Prior to exporting, U.S. manufacturers have to consider certification for the EU market. Certification is about conformity assessment (testing and certification) in order to declare compliance with EU regulatory requirements. For the majority of exported products, compliance is visibly testified by using the CE marking. Use of standards is part of the process.
Bearing in mind that testing and certification for the U.S. market are not sufficient for exporting to the EU, manufacturers will need to start from scratch in order to determine what it takes to comply with EU requirements. Since EU legislation harmonizes mandatory requirements for product safety throughout the European Union, a manufacturer only needs to go through the process once and can then export to all 28 EU member states. With appropriate certification, goods travel freely within the borders of the Single Market without being subject to internal border checks.
Where to start? That is where we come into the picture: The Standards Team (Attaché and Specialist) at CSEU offer guidance on the road to regulatory compliance. As a first step, we recommend the websites listed below for an introduction to the range of legislation and standards that may be applicable to your product(s). Contact us for in-depth counseling on EU standards, product testing, and certification requirements.
CE Marking Step-by-Step
1. Read the general guidance on standards/labeling/certification in the EU Country Commercial Guide
2. Find the applicable directive (legislation)
3. Determine the essential requirements in the directive (usually Annex I)
4. Note the harmonized European standards
5. Choose the appropriate conformity assessment module as described in the directive’s annex or presented in flow charts in the CE marking guidance booklet
6. Locate Notified Bodies (accredited test laboratories) – if required!
8. Consider working with consultants
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do I find EU product legislation?
Visit the European Commission’s website on growth: international market, industry, entrepreneurships and SMES http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/ce-marking/index_en.htm
Where can I find information on European standards?
General information: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/european-standards/index_en.htm
European Standards are under the responsible for the European Standardisation Organisations:
European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization: http://www.cenelec.eu/
European Committee for Standardization: http://www.cen.eu/esearch/
European Telecommunications Standards Institute: http://www.etsi.org/
In the event that I need the services of a test laboratory – EU notified body, U.S. based subcontractor or conformity assessment body – where do I obtain a list?
Nando (New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations) Information System: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/newapproach/nando/
National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce: http://gsi.nist.gov/global/index.cfm/L1-4/L2-16/L3-85/A-90
CE Marking- Consultants/ Ordering Standards, U.S. Commercial Service Department: http://www.export.gov/cemark/eg_main_017270.asp
ANSI, American National Standards Institute: http://ansi.org/
European Co-operation for Accreditation: http://www.european-accreditation.org/
European Union law portal: http://europa.eu/eu-law/index_en.htm