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Meaning and types of the CE mark

Products exported to the European Union normally have a”CE” mark on them. Only when the product is printed with the CE mark can it be sold in EU countries, and the product needs to be accompanied by a CE (Declaration of Conformity) certificate. So what meaning does this CE mark have? What types of CE certificates are there?

What is the meaning of the CE mark?

The CE mark is a self-certification mark applied by the manufacturer to the product. A product with the CE mark indicates that the product meets the health, safety, and environmental protection standards of the European Economic Area (EEA). The CE label can be printed on the product itself, product packaging or other accompanying documents (such as instructions).

Although the scope of the CE mark is wide, not all products sold in the European Economic Area need to have the CE mark. Products within the scope of the CE mark include toys, electronic appliances, personal protective equipment, medical equipment, etc.

What types of CE certificates are there?

There is no unified certification body for CE, and there are three types of CE certification on the market:

(1)   The Declaration of Conformity (DoC)

The Declaration of Conformity is issued by the enterprise independently. This certificate is a self-declaration and should not be issued by a third-party agency (intermediary or testing certification agency). Therefore, the EU standardized template can be used to issue the “Declaration of Conformity”. The EU Product Directive allows manufacturers of certain categories of products with a lower risk level (Minimal Risk) to choose model A: “internal production control (self-declaration)” for CE certification.

Know more about Declaration of Conformity

(2)   Certificate of Compliance

The Certificate of Compliance is issued by a non-notified body agency. The Certificate of Compliance is a compliance statement issued by a third-party agency (intermediary or testing certification agency), and must be accompanied by technical files (TCF) such as test reports. At the same time, companies must also sign the “Declaration of Conformity.” The CE certificate issued by the Chinese certification body in accordance with EU standards has a low cost and a short time. However, this CE certificate has a low degree of recognition by EU distributors, and may not be accepted by EU-based importers or recognized by EU regulatory agencies. This kind of certificate is suitable for small enterprises that do not import frequently or enterprises that only do brand promotion without import requirements.

(3)   Attestation of Conformity

Attestation of Conformity is a certificate that is issued by the Notified Body. According to EU regulations, only Notified Body is eligible to issue the CE declaration of EC Type. The Notified Body is responsible for the conformity of the product and is protected by law. Therefore, there is no issue of determining the validity of the CE certificate issued by the EU Notified Body. For product import customs clearance, reports issued by this type of agency are the most effective. This kind of certificate is generally suitable for long-term import enterprises. If it is certified and issued by a Notified Body, you need to pay special attention to whether it is within the scope of the responsibility. If the Notified Body can only make a CE certification for personal protective products, then the CE certificate for medical devices issued by the agency is invalid.