CE Marking: Frequently Asked Questions

Every day we receive questions about CE marking. Here is a selection of the your FAQs:

What does the CE marking on a product mean?

By affixing the CE marking to a product, the manufacturer indicates that the product is in conformity with the applicable European Union product safety requirements requirements. Sometimes, the CE marking is called a “trade passport”. This means that products that bear the CE marking are presumed to be in compliance and can freely circulate in the European Union market.

What does the CE mark look like?

This is how the CE marking looks:
CE Marking

Are all CE marked products tested and approved by European authorities?

No. In fact, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to the assessment of the conformity of the products with the legislative requirements applying. The manufacturer affixes the CE marking and drafts the EU Declaration of Conformity. Typically, only products which are regarded as presenting a high risk to the public interest, e.g. pressure vessels, lifts and certain machine tools, require conformity assessment by a third party, i.e. a notified body.

Does the CE marking mean that the product is produced in the EU?

No. The CE marking is not a mark of origin. The CE marking indicates that the product meets all applicable EU requirements. That product may have been produced anywhere in the world.

Does my product require CE marking?

CE marking is required for a great range of industrial and consumer equipment, medical devices and toys. A full list of products that need CE can be found here. The CE marking is not required for foodstuffs and feed, for cosmetics and for chemicals or pharmaceuticals. We will be glad to assist you to determine if your products require CE.

Who checks the correct use of the CE marking?

The enforcement of the CE marking is the responsibility of public authorities in the Member States in cooperation with the European Commission.

What are the sanctions for false CE marking?

Counterfeit CE markings are prosecuted following the procedures in the EU Member States’ national administrative and penal code. Authorities may punish economic operators for false CE marking with various measures:
– fines,
– prohibition of sales,
– product recalls or withdrawals and, in some circumstances,
– imprisonment.
However, if the product is not an immediate safety risk, often the manufacturer is given a second opportunity to ensure product compliance.

Who is responsible for CE marking and for product compliance?

The manufacturer is the main responsible person. If the manufacturer is located outside of the EU, the importer of the product has the same responsibilities as the manufacturer. Economic operators that are later in the distribution chain (f.e. distributors, retailers), are not responsible for compliance. They are required to verify the required markings, labelling and documentation are available.

Related Articles