CemarkingDubai Blog

EXPORTING TO EUROPE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CE MARKING

Manufacturers exporting products to Europe should determine whether their products must be certified with a CE marking that specifies compliance with the European Union's health, safety and regulatory needs.

The CE marking, “Conformité Européenne," is mandatory for many products exported to Europe. The good news for exporters is that CE certification covers all of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes 28 EU countries, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway.

“Often the CE marking is described as a trade passport because it allows the free movement of products within the European market," says Han Zuyderwijk, a CE marking expert and president of The Alura Group, based in The Netherlands.

For American exporters, products that meet U.S. testing and certification needs still have to be separately certified for compliance with EU standards. It also is significant to remember that the CE marking is an indicator, but not proof, of a product's compliance with European Union regulations. “If your product comes under the scope of a directive needing CE marking, you must confirm the product complies with the applicable necessities, and affix the CE mark before placing it in the market in the EEA," says Zuyderwijk.

Does My Product Require Certification?

Determining whether CE marking is mandatory for your products can be a complex undertaking. Products needing certification range from electronics and hot-water boilers to medical devices and toys. Figuring out which products need certification requires knowledge and expertise about more than two dozen EU directives. For U.S. exporters, this means developing in-house expertise or working with a third party that understands and monitors CE marking requirements.

Under what is called the “New Approach directives," the EU has provided mandates to various European standards organizations to develop technical guidelines that meet the important health and safety requirements of CE marking regulations. “For higher-risk products," adds Zuyderwijk, “the EU Commission still needs a third party to confirm that a product is safe to be put into service in the EU."