The CE marking indicates a product’s compliance with EU legislation and so enables the free movement of products within the European market. By affixing the CE marking to a product, a manufacturer declares, on his sole responsibility, that the product meets all the legal requirements for the CE marking, which means that the product can be sold throughout the European Economic Area (EEA, the 28 Member States of the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein). This also applies to products made in other countries which are sold in the EEA.
CE marking does not indicate that a product was made in the EEA, but merely states that the product has been assessed before being placed on the market and thus satisfies the applicable legislative requirements (e.g. a harmonised level of safety) enabling it to be sold there. It means that the manufacturer has:
- verified that the product complies with all relevant essential requirements (e.g. health and safety or environmental requirements) laid down in the applicable directive(s) and
- if stipulated in the directive(s), had it examined by an independent conformity assessment body.
It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to carry out the conformity assessment, to set up the technical file, to issue the declaration of conformity and to affix the CE marking to a product. Distributors must check that the product bears the CE marking and that the requisite supporting documentation is in order. If the product is being imported from outside the EEA, the importer has to verify that the manufacturer has undertaken the necessary steps and that the documentation is available upon request.
BENEFITS OF CE MARKING CERTIFICATION
There are a significant number of advantages of CE marking for the manufacturer and for the consumer. In particular:
- CE marking provides manufacturers with market access to the whole European Economic Area, since countries within this area may not restrict the placing on the market of products bearing the CE marking.
- It guarantees that the product conforms to the regulations in the specific directive
- It is a guarantee for the manufacturer that the product is safe for consumers
- It may significantly reduce damage claims and liability premiums.