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CE Mark

* What is CE marking?
The CE mark is a mandatory 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 Conformities Europeans, French for European conformity. The CE mark must be affixed to a product if it falls under the scope of the approx. 20 so called 'New Approach' Directives. Without the CE marking, and thus without complying with the provisions of the Directives, the product may not be placed in the market or put into service in the fifteen member states of the European Union and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. However, if the product meets the provisions of the applicable European Directives, and the CE mark is affixed to a product, these countries may not prohibit, restrict or impede the placing in the market or putting into service of the product. Thus, CE marking can be regarded as the products trade passport for Europe.
The CE mark is not a quality-mark. First, it refers to the safety rather than to the quality of a product. Second, most quality markings are voluntary opposite to the CE marking, which is mandatory for the products it applies to. CE indicates conformity with mandatory European safety requirements. European conformity is certified by following clear and understandable procedures, the so-called "conformity assessment procedures".

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* Why CE marking?
The European CE certification procedure has been mainly set up to:
1.Harmonize all varying national regulations for consumer and industrial products in European Member States, so that the Single Market is encouraged;
2.Bring about cost savings for producers;
3.Enhance the safety of products;
4.Supply public bodies with a uniform procedure that can be checked.
Formerly, product requirements and test procedures were set by the Member States of the EU. This meant that, for example, companies that wanted to sell their products on the European market sometimes had to deal with more than ten different technical requirements or procedures for just one product. The existence of all the different national legislation was contrary to the aim of the European Union in realizing one Single Market, in which there would be a free circulation of goods (as well as a free circulation of persons, services and capital).
All the different product requirements brought many costs for the producers. With the help of the CE Directives or 'New Approach' Directives, the measures have been optimized by setting up European (European-wide) requirements, the harmonization of national legislation and directives, standards and mutual recognition of the technical standards, tests methods (compliance tests) and test laboratories, so that producers no longer need to adapt their products to the different markets.
During the process of harmonization the safety level of all products was attuned and raised. In most European countries, safety and health had already been the subject of directives for many years but the safety level was not always satisfactory.
With the help of the conformity assessment procedures, the authorities can ascertain that the products that are placed on the market comply with the requirements as stated in the regulations of the directives. The CE marking is consequently largely for the benefit of the authorities. However, safe products are also necessary for the end user in the work or consumer environment.

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* The steps of the CE marking and CE certification procedure
Before the CE marking may be affixed to a product, the essential requirements of the applicable European Directive must be met. Moreover, the conformity of the product must be proved by following a testing and/or certification procedure. Besides some administrative steps this can mean that a risk analyses must be performed or that the compliance must be tested in a laboratory. 

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* Products the CE marking applies to
The CE mark is applicable to: medical devices, machinery, industrial installations, toys, electrical equipment, electronics, domestic appliances, pressure equipment, personal protective equipment, recreational craft, refrigerators etc.
The CE marking does not apply to: cosmetics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs.

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* Requirements with regard to the affixing of the CE marking logo
The CE marking must be affixed to the product, to its data plate or, where this is not possible or not warranted due to the nature of the product, to its packaging, if any, and to the accompanying documents by the manufacturer, the authorized representative in the Community or, in exceptional cases, by those responsible for placing the product on the market. The CE marking must be affixed visibly, legibly and indelibly. Where special provisions do not impose specific dimensions, it must have a height of at least 5 millimeters.

Netpeckers : one place where you get one stop solution for CE marking
Please visit CE marking procedure page where you will be informed about:

CE marking and certification procedure:
What is CE marking?
How can the CE marking be obtained?
Where can I have my product tested? 

European 'New Approach' Directives applicable to your product

How to meet the requirements of the European Directives and the conformity assessment procedures 
Testing and certification 
European standards related to CE marking 
And offer you the following CE marking services:

CE Marking Help Desk
Directive Wizard: Which European Directives apply to a certain product?
On-line Quote Form: receiving a quotation for CE certification was never this easy!

Inquiry Form

European Directives
The European Union's "New Approach" directives (often known as "CE Marking" directives), have had a major impact upon a wide range of industries, particularly the electro technical sectors
The Application of the CE mark project in Europe (ACE) is a collaboration between five North East organizations who, through their involvement in previous projects, have established knowledge and expertise in CE Marking directives. The ACE project aims to provide SMEs with information on the various European Directives.

"New Approach" directive
The European Union's "New Approach" directives (often known as "CE Marking" directives), have had a major impact upon a wide range of industries, particularly the electro technical sectors.
The underlying principle behind the directives is the free movement of goods. In 1992, the Single European Market was established, with the objective of creating just one market place, and opening up the markets of the individual Member States to competition from other Member States. At this time, it was recognized that there were many "Technical" barriers to trade - different mandatory standards in different Member States. There was therefore an urgent requirement to implement pan-European requirements, which harmonized these technical requirements, and therefore eliminated these barriers. This harmonization process is principally achieved by the publication of directives, which are then implemented into national law by all Member States.
Under the "Old Approach", a directive contains all the information necessary to enable a Manufacturer or Supplier to apply the directive, and comply with it. The directive therefore includes test methods, where these are necessary, test limits, and certification requirements. However, when considering the more complex areas of product assessment, it proved impossible to write directives that contained this information. The innovation of the "New Approach" was therefore that the directive should only contain general principles termed "Essential Requirements". The task of applying these requirements to individual products, and developing the necessary test methods, could then be left to standards produced by the European Standards Organizations (CEN, CENELEC, and ETSI).
The innovation of the New Approach therefore left the Legislators free to establish the key principles to be implemented in the law. Standards could be developed, published, and amended without having to change the directives on each occasion that the test method or limits required updating.
Most of the New Approach Directives incorporate a "Self-Certification" option. This leaves the responsibility for applying the test standards, and certifying that the products comply with the product Manufacturer. Whilst this means that there is, in these instances, no mandatory requirement for third party intervention, in practice, many Manufacturers will contract part of the assessment process to a third party laboratory.
For most of the New Approach Directives, the principles of complying are broadly similar:
Products should comply with the applicable "Essential Requirements" This is usually a matter of product design, and product instructions.
The Manufacturer or Supplier should demonstrate that the product complies with the essential requirements, using one of the product conformity assessment modules available within the directive. One of the options is usually the assessment of the product by applying the relevant standards to the product, and/or the preparation of appropriate documentation such as the Technical File

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The CE mark should be affixed legibly and indelibly to the product.
The Manufacturer should prepare and sign a "Declaration of Conformity"
Many of the CE Marking directives include provision for the appointment of Notified Bodies. These are organisations appointed by Member States in which they are based and whose details are "Notified" to the European Commission. The Commission must then publish these details in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Notified Bodies perform specific functions, as defined by the directives, in relation to the assessment of compliance of specific products. For many of the directives their involvement is only mandatory for higher risk and safety critical products. 

Glossary of Terms

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apparatus
In the EMC Directive, an "apparatus" is a finished product with an intrinsic function intended for the final user and intended to be marketed in the European Union (EU) market as a single commercial unit. This term applies only to the EMC Directive.

CE Marking
This symbol indicates that the marked equipment conforms to the relevant EU directives.

CEN
European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is a regional standards organization that develops standards (except electrical) for the EU and EFTA countries. 

CENELEC
European Committee for Electro technical Standardization (CENELEC) is a regional standards organization that develops electrical standards for the EU and EFTA countries.

Certification
Procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process, or service conforms to specified requirements (in many cases self-certification is acceptable).

Competent Body (CB)
An organization which is assessed for competence to carry out certain functions, (e.g. testing, compilation of Technical Construction Files and or test reports) and proving/certifying compliance with Directives. CBs are independent organizations which satisfy required criteria regarding technical competence, organization, available infrastructure, etc. CBs are recognized as being competent by the supervisory authorities of the Member States for certain areas (i.e. products and Directives).

Component
In the EMC Directive, any item that is used in the composition of an apparatus that is not in itself an apparatus with an intrinsic function intended for the final consumer. This term applies only to the EMC Directive.

Declaration of conformity

Statement from a manufacturer or a manufacturer's representative declaring that a product, process, or service meets the requirement of the applicable directive(s). Click here for an example.

EC
The European Community, an earlier term now replaced by EU.

EEA
The European Economic Area (EEA) is an 18 nation organization made up of the EU and EFTA countries.

EEC
European Economic Community, an earlier term now replaced by EU.

EFTA
European Free Trade Area, four western European nations. These are: Iceland , Liechtenstein , Norway and Switzerland.

EMC
Electromagnetic compatibility.

EN
European Standard, a technical document written by CEN or CENELEC.

EU
Formerly known as the European Economic Community (EEC), and later shortened to European Community (EC), the European Union (EU) is a group of 15 European nations that have established a single market area.

EU directives
These directives detail requirements for products, processes, and services within the EU. They are subsequently transposed into national laws by each member state.

IEC
The International Electro technical Commission (IEC) is a non-governmental organization with national participation from over 40 countries responsible for preparing and publishing international standards for the electrical and electronics fields.

Installation
In the EMC Directive, several combined items of apparatus or systems put together at a given place to fulfill a specific objective, but, not intended to be placed on the market as a single functional unit.

ISO
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is responsible for preparing international standards on all subjects except those covered by IEC.

Low voltage electrical equipment
Any equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000V for alternating current and between 75 and 1500V for direct current. (There are some specific exclusions.)

Machinery
An assembly of linked parts or components, at least one of which moves, with the appropriate actuators, control and power circuits, etc., joined together for a specific application, in particular for the processing, treatment, moving, or packaging of a material. (There are some specific exclusions.)

Notified Body (NB)
A Notified Body is a competent body that is notified by the Commission of the EU. The NB is responsible for issuing EC type approval certificates as required under certain Directives (e.g. for safety products). The names of NBs are published in the Official Journal of the EU. NBs like CBs are recognized as being competent for certain areas (i.e. products and Directives). NBs have to be involved for the certification of conformity for certain products. The responsibility for the Declaration of Conformity always stays with the manufacturer.

System
In the EMC Directive, several items of apparatus combined to fulfil a specific objective and intended to be placed on the market as a single functional unit. This term applies only to the EMC Directive.

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