISPR 16 Standards

The CISPR 16 standards are categorized into 14 parts designated CISPR 16-1-14. Each category provides standards for specific devices.

  • CISPR 16-1-1, Standards on immunity measuring apparatus and radio disturbance.
  • CISPR 16-1-2, Specification for coupling devices for conducted disturbance measurements.
  • CISPR 16-1-3, Specification for ancillary equipment – disturbance power.
  • CISPR 16-1-4 Specifications for antennas and test sites for radiated disturbance measurements
  • CISPR 16-1-5 standards on antenna calibration sites & reference test sites for 5 MHz to 18 GHz.
  • CISPR 16-1-6 EMC antenna calibration. CISPR 16-2-1 conducted disturbance measurements.
  • CISPR 16-2-2 standards on measurement of disturbance power.
  • CISPR 16-2-3 Specifications for radiated disturbance measurements.
  • CISPR 16-2-4 Specifications for immunity measurements.
  • CISPR 16-4-3 standards on Measurement instrumentation uncertainty.


CISPR 16 is a small part of the larger EMC global and regional standards, which manufacturers should adhere to the later. Failing to test your manufactured devices for EMC and CISPR 16 specifications may lead to losses and even withdrawal of your license of operation in your region. You need to partner with an experienced compliance testing agency today and get all your prototypes tested for EMC standards compliance at the production and distribution levels.