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CE marking

The CE marking is the manufacturer's or importer's declaration of conformity with the requirements of EU legislation. The CE marking is required for certain product groups, such as toys and electrical equipment. Products belonging to certain product groups must be tested as a prerequisite to the CE marking.

The CE marking facilitates the movement of goods within the European market

As a declaration of the manufacturer or importer of a product, the CE marking shows that the product complies with EU regulations and its conformity has been properly demonstrated. The CE mark is obligatory for products that are subject to specific EU directives.

Currently there are a little over 20 directives that set requirements for CE markings of products. As an example, the following products must always carry the CE mark:

  • toys
  • machinery
  • lifts
  • electrical appliances
  • personal protective equipment
  • certain construction products
  • gas equipment
  • measuring instruments.

The CE mark is not a general safety or quality label; rather, it indicates compliance with requirements set in EU law.

The CE mark is not a general safety or quality label; rather, it indicates compliance with requirements set in EU law.

The CE marking can be used only if the product falls under specific directives. If the CE mark is misused, regulatory authorities may intervene and may remove the product from the market. Inappropriate use of the CE mark may also be punishable.

For further information on product categories for which the CE marking is required, see the website of the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency.

How to apply for the CE marking

When a product falls under a directive requiring the CE marking, there are several ways to apply for it. In some cases, the manufacturer’s declaration may suffice. In others, compliance has to be assessed by a notified body, i.e. a nationally designated and competent organisation.

Directives may have requirements on demonstrating compliancy. For example, certain products must be tested before applying the CE marking. In addition, a type examination may be required. Type examinations are required for personal protective equipment and dangerous machinery, for instance.

Type examinations are performed by notified bodies. The purpose of market surveillance, carried out by authorities, is to ensure that products not conforming to regulations are removed from the market.

An exception: CE marking of construction products

In regard to construction products, the CE marking does not necessarily guarantee that all regulations have been met. Users of construction products must ensure that the CE marking shows that the product meets the minimum requirements of relevant authorities for intended use.

Further information on CE marking for construction products is available in Finnish on hEN Helpdesk.

Standards are helpful when manufacturing products that require the CE marking

European standardization organizations develop standards under a mandate given by the EU and EFTA in order to facilitate the manufacturing of products that comply with directives. In Finland, SFS implements these standards as SFS-EN standards. The abbreviation EN means that the standard is European, while SFS indicates that it has been implemented in Finland.

The facilitatory role of standards is based on the “new approach” to technical harmonisation and standardization, introduced in the EU in the 1980s. According to the new approach, only essential health, safety, environmental and consumer protection requirements are imposed through EU directives; they are complemented with detailed standards, drafted by standardization organisations in order to facilitate the manufacturing of products conforming to regulations.

The letters CE come from the French words Conformité Européenne, “European Conformity”.

Instructions for the using of the CE marking can be found in the relevant directives. General instructions concerning the marking are included in the EU Regulation 765/2008 Article 30 and decision 768/2008/EC.