The CE mark, or formerly EC mark, is a
mandatory conformity marking for certain products sold within theEuropean Economic Area (EEA) since 1985.The CE marking is also found on products sold outside the EEAthat are manufactured in, or designed to be
sold in, the EEA. This makes the CE marking recognizable worldwide
even to people who are not familiar with the European Economic Area. It is in
that sense similar to the FCC Declaration
of Conformity used on certain
electronic devices sold in the United States.
It consists of the CE logo and, if applicable, the four digit identification
number of the notified body involved in the conformity assessment procedure.
The CE marking is the manufacturer's declaration that the product meets the
requirements of the applicable EC directives.
The actual words signified by "CE" have been disputed. It is often
taken to be an abbreviation of Conformité Européenne, meaning "European
Conformity".However, "CE" originally stood for "Communauté Européenne", French for
"European Community". In former German legislation, the CE marking
was called "EG-Zeichen" meaning "European Community mark".
The CE marking is a symbol of free marketability in the European Economic Area
Existing in its present form since 1995, the CE marking indicates the
compliance with EU legislation of a product, wherever in the
world manufactured, and enables its free movement within the European market. By affixing the
CE marking on a product, a manufacturer is declaring, at its sole
responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE
marking which allows free movement and sale of the product throughout the European Economic Area. CE
marking is intended for national market surveillance and enforcement
signifies that the product conforms with all EC directives that apply to it.
For example, most electrical products must comply with theLow Voltage Directive and the EMC Directive; electrical toys must also comply with the Toy Safety Directive. The marking does not indicate EEA manufacture.The manufacturer of CE-marked goods has verified that the product
complies with all applicable EC requirements, such as safety, health, and
environmental protection, and, if stipulated in any directive, has had them
examined by a notified
conformity assessment body.
Not all products need CE marking to be traded in the EC; only product
categories subject to relevant directives are required (and allowed) to bear CE
marking. Most CE-marked products can be placed on the market subject only to an
internal production control by the manufacturer (Module A; seeSelf-certification, below), with no
independent check of the conformity of the product with EU legislation; ANEC has cautioned that,
amongst other things, CE marking cannot be considered a "safety mark"
CE marking is a self-certification scheme. Retailers sometimes refer to
products as "CE approved", but the mark does not actually signify
approval. Certain categories of products require type-testing by an independent
body to ensure conformity with relevant technical standards, but CE-marking in
itself does not certify that this has been done.