CE marking – the Passport to the internal market of EU
In order to maximum support of economic growth of the European Union and the Member States, on the basis of the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, there was created a single market, so called European Economic Area (EEA) with a single or internal market.
One of the main instruments for promoting EU internal market, introduced 20 years ago, is the CE marking. The letters CE (Communauté Européenne respectively Conformité Européenne) in the shape of the figure shown down below refer that the products meet the requirements of a new type of technical harmonization of the European Union, which relies on the formation of the essential requirements for ensuring the interests protected by law. The pattern solutions of these are harmonized technical standards. There is a separation of the role of regulatory authorities (Commission and Member States) from the so-called self-regulation formulated by interest groups united in the European and national standardization organizations.
The CE marking confirms that the product complies with essential requirements of European technical regulations (directives), which relate to the product, and that compliance has been demonstrated throughout relevant conformity assessment procedures. Essential requirements are the requirements on product safety, public health, consumer protection, environmental protection and in some cases also interoperability.
The CE marking is mandatory and is integral to the product labeling for its entry to the EC market, unless otherwise is provided by Directives. Without the CE marking, the products can’t be placed to the market or put into the operation in the EEA region. In this context, the CE is sometimes termed as a ’trade passport’. As well as a passport when entering the country, the CE marking is necessary to the market access.
The main objectives of the CE marking was to harmonize all the different national rules on consumer and industrial products of European Member States to promote the single market, thereby reducing costs for producers and to increase product safety. Finally, the CE marking should facilitate activities of national authorities in the supervision of products. Given that not all of these objectives have been achieved especially due to non-harmonized approach to enforcement of these directives by the supervisory authorities of Member States, the European Commission, Council and Parliament accede to review this system, which was completed by adopting a new EU regulatory package for products. More on the new regulatory package can be found at http://www.unms.sk/?free_movement_of_goods
- more information regarding the CE marking
- European CE marking info-campaign
- Leaflet to download (PDF, 361,2 kB)