3-Step Process to Obtaining CE Certification
Obtaining CE Marking
Any manufacturer—whose products have been tested and found to conform to the safety, health, and environmental protection requirements set out in the European law—can use a CE product logo.
This said, there is no pan-European body for product marking. In most cases, manufacturers complete device assessments themselves, document the test results in a Technical File and issue a Declaration of Conformity before announcing a product CE marked.
The entire process can be broken down into three steps.
Find out If Your Product Needs CE Marking
CE marking is mandatory only for products covered by the scope of one or more New Approach directives. The CE mark products include electrical equipment, toys, and machinery. Here is a complete list of products needing CE marks from the EU Electrical And Electronic Industries Site.
Check Your Product’s Requirements
In case you find your product in the list above, gather information on the essential directives and requirements you need to fulfill. In most cases, a self-assessment is adequate. But for complex items, independent testing is mandatory or preferred.
For instance, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing is usually required to be done by an independent body. In case your product needs to be tested for EMC, you can speak with the engineers from HCT America Engineering.
Electromagnetic radiation coming out of your device may interfere with the functioning of nearby electronic devices. The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive 2014/30/EU references specific test standards applicable to most product families. Otherwise, HCT America Engineering project managers can assist you in defining generic standards which may be applied to your device and confirmed by a Notified Body Opinion Letter upon successful completion of testing.
Because there are no public national and international organizations offering CE certificates, the liability falls on manufacturers who have, if they are asked, to prove that their products meet the essential requirements of EU law.
For devices falling under the various product family standards, the process is straightforward. As an ISO 17025 Accredited Testing Lab, HCT America Engineering can complete their required testing and prepare your TCF (Technical Construction File). Once this is complete, the manufacturer publishes their Declaration of Conformity, identifying the test standards to which their device complies.
The Biggest Benefit of CE Marking
This self-certification process allows instant access to the EU marketing strategy at this point. No agency bureaucracies or filing fees are necessary.
Sell Anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA) with CE Marking
Europe is home to more than 30 countries, each with its own set of regulations on safety, health, and the environment. Without CE certification, you will have to fulfill the production, manufacturing, and testing requirements of each of those countries to sell there. In stark contrast, a CE mark will indicate government officials in the countries of the EEA that your product can be placed in their market. It’s like a visa for your products.
A few years ago, there was a widespread hoax that “CE’ stood for ‘China Export.” Many believed it. Thankfully, it has been abandoned.
A CE mark on a product merely indicates that it has been tested to meet safety, health, and environmental protection requirements set out in European law. It is mandatory for 24 categories of products.
If your product falls into one of these 24 categories, run in-house tests, or let an independent firm examine it. The latter is the preferred method in EMA testing, our expertise.
You can download the CE logo from the European Union’s official website, and print it onto your products. No long forms to fill, no wasting time on government websites, and no lengthy discussions with bureaucrats whose jargon-filled talk could as well be a foreign language.