The CE label seen on many products shows that the product complies with the relevant rules in the European Economic Area. CE stands for Conformité Européenne; in other words, in conformity with European legislation.
The CE label is not a seal of approval or guarantee of quality. The CE label has two purposes. On the one hand, it aims to promote free trade between the member states, and on the other hand it aims to increase safety in the use of the products.
The CE label is mandatory by law on products that come under the ‘New Approach’ directives. These include electrical equipment, machinery, gas-operated devices, toys, lifts, measuring instruments (water, gas and electricity meters, scales etc.) and personal protective equipment (safety helmets, high visibility clothing etc.)
By applying the CE label, the manufacturer or his agent indicates that the product complies with all applicable European rules, and that the conformity or compliance procedures have been completed. Furthermore, in most cases they must draw up an EC declaration of conformity. In this declaration of conformity, the manufacturer or importer is obliged to state that the product complies with all the relevant European directives. In addition, the manufacturer or importer is obliged to accept liability for his product.
Assessment of conformity with the regulations for the purposes of the CE label is largely a matter of self-certification. This means that the manufacturer or importer must perform any necessary measurements and assessments himself or outsource this task to an institute of his choice.
In certain cases, an EC type approval is prescribed and one must make use of a ‘notified body’ approved by the government.
It is an economic offence to falsely apply the CE label and/or falsely draw up and sign the EC declaration of conformity. In the Netherlands, this offence is covered by the Economic Offences Act.
Misuse and Deception
Just like any other label, the CE label is misused. Some manufacturers use a very similar label to indicate that the product is made in China; this stands for ‘China Export’ or ‘China Electronics’. Although the logo is very similar to the European CE label, it frequently fails to comply with European regulations.
Support by HMPA
HMPA has sound knowledge and years of experience to give you practical help with fulfilling your ‘CE obligations’.
We have a structured approach. In short, this means:
- creating a summary, based on the applicable directives, of the requirements that the relevant machinery must fulfill. We also ascertain the work that needs to be done in order to remedy any shortcomings
- in addition, we ascertain the requirements regarding the documentation you must keep relating to the machinery
- a risk inventory and analysis is carried out in order to expose any relevant hazards or risks
- if desired, a CE type plate can be made and a Declaration of Conformity drawn up.
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