What is CE Marking?
The letters "CE" are an abbreviation for the French phrase "Conformité Européene" meaning European Conformity. A CE mark is a mandatory mark that is applied to products to identify the product as conforming to the essential requirements and/or performance levels of the relevant European Directives on health, safety and environment. Therefore, when a manufacturer affixes a CE mark to their product, they are declaring compliance with ALL RELEVANT European Directives.
When Did It Start?
The term "CE Marking" came into being in 1993 in the Directive 93/68/EEC when it replaced the old term of "EC Mark". Although the directive came into force in 1993, some products did not require to carry a mark until relevant directives existed e.g. it was not until 1st January 1996 that electronic equipment was required to be marked.
What Does CE Marking Look Like?
This is usually stamped on the actual product, or alternatively on the manufacturer's name plate. Note the construction.
Who Demands CE Marking?
All 27 member countries of the European Union (EU), and the 3 member countries of EFTA (European Free Trade Association) consider it to be mandatory. It is estimated that around 70% of all products sold in these countries require to be marked. CE Marking obtained from one EU country is valid in all other EU countires, and in the EFTA countries. It permits free movement of the product within all 30 countries.
Who Belongs to the EU and EFTA?
|EU Member Countries (at January 2007)|
|EFTA Member Countries (at February 2005)|
Who Ensures Compliance?
The law applies to the manufacturer, importer, supplier and the customer.
It is an offence to supply a product within any of the 30 countries listed above which is not CE marked, regardless of where it is made. Therefore the manufacturer, importer and supplier must ensure products are CE marked.
It is also an offence to use unmarked products. Therefore, the purchaser must ensure products are CE marked.
The relevant regulatory body in the country concerned is charged with enforcing the law. In the UK this falls to the Trading Standards Department of Local Authorities.
How Do You Get a Product CE Marked?
CE Marking may be obtained through registering your product in any one of the EU member countries. There are agencies in most EU countries who, for a fee, can advise on relevant directives and help obtain registration.
- The CE mark can only be applied by the manufacturer, or his authorised representative
- The CE mark shall only be applied to products for which their is applicable Community harmonisation legislation
- By having CE marking on a product, the manufacturer indicates that he takes responsibility for the conformity of the product to all relevant harmanisation legislation