Using GPR equipment in Europe
Although conformance to the R&TTE directive 1999/5/EC, allows the placing of a GPR/WPR product on the market for sale, it does not give authority for its use. In order to use the equipment in the majority of EU member countries a licence is required. The licence is controlled and issued by the radio administration in each of the member countries.
Unfortunately the approach is not consistent throughout the EU, and it is sometimes difficult to obtain a licence, or it may be in the form of a temporary licence, an experimental licence, but not a full licence.
This situation should be improved following the European radio administrations, Electronic Communications Committee (ECC)) agreeing and issuing a decision for GPR/WPR. The decision involved is ECC/DEC/(06)08, but unfortunately it is not legally binding on member countries. To date less than half the EU member countries have introduced this decision into their legislation.
The ultimate goal for GPR/WPR is to be included into an EC decision, which then gives it a legal basis for use and application in all member countries. In other words a harmonised approach for permission to use GPR/WPR would result in all EU countries, which in turn would overcome the majority of difficulties in obtaining a licence.
The EC committee which agrees and produces EC decisions is RSCOM (Radio spectrum committee).
The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) through the ECC Decision of 1 December 2006 on the conditions for use of the radio spectrum by Ground- and Wall- Probing Radar (GPR/WPR) imaging systems (ECC/DEC/(06)08) recommends European national regulatory authorities the implementation of harmonised conditions for the use of the radio spectrum by GPR equipment in Europe. This is based on:
- The compliance of the equipment to the ETSI EN 302/066 standard
- The definition of a licensing regime
However, the ECC Decision is not mandatory and many European countries have not implemented it yet or have not defined a specific licensing regime.
Officially the current situation is monitored by the European Radiocommunication Office (ECC/DEC/(06)08, implementation map).