Marking - Frequently Asked Questions
What does CE marking mean? What do the initials CE stand for?
CE marking is a declaration by the manufacturer that the product meets all the
appropriate provisions of the relevant legislation implementing certain European
Directives. CE marking gives companies easier access into the European market to
sell their products without adaptation or rechecking. The initials "CE" do not
stand for any specific words but are a declaration by the manufacturer that his
product meets the requirements of the applicable European Directive(s).
|Does my product require the CE marking?
||You need to establish first which, if any, of the
New Approach Directives or older Global Approach
Directives applies to your product. CE marking only applies to products
within the scope of these Directives. It should not be applied to
products if they are outside the scope of the Directives.
Commission's "Blue Guide" (Guide to the Implementation of Directives Based on
the New Approach and Global Approach) lists Directives where the CE Marking
will be applicable. It is available for download from the
For specific information on the Directives, please read our relevant guidance
documents (see below).
The same principles above apply to imported products. It is the
responsibility of the importer / person placing the product on the market to
ensure that the product is correctly CE-marked.
|How do I go about getting a CE marking?
||It is necessary first to establish which Directives
apply to the product. It is impossible to draw up hard-and-fast rules, and it is
important to seek independent and impartial advice if you are in any doubt.
Guidance booklets on many of the EC Directives (or UK regulations implementing
those Directives) that contain CE marking requirements are available. Printed
versions are available free of charge to addresses within the UK only, and can
be ordered from the DTI's website.
They can also be downloaded from the STRD website in
Adobe Acrobat format.
- It is important also to understand that not all EC Directives relating to
products, e.g. the General Product Safety Directive, require CE marking:
- nor that a particular Directive applies to all products that could be
described by its title e.g. the Machinery Directive does not apply to
every conceivable product that might be termed a machine. Most of the Directives
set out 'scopes' i.e. the range of products to which they apply.
You should therefore study the UK regulations implementing the Directives.
Copies of the regulations can be obtained from
The Office of Public Sector
|Must the CE marking appear on any packaging, in
manuals or other supporting literature?
|In general CE marking must appear on the product
but see the individual guidance for exceptions. It
may also appear on the packaging, in manuals or other supporting literature, but
again it is best to study the guidance.
|What is the design of the CE marking, and how
big / small must it appear?
Where can I get the artwork / sample
|The CE mark must not be less than 5mm in its
vertical height, and the proportions maintained. It is generally shown on a grid
in the guidance booklets, as below (the grid does not form part of the marking
and is for information only):
This mark looks the same as some previous marks, but there are subtle
changes, and it should be studied closely. It should be noted, for example, that
the C and E are not formed by perfect semi-circles, i.e. the top and bottom arms
extend one square beyond the semi-circles, and the middle arm of the E stops one
The graphic is not made available for download from any official sources, but
can be obtained in a wide variety of file formats from commercial organisations,
sometimes freely available for download. One such organisation in the UK is
Conformance, but please note that
the DTI makes no guarantee of accuracy or suitability of any files obtained from
|What files / documentation must I keep? What
information should those contain? Ditto the Declaration of Conformity.
|Please refer to the specific Directives and/or
Regulations, and also our guidance documents available from
our downloadable documents page or from
|Who enforces - and what would happen if I don't
CE mark a product?
||Enforcement varies according to the Directives.
Some are enforced by local Trading
Standards Departments, others by HSE
and yet others by the Medical and Healthcare
Products Regulatory Agency and the Vehicle
Enforcement procedures/penalties: Except where
safety is at risk, the relevant enforcement authority will usually provide you
with an opportunity to ensure that your product is correctly CE-marked. If you
fail to comply then you will be obliged to take your product off the market, and
you may also be liable to a fine and/or imprisonment.
|What requirements do I have to meet to export my product?
||CE-marking applies to the circulation of a product
within the EEA. It is not required for exporting a product to non-EEA countries.
You need to check on the particular regulatory requirements or standards that
apply to your product in the country in question. The same standards may apply
but they may also be different.
Advice on exporting is available from the
UK Trade & Investment network,
which delivers services co-ordinated by the former British Trade International,
the organisation set up in May 1999 to take lead responsibility within
Government for trade development and promotion.
Technical Help for Exporters service run by the
BSI may also be able to offer some
|What are Notified/Approved/ Competent Bodies?
How can I find one?
||These are bodies appointed by each member State
under the appropriate national regulations to conduct third-party conformity
assessment procedures to the product in question or its production processes, as
required by the Directives, in order that it may be CE-marked. The procedures
vary according to the Directives and third-party involvement is not compulsory
for all products. Manufacturers can use the services of
Notified/Approved/Competent Bodies in any member State of the European
Some listings of these Bodies can be obtained from the
STRD webpages - or from
Publications@DTI - and others
European Commission's website.
|What standards must my product meet? Where can I
|Lists of standards that provide a presumption of
conformity with the EC Directives for the purposes of CE marking are available
from the "New
Approach" website. Copies of the standards can be ordered from
|Where can I get specific technical help?
|Technical help is available from several sources
including BSI, your Trade Association,
and UK Trade & Investment