CE marking: what is a CE mark and when is it mandatory?

Many consumer products sold within the European Union (EU) must have a CE mark. CE stands for Conformité Européenne, which means that a product meets all requirements set by the EU.

The EU has defined more than twenty product groups to which CE marking applies. Products covered by such a product group must therefore have a CE mark. Legal requirements have been described in guidelines and regulations. Some products are covered by several guidelines. You can find an overview of the product groups to which CE marking applies on the website of the European Commission.

CE inspection

Manufacturers wanting to market their products in the EU are obliged to investigate whether a product must have CE marking, and to affix the mark if applicable. For products in a number of product groups, it is up to the manufacturer to ascertain whether the product meets requirements. For others, a Notified Body (NoBo) has to conduct research. Products with a high safety risk, for example medical products or gas boilers, must in any case be tested by an independent third party.

Within the EU, country authorities check whether CE mandatory products meet requirements. You can find an overview of all registered Notified Bodies for CE inspections per EU country on the EC website

CE only when required

Products may only bear a CE mark if it is mandatory. Should a manufacturer or importer use the CE mark on a product for which it is not compulsory, he would be guilty of deception.

Importing products for which CE is mandatory

If a product is manufactured outside the European Economic Area (EEA, consisting of the EU countries and Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland), the product’s importer must check whether it has CE marking and whether it meets requirements. If an importer or distributor trades a CE mandatory product under his own name , then the company itself is responsible for CE marking.

The EU website offers information for manufacturers, importers and distributors about their responsibilities related to putting a product on the EEA market. It also informs consumers about the rights and benefits CE marking brings them.

Kiwa Notified Body for CE

Kiwa is accredited and notified to test and certify your products for the European market. Please have a look at this page for an overview of Kiwa accreditations and notifications per country.

Kiwa offers state of the art laboratory facilities for a wide range of on-demand testing (R&D supportive tests, feasibility tests, endurance, benchmarking etc.). Tests can be done for (parts of) systems, products and/or materials. Having labs in many countries (and expanding) we are able to offer localized services.