CE marking – 20 things you need to know
Placed on several categories of products, CE marking is mandatory for machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, medical devices, personal protective equipment and toys.
We recently published updated advice for CE and UKCA marking to get you up to date on how compliance law is changing and any deadlines you need to meet to be able to continue selling in the UK market.
So if you are looking to sell an electronics product in the EU, you will need to affix a CE mark.
Here’s a quick round up of need-to-know facts to help you get through compliance:
CE Marking – 20 things you need to know
- CE marking is a self-declaration where a manufacturer proves compliance with EU health, safety and environmental protection legislation and confirms a product’s compliance with relevant requirements
- CE is Conformité Européenne (French) which means European conformity
- With a CE mark, your product can be sold in the EU and in some other countries, including Turkey
- CE directives affect manufacturers, importers and distributors/retailers, though a manufacturer is responsible for acquiring the CE mark
- There are six steps to CE marking – identify the relevant directives and standards, verify the product’s specific requirements, identify whether an independent conformity assessment is necessary, test product, draw up technical documentation, affix the mark to the product
- The CE mark itself is not evidence of compliance – your technical documentation/technical file is
- A Declaration of Conformity is a legal claim that products comply with applicable Directives and standards, though it is not evidence of compliance
- There are a number of CE Marking Directives including Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (R&TTE)* and Low Voltage (LV)
- Common testing for compliance include tests for radiated emissions, conducted emissions and telecommunications port emissions
- CE marking has nothing to do with product quality
- CE marking is mandatory for those products it applies to
- Ofcom, the Trading Standards Institute and the National Measurement Office (in the UK) are able to enforce CE marking, ban a product from sale, and instigate fines for non-compliance
- Unsafe products are shared in the EU via RAPEX – a rapid alert system on measures taken to prevent or restrict the marketing or use of products posing a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers
- There is a very similar logo where the CE stands for Chinese Export or China Export – this has nothing to do with European conformity
- The size of the CE mark must be at least 5 mm high
- If the appearance and workmanship of a product do not allow for the CE marking to be affixed on the product itself, the marking has to be affixed to its packaging or accompanying documents
- Early 2015 the European Commission released the latest listing titles and references for the harmonised standards used to demonstrate conformity with the current EU EMC Directive 2004/108/EC
- New R&TTE requirements started on 1 January 2015 (In that any device with any form or radio (receiver or transmitter) is subject to R&TTE)
- EMC and R&TTE testing is usually done at the end of product development
- Early EMC and R&TTE testing can reduce product development cost and reduce time to market
We recently expanded our electronics design capabilities by investing in a testing chamber, and launching an early EMC testing service.
As one of the few electronics design consultancies to have a chamber, ByteSnap Design’s EMC testing service enables it to identify and fix any issues prior to external testing – so de-risking a project and resulting in significant cost and time savings over a project lifetime.
*Since this article was first published, R&TTE has been replaced by the Radio Equipment Directive (RED)
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