When I set out to investigate this question, I would not have guessed that it would turn out to be as much of an odyssey as it did. For most products, determining the need for a CE Mark is relatively straightforward, but not for wire and cable products! As equipment designers, engineers and technologists, we rarely think much about wire and cable. We’re mostly concerned with the insulation colours, number of conductors, the gauge and the voltage rating. Sometimes we’re also concerned about the temperature rating, the flexibility, or perhaps the shielding. The regulatory approvals carried by the wire are often assumed, or not considered at all. This common product can bring a world of headaches if the requirements are not fully considered.
The compliance assessment procedure of certain products with the Europeans standards, as laid down in their corresponding EU directive, may involve the notification of third-party, independent bodies. In the EU, such organisations are called Notified Bodies and their role is to evaluate whether the product complies with the relevant legislation in force.1) In this article I will discuss what the role and responsibilities of a Notified Bodies are.