Thursday, June 26, 2008

The CE Mark

Sometimes,I wonder..what does the "CE" printed on any electronic device mean?
According to what I read from the wikipedia,CE marking (also known as CE mark) is a mandatory conformity mark on many products placed on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA).By affixing the CE marking, the manufacturer, its authorized representative, or person placing the product on the market or putting it into service asserts that the item meets all the essential requirements of the relevant European Directive(s). Examples of European Directives requiring CE marking include toy safety, machinery, low-voltage equipment, R&TTE, and EM compatibility. There are about 25 Directives requiring CE marking.Officially, CE has no meaning as an abbreviation, but may have originally stood for Communauté Européenne or Conformité Européenne, French for European Conformity.

The CE marking is a mandatory European marking for certain product groups to indicate conformity with the essential health and safety requirements set out in European Directives. To permit the use of a CE mark on a product, proof that the item meets the relevant requirements must be documented. Sometimes this is achieved using an external test house which evaluates the product and its documentation. Often it is achieved by a company-internal self-certification process. In any case the responsible organization (manufacturer, representative, importer) has to issue a EC-Declaration of Conformity (EC-DoC) indicating his identity (location, etc.), the list of European Directives he declares compliance with, a list of standards the product complies with, and a legally binding signature on behalf of the organization. The EC-DoC underlines the sole responsibility of the manufacturer. Parts of the certification process for the CE marking could be performed by 3rd party test houses or certification bodies; in case that this is mandatory the CE symbol also includes a number that identifies the so called Notified Body.

To be strictly accurate, there are two forms of Declaration, either a "Declaration of Conformity" or a "Declaration of Incorporation". Generally speaking this is only the case under the Machinery Directive. For example, a stand-alone machine that requires only a power source to operate would be issued with a Declaration of Conformity; whereas a machine that requires additional systems, attachments, feed conveyors etc, before it can provide its intended function must be issued with a Declaration of Incorporation. In this latter case it is illegal to CE Mark such a machine. This can only be achieved once the machine has been finally installed and all other elements incorporated into the system. A final Risk Assessment is performed to verify compliance of the system and a final Declaration of Conformity is then issued.

According to an article in The Guardian on 23-12-2001, the mark was designed by Arthur Eisenmenger. The various components of the CE marking must have substantially the same vertical dimension, which may not be less than 5 mm.