The CE Mark certification is a mandatory in European marking for certain product groups to indicate conformity with the essential health and safety requirements set out in European Directives. The letters ‘CE’ are an abbreviation of Conformite Europeenne, French for European conformity. The CE Marking certification of products as “passport” which can allow a Manufacturer to freely circulate their products within the European market place.
The CE Marking certification declares that your product complies with the Essential Requirements of the applicable EU Directives.
Applicable requirements are set forth in various European Directives that replace individual country safety standards. The Directives apply to products manufactured within but also exported to the European Union.
The CE Mark certification is placed on a product as the manufacturer’s visual identifier that the product meets the requirements of relevant European Directives. It is mandatory for a wide range of products sold within or exported to the European market.
To facilitate free trade and ensure the safety of certain products, European countries have developed a series of standards, or Directives as they are called. Compliance is mandatory. It is a legal obligation on the part of the manufacturer or his agent. Penalties for failing to get CE-Marking certification for a product can be severe.
If you wish to sell your products within the European Union member states and the European Economic Area, the product in question must comply with the Directive(s). This also applies if you are a manufacturer who wants to export products into the European Member countries.
The Directives replace individual country standards as they relate principally to the safety of these products.
What products do the Directives cover?
The Directives apply to a wide range of products. The most notable products that likely need CE-marking certification are:
There are certain exclusions, but if you manufacture any of the above types of equipment or products then one or more of the Directives almost certainly apply.
Directives apply to 99% of all industrial and domestic products sold in Europe; it is the distinctive CE marking certification that signifies compliance with the applicable Directives. Without the CE mark certification and the correct documentation, manufacturers and importers are at an immediate disadvantage when competing against compliant competitors.
Complying with Directives
The requirements of the Directives are to ensure that manufacturers have identified and addressed all aspects of design and manufacturing that could impact safety and the safe operations of the equipment.
The actions required to become compliant with the Directives vary according to which Directive(s) apply and the type or classification of the equipment as defined by the Directive(s). However, there are some general steps you should follow:
Determine which, if any, EU Directives apply to your product(s),
Determine the extent to which your product already complies with the essential requirements of the Directives.
Choose conformity assessment routes. Depending on the nature of the equipment or product, you may be able to implement and declare compliance and affix the CE mark certification without assistance or service from an external company.
A Notified Body is an independent body appointed by an agency within one of the European countries, usually governmental, as being capable of performing the duties of a Notified Body as defined by the Directives.