The European Commission and EU Member States have decided to lower further the fees payable to the Community agency responsible for granting EU-wide trade mark rights, OHIM (Office for the Harmonization in the Internal Market, located in Alicante, Spain), and to simplify the registration procedure. This measure, which follows an initial reduction in 2005 (IP/05/1289), will make trade mark protection much cheaper and easier to obtain for businesses operating in the EU single market, saving them some €60 million a year. It will come into force on 1 May 2009.
For the last 20 years, there has not been a single week in which I have not been asked the following:
“How much does CE marking cost?”
It is a very understandable question. I am sure that it is on your mind as well. Before you start the process of getting the CE marking, it is good to have an overview of the costs involved. But most people do not realize how difficult it is to answer this question.
The CE marking requirements covers different aspects of a product’s design, production and distribution. Typically, various companies are involved in the design, manufacturing, distribution and placing on the market of products. The contributions of each single of these links in the production chain and distribution chain may affect the CE compliance of a product. For example, a product may be designed in accordance with the requirements, but may in the end not comply because during the production stage there was a deviation from the design. Or an electronic component may have been tested and approved for the requirements for electromagnetic interference, but can start to emit illegitimate disturbance when installed incorrectly. This raises the question of who is responsible for the CE marking.