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European Safety Certification, CE Marking

CE MarkingCE Marking or European Conformity Certificate

The CE marking was introduced in 1985. First EU Directives were adopted to establish a common database of technical requirements for safety and quality of products sold in the EU market. Today the CE marking is also found on products sold outside the EU — the European CE Certification is voluntarily used in Asia, North and South America. To enter the EU market, it is a legal requirement for any product to be certified for its compliance with requirements of all applicable European Directives (the CE marking itself is not affixed to chemical, pharmaceutical and food products).

"CE" is an abbreviation of the French – "Conformité Européenne", meaning European Conformity, i.e. the European certificate of quality.

The CE certification officially proves that the manufacturer has met the minimum of requirements for people, animals, environment and property safety as set out in relevant European Directives, namely: Directive 97/23/ЕС (Pressure Equipment Directive), Directive 2004/108/ЕС, etc. It should be noted that CE system gives higher priority to safety rather than to quality requirements.

CE certification standards are described in EU Directives, which are legal acts of the European Union. However, manufacturers may also use other types of voluntary marking supplemental to the CE certification in order to protect consumers against any additional hazards.

At present, the CE Certificate is mandatory for 24 product groups: construction materials, construction products, personal protective equipment, lifts, medical devices, explosion-proof equipment, etc. Products for children are subject to the most stringent control and regulation.

CE Marking Objectives

The CE marking signifies that the product has been made from safe raw materials and its maker has met all applicable requirements and carried out all conformity assessments and inspections.

In case it is revealed that the CE marking has been affixed illegally, a heavy fine is imposed on the manufacturer, and the products are withdrawn from the circulation. The manufacturer will bear the responsibility for such product withdrawal and all related expenses. In some circumstances, that violation may be subject to penal sanctions. Controlling the use of European CE certification is the responsibility of special surveillance authorities that are empowered to take relevant actions if any misuse of the CE mark is suspected or if the compliance with other EU Directives is questioned.

The CE marking is not to be confused with the China Export as both marks look very similar but have quite different meanings.

How to Gain the CE Certificate: Stages of the European Certification

The procedure can be divided in a number of steps:

  • Identification of directive applicable to your product. If a product is a new or unique one and, therefore, does not fall under the scope of any particular Directive, then its certification shall be governed by Directive 2001/95/EC (GPSD) that provides for general requirements for safety. The EU directives set out broad requirements for product safety, while harmonized standards (applicable across all EU countries) contain more specific technical requirements on how to ensure the conformity. Identification and application of such standards constitutes an integral part of the first step on your way to gaining the CE Certificate.
  • Identification of any national requirements for this type of product. It can be an additional marking, any particular type of packing or storage (operation) conditions, etc.
  • Examination of technical documentation. At this stage, TMS engineers examine the customer's design documentation (drawings, electrical circuit diagrams, bill of materials) and other papers (instructions, manuals, etc.).

The deliverable for this stage is a report on the documentation state.

  • Laboratory tests. To verify its conformity to the requirements of the selected Directives and standards, the product must be tested. Testing can be carried out either in Russia or in EU countries. The deliverable for this stage is a laboratory test protocol.

The deliverable for this stage is a laboratory test protocol.

  • Certification. At this stage, an authorized expert audits reports and protocols and the certificate is executed and issued to confirm the product conformity to the requirements of the Directive and harmonized standards.

CE Marking Scope:

  • Toys and Products for Children
  • Medical Devices and Equipment
  • E-mobility
  • Appliances Burning Gaseous Fuels, etc.