From: Paul Honigmann
Subject: Re: Obtaining CE approval?
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 17:21:31 +0100
Organization: Nysalor Seminary for Unrepentant Riddlers
Reply-To: Paul Honigmann
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 17:28:53 +0000 (UTC)
User-Agent: Turnpike/6.00-S ()
Nigel Winterbottom writes
>On Tue, 3 Sep 2002 19:00:49 +0000 (UTC), JHB@jita.nospam.demon.co.uk (Jim
>>On Tue, 3 Sep 2002 03:43:16, "Adam Aglionby"
>>> Just a quick question about what is required for a electrical product to
>>> obtain a CE mark for sale in the European Union.
>>> If a product has UL and ETL listing for the US market is it likely to be
>>> eligible for a CE mark with relatively few formalities?
>>> Or will it still need laboratory testing for the European market?
>>CE marking indicates that the product complies with the relevant EC
>>directives. There are a relatively small number of directives that are
>>applicable to CE marking.
I'd disagree slightly there. The trouble is that (as I have found) the
number of directives you need to comply to is, indeed, pretty small. But
if the product is at all specialised there will be different directives
to [some other product]. In other words, if you're making grape peeling
widgets and your friend who makes radio controlled cars says "you need
to comply with directives XYZ", he may just not know about Directive
EN-50056 because he's never had to deal with food safety. (I just made
that up BTW.)
What I would suggest is that if you have UL approval you are *very
likely* to pass 95% of the requirements. But there will be slightly
different requirements in Europe. For example earth wires have different
insulations I think... and whilst they use one-and-a-quarter inch fuses
rated to 125V, we use 20mm ones rated to 250V. (European mains have less
lightening strikes so we don't need such long fuses as Americans.) None
of the additional requirements are likely to need too much redesign, for
example I'm sure there are 250V European-recognised fuses; what's most
likely to trip you up in my experience is EMC, where I believe European
standards are seriously harder to meet than US ones.
So, to get back to the point, ask your UL contact if they can do
European approval for you. UL bought the Danish certification authority
"DEMKO" precisely so they would have the ability to certify tuff for
both areas. It will cost of course. But DEMKO seem pretty good to me.
They will advise "you need to tweak this, use a different wire colour
there, create a drawing specifying this PCB material is FR4" and, most
importantly, they will be able to tell you "for your kind of product,
you need to meet standards X, Y and Z".
Oh, and you will need to do laboratory testing of critical things like
EMC in a shielded test chamber, ideally by a third party. You can get
round this by self-certification if you feel confident your product will
never interfere with other products, or vice versa. If your product
can't endanger life by misbehaving, things will probably be a lot more
relaxed. My company makes safety equipment so we *have* to get things
thoroughly tested. If we were making toys, the applicable regulations
probably wouldn't even state that we had to be RF-immune.
>This year of 1st marking makes no sense. The CE mark means that the product
>meets ALL applicable directives that are in force at the time of sale. Just
>because a product "passed" in 1995 does not necessarily mean that it
Yup, my (European) company is currently recertifying loads of stuff to
meet new standards. Some old products are being ditched.