What Is a CE Mark?

Created in 1985, the CE mark, or CE certification, is a label found on electronic goods sold in the European Economic Area (EEA). However, even if you do not live in Europe, you may still notice the CE mark on items you purchase locally.

HomElectrical is here to explain why you see the label and what it means for you as a consumer or manufacturer.

What Does “CE” Stand For?

The abbreviation “CE” stands for the French phrase Conformité Européene, which directly translates to mean "European Conformity." This name derives from the fact that products with the CE mark conform to European consumer safety and environmental standards.

What Does the CE Mark Mean?

CE Mark Graphic

This certification is mostly required for electronics and, among other things, assesses a device’s electromagnetic compatibility.

Electromagnetic compatibility ensures that a device can be used without interfering with other electronics.

The CE mark also guarantees consumer health and safety as well as products’ compliance with environmental protection regulations.

Why Do U.S. Manufacturers Need to Obtain a CE Mark?

Many products manufactured outside of Europe will still bear a CE mark. This is because products must meet European standards if they are to be sold in the EEA.

Even if products obtain other similar certifications in their country of origin, they still need to be cleared for distribution within the European Economic Area.

This rule applies to products manufactured in the United States, even if they already pass U.S. consumer safety regulations.

Which Products Require a CE Mark?

Most electronics sold in the EEA require a CE mark. Here is a list of product categories that typically require a CE certification:

  • Medical devices
  • Appliances that release gaseous fumes
  • Cables used for human transfer
  • Construction equipment
  • Products advertised as eco-friendly or energy-efficient
  • Water boilers
  • Explosives and pyrotechnics
  • Low-voltage electronics
  • Measuring tools
  • Radios and recreational equipment
  • Electronics that contain hazardous substances
  • Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) devices
  • Toys

Who Is Legally Responsible for Affixing a CE Mark?

Typically, the manufacturer affixes the CE mark to a product after undergoing a series of legal steps. Importers are responsible for ensuring that manufacturers followed the proper steps for certification.

However, if a distributor sells a product under its name, then the distributer is responsible for obtaining and affixing the CE certification.

In order to legally obtain the CE mark, you must perform a conformity assessment and create a technical file. Then, you must sign a declaration of conformity distributed by government officials according to the proper legislation.

Access to these documents must be available to authorities upon request.

The product standards of one region can have a global effect. The CE mark is just one example of how governments protect consumers. To find electronics and construction equipment with a CE certification, shop HomElectrical today!


Recommended Reading

Before you purchase your electrical or lighting products, ensure that they meet the safety standards and requirements and have certifications. You want to buy a UL or ETL listed product, which ensures your product does not cause anyone harm.

ETL stands for Electrical Testing Labs and ensures that an electrical product gets tested, inspected, and the public can use it safely. Look for the ETL logo on your product's package or label.

A UL-listed device means that they tested the device, and it meets their requirements for safety. Learn about the different safety requirements that the UL has for your products to pass their tests and the other organizations such as the NFPA and the NEC.

Morgan McConnell
Morgan McConnell

As a lifelong writer, Morgan McConnell works tirelessly to compose accurate and informational writing for her readers. Even if it kills her.

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