Radio interference: sales of millions of headphones and drones stopped


Last year, the Federal Network Agency banned the sale of almost 23 million products that cause radio interference or “significant formal defects”. That was two million more products than in 2020, the regulator announced on Friday. These included wireless headphones and drones that broadcast on the frequencies used by the police and fire brigade.

With around 7.7 million units, illegal wireless headphones form the largest group of prohibited devices. Millions of cheap measuring devices and remote-controlled drones were also banned from sale. Here, the network agency often criticized the lack of CE markings or the lack of contact details for the provider. In the previous year, baby monitors were particularly noticeable.

The lion’s share of the bans affected online retail. Here, the Federal Network Agency identified a total of 1936 products that were offered thousands of times and did not meet the European requirements. They have been banned by the platform operators. This affected 21.4 million individual devices.

After checking 3,554 retail products, the authority issued 23 additional sales bans and urged 1,095 cases to rectify defects. Here, LED lamps and power supplies have become particularly conspicuous, which can cause disruptions or are dangerous. Last year, the Federal Network Agency had already warned against cheap light sources.

Customs also reported almost 6,500 suspicious consignments to the Federal Network Agency in 2021. In around 91 percent of the cases, these products were not approved for the German market because they clearly had defects. A total of around 320,000 products were affected.

“The Federal Network Agency takes consistent action against non-compliant products and prevents them from being offered on the German market,” said the President of the supervisory authority, Jochen Homann. In this way, the Federal Network Agency makes an important contribution to consumer protection.


To home page