CE Marking Directive
What is the CE marking directive?
CE marking identifies a product as conforming to one or more European Directives. When a manufacturer affixes a CE mark logo to their product they are declaring compliance with ALL RELEVANT European Directives.
When did the CE mark logo start to be used?
CE marking for instruments began on the 1st of January 1996. From then a CE mark logo must be carried by all electronic equipment sold within the European Economic Area. The regulations do not apply retrospectively.
What does a CE mark look like?
Have a look on the manufacturer's nameplate that appears on any instrument sold in the European Union and you will see it: a distinctive C and E.
What CE Directives are relevant to Instrumentation?
- 89/336/EEC (modified by 92/31/EEC, and 93/68/EEC), The Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive (from Jan 96)
- 72/23/EEC (modified by 93/68/EEC), The Low Voltage Directive (from Jan 97)
- 97/23/EC, The Pressure Equipment Directive, known as PED (from May 2002)
- 94/9/EC, Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres, known as ATEX (from 1/7/2003)
- 2014/32/EU, Measuring Instruments Directive, known as MID.
Which countries demand a CE mark?
All 27 member countries of the European Union (EU), the 4 member countries of EFTA (European Free Trade Association), and Turkey consider it to be mandatory. It is estimated that around 70% of all products sold in these countries require to be marked. CE Marking obtained from one EU country is valid in all other EU countries, and in the EFTA countries. It permits free movement of the product within all 30 plus countries.
Who belongs to the European Union?
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
Note that the UK is no longer a member - see below for how the UK will handle CE marking after Brexit
Who belongs to EFTA?
Since February 2005 there has only been four members; Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
CE marking after Brexit
The UK formally left the European Union on 31st January 2020. However, they will remain in the single market until either a deal is agreed or until the 31st Dec 2020, which ever is sooner. Therefore,
- All CE rules will continue to apply until the UK leaves the Single Market
- CE marking is integral to the Single Market so UK instrument manufacturers will need to apply the rules if they want to continue to trade with the EU, even if UK decides to repeal some of them for internal trade.
Who Ensures Compliance?
The law applies to the manufacturer, importer, supplier and the customer.
It is an offence to supply a product, which is not CE marked, regardless of where it is made. Therefore the manufacturer, importer and supplier must ensure products are CE marked.
It is also an offence to use unmarked products. Therefore the purchaser must ensure products are CE marked.
The relevant regulatory body in the country concerned is charged with enforcing the law. In the UK this falls to the trading standards department of local authorities.
If you suspect that a manufacturer is misusing the CE mark, you can request a certificate of conformity and/or a declaration of conformance. This should provide test results and other information about how the item meets the relevant requirements as well as stating which harmonised European Standard the product has been CE marked as conforming to.
The penalties for not conforming to CE marking legislation can include fines and imprisonment.
What about spare parts?
Components with no intrinsic function e.g. a circuit board, do not require a CE mark. However, an instrument that is a spare part for a compressor package would require to be marked (assuming that one or more of the directives mentioned above apply).