The European CE certification procedure has been mainly set up to:
- Harmonize all varying national regulations for consumer and industrial products in European Member States, so that the Single Market is encouraged;
- Bring about cost savings for producers;
- Enhance the safety of products;
- Supply public bodies with a uniform procedure that can be checked.
In the past, product requirements and test procedures in Europe were set by the individual Member States of the European Union. This meant that, for example, companies that wanted to sell their products on the European market sometimes had to deal with more than ten different technical requirements or procedures for just one product. The existence of all the different national legislation was contrary to the aim of the European Union in realizing one Single Market, in which there would be a free circulation of goods (as well as a free circulation of persons, services and capital).
All the different product requirements brought many costs for the producers. With the help of the CE Marking Directives or ‘New Approach’ Directives, the measures have been optimized by setting up European (European-wide) requirements, the harmonization of national legislation and directives, standards and mutual recognition of the technical standards, tests methods (compliance tests) and test laboratories, so that producers no longer need to adapt their products to the different markets.
During the process of harmonization the safety level of all products was attuned and raised. In most European countries, safety and health had already been the subject of directives for many years but the safety level was not always satisfactory.
With the help of the conformity assessment procedures, the authorities can ascertain that the products that are placed on the market comply with the requirements as stated in the regulations of the directives. The CE Marking is consequently largely for the benefit of the authorities. However, safe products are also necessary for the end user in the work or consumer environment.
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