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  • FAQ

    What does CE marking mean?

    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 products 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.


    The European 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 Commission website.

    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 BIS's website. They can also be downloaded from our website in 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 Information (OPSI).

    What is EMC?

    Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is the interaction of electrical and electronic equipment with its electromagnetic environment, and with other equipment. All electronic devices have the potential to emit electromagnetic fields. With the proliferation of electronic devices into everyday life - TVs, Washing machines, Electronic ignitions, Traffic lights, Mobile phones, ATMs, Anti-theft tags, to name but a few - there is therefore a huge potential for devices to interfere with each other.

    All electric devices or installations influence each other when interconnected or close to each other. Sometimes you observe interference between your TV set, your GSM handset, your radio and nearby washing machine or electrical power lines.

    The purpose of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is to keep all those side effects under reasonable control. EMC designates all the existing and future techniques and technologies for reducing disturbance and enhancing immunity.

    The main objective of the Directive 2004/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 15 December 2004, on the approximation of the Laws of Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is thus to regulate the compatibility of equipment regarding EMC: equipment (apparatus and fixed installations) needs to comply with EMC requirements when it is placed on the market and/or taken into service; the application of good engineering practice is required for fixed installations, with the possibility for the competent authorities of Member States to impose measures if non-compliance is established.

    The EMC Directive first limits electromagnetic emissions of equipment in order to ensure that, when used as intended, such equipment does not disturb radio and telecommunication as well as other equipment. The Directive also governs the immunity of such equipment to interference and seeks to ensure that this equipment is not disturbed by radio emissions when used as intended.

    NEW LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK (NLF) ALIGNMENT PACKAGE:  Commission Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility.

    EMC Testing - Why is it necessary?

    Although not as prevalent in the media as food or child toy safety, there have been several well published cases where, because Electro Magnetic Compatibility & EMC Testing was not fully considered, products have had to be recalled or withdrawn from the market. Some well-known brands have been left embarrassed by products failing to meet EMC and RF regulations. Could it also happen to you?


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