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All about the CE marking

What is the meaning of the CE marking?

For some products that are being sold within the European Economic Area (EEA) it is a mandatory requirement that they have a CE marking.

The CE marking represents a manufacturer’s declaration that his products comply with the highest health, safety and environmental protection standards for products that are being sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). This does not only apply to products that are sold within the EU but also for products that are manufactured in or designed to be sold in the EEA.

The abbreviation "CE" stands for "Conformité Européene" and translated means "European Conformity".

The CE marking is not a requirement for each and every product that is being traded in the EEA. It only applies to the products that are subject to the relevant directives.

What are the requirements for CE marking?

A mandatory requirement for the issue of the CE marking and the associated selling of the respective product in the European Economic Area is the EU Declaration of Conformity. With this declaration, manufacturers like Auer Signal, confirm that the products they put into free circulation comply with the health and safety requirements of all relevant European directives.

If a product has a CE marking affixed, it also indicates that the manufacturer has performed a conformity assessment and set up the appropriate technical documentation as well as the declaration itself. Manufacturers must have these documents and make them available to authorities upon request. Auer Signal has also made this information available to all customers on the company website. The EU Declaration of Conformity can be found on each page about a product, for example on the page about the EHL Multi-tone alarm sounder, and it can always be dowloaded from the website.

Do Auer Signal products have to carry a CE marking?

As a manufacturer of signaling devices, safety plays an important role for Auer Signal. All products are therefore certified according to the EU-wide applicable requirements. Customers can recognize this by the CE marking on the products, for which the corresponding Declarations of conformity are also available.

What does the CE marking look like?

The CE marking consists of the two letters "C" and "E", each of which is shaped to symbol a semicircle. The CE marking must be clearly visible and legible. Therefore, a minimum height of 5 mm is prescribed - anything less would seriously impair legibility.

CE Logo

Where must the CE marking be placed?

Manufacturers usually place the marking directly on the respective product. If the nature or size of the product does not allow the CE marking to be placed, it can alternatively be placed to the packaging and accompanying documents.

Base of the series R

CE marking on Base of the series R

To which products does the CE marking obligation apply?

The CE marking obligation applies, among other things, to electrical equipment for use within certain voltage limits, safety of toys, medical devices, construction products, lifts, machines, non-automatic weighing instruments, personal protective equipment, devices and protective systems for use as intended in hazardous areas and pressure equipment.

Auer Signal's products are subject to the CE marking requirement.

Are there specific directives for the CE certification of ATEX products?

Directive 94/9/EC was in force until 19 April 2016. It was replaced on 20 April 2016 by Directive 2014/34/EU. It is also known as the ATEX Directive. This directive as well as the associated conformity assessment procedure must be applied bindingly for equipment (note: which represents a potential ignition source) and protective systems for use as intended in potentially explosive atmospheres.

The ATEX Directive also defines the regulations and conditions for affixing the CE marking. It must be affixed visibly, legibly and permanently to the product or its data plate. There are also exceptions to this rule: If the nature or size of the product would not allow the marking to be affixed, it may be affixed to the packaging and accompanying documents.

If the product has been tested by a body and they have given the approval for the product to be sold in the EEA, the CE marking must be followed by the identification number of the body in question. The CE marking and, where appropriate, the identification number of the testing body must be followed by the specific explosion protection marking, the relevant markings indicating the equipment group and category and any other markings and information referred to in Annex II, point 1.0.5.

The ATEX Directive therefore also applies to ATEX signaling devices from Auer Signal. Here you will find the corresponding devices as well as the corresponding declarations of conformity:

Explosion proof lighting and ATEX beacon lighting

Explosion proof equipment: horns & sounders

Who must affix the CE marking to the products?

This entirely depends on the level of risk that a product has. The manufacturer, like Auer Signal, or the authorized representative is allowed affix the CE marking to a product, if that product has a minimal risk. This is also called “self-certified” and the manufacturer needs to provide a declaration of conformity as well as the CE marking on the product, or if that is not possible, on the documentation and the packaging of the product. The corresponding product has to conform to all Directives which apply to the product.

If a product has a higher level of risk, the CE marking process requires the involvement of a Notified Body. For example, this is necessary within the ATEX Directive as well as the Machinery Directive.

In which countries does the CE marking obligation apply?

The CE marking obligation applies in all countries participating in the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the EU member states and the EFTA states - with the exception of Switzerland, where it is not required but accepted for some products.

Turkey has also implemented most of the European CE marking directives, which makes the CE marking a requirement for most products, to which the relevant directives apply.

How long is the CE certification valid?

The CE marking does not have an expiry date. However, if a change is made to a product that already has a CE marking, a new conformity assessment procedure must be carried out, otherwise the CE marking is automatically lost. Only after this procedure has been completed may the CE marking continue to be affixed to the product. However, for the predecessors of the product the respective existing CE marking is still valid.

What are the costs for CE certification?

There are no costs for the CE Declaration of conformity and for CE certification if the manufacturer carries out the conformity assessment himself. However, some products must be tested by an notified body for a fee. The cost of this depends, among other things, on the certification procedure and the nature of the product

Does the CE marking say something about the quality of a product?

The CE marking is not a quality marking. With it, the manufacturer merely declares that the respective product does comply with the highest health, safety and environmental protection standards for products that are being sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). The certificate is therefore no proof of quality and must not be confused with a GS mark or a DGUV test mark.

How do you recognize a fake CE marking?

Fake CE markings are very common. This is mainly due to the fact that it is not so easy to recognize at first glance that it is a fake. You therefore have to look very closely to recognize it.

Fake CE markings differ only very little from the original, as you can easily see from the pictures. Nevertheless, it is important to pay close attention to this when buying a CE-certified product, otherwise it will not comply with the EU-wide requirements for safety, health and environmental protection and, in the worst case, its use may have fatal consequences.

Original CE mark
Fake CE mark

Left: Original, Right: Fake

Are there any changes regarding the CE marking due to Brexit?

Brexit changes many things; it also has a considerable influence on testing and certification of products. Currently, there is a transitional phase in which the CE mark is still recognized - after that, some manufacturers will have to affix a UKCA mark (UK Conformity Assessed) to their products if they want to market them in the UK. The UKCA mark can only be issued by British Notified Bodies.

In some cases, however, CE marking on products is still recognized in the UK. Manufacturers can find out which regulation their product is subject to on the UK government's website.

The UKCA marking thus replaces the CE marking on the British market - but the CE marking is still valid for the European market, the UKCA marking is not recognized in the EU.

UKCA

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