What products must have CE marking?
Many consumer goods marketed in the EU, such as toys and electrical appliances, must have CE marking. CE marking indicates that the product meets certain statutory requirements connected with things like safety, health and the environment. It can be recognised by the letters ‘CE’.
Companies responsible for applying CE marking
Manufacturers must ascertain whether their products meet the requirements, and whether they must have CE marking. It is also up to the manufacturer to apply the CE marking to the product. If it was made outside the European Economic Area (EEA), the importer must check whether the product meets the requirements and must have CE marking.
If an importer markets the product under its own name, it assumes the responsibilities of the manufacturer, and must apply the CE marking itself.
For certain product groups, companies may perform the assessment for CE marking themselves. For other groups of products, they must use the services of an institution approved by the authorities. These are bodies registered with the European Commission. A list of registered bodies in each country can be found on the European Commission website.
CE marking mandatory for more than 20 product groups
CE marking is mandatory for more than 20 product groups, including construction products, gas appliances, toys, measuring instruments, mobile phones and lifts. The European Commission website has a list of types of products for which CE marking is mandatory. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) has a list of directives under which CE marking is compulsory.
A company may not apply CE marking to any product for which it is not mandatory. Any company that does so will be guilty of deception.
CE marking on construction products
CE marking has been mandatory for many construction products since 2012. Since 2013 a declaration of performance has also been required. This contains product information and contact details. Manufacturers, importers of construction products and distributors must supply a declaration of performance with their product. A special contact point (Contactpunt bouwproducten) can provide technical details concerning CE marking on construction products.
Products with CE marking freely available
Companies may freely trade any product with CE marking in the EEA. National authorities may not set any further requirements for these products.
Checks on CE marking
Several bodies in the Netherlands test products that must have CE marking. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, for example, assesses whether gas appliances meet the statutory requirements. And the Social Affairs and Employment Inspectorate tests equipment in explosive environments. RVO.nl has a list of bodies that test each particular group of products.
Products that do not meet the requirements for CE marking
A product that does not meet the statutory requirements must not be given CE marking. This applies only if CE marking is mandatory for that product group. The product may not then be sold. If an inspection authority finds a product that has been improperly given CE marking, it can take several measures. For instance, it might demand that the manufacturer adapt or withdraw the product. Serious cases can even result in criminal prosecution.