Affixing the CE Marking on Products

Posted on 3/11/19 8:23 AM


Before exporting to the European Union, know the requirements for the CE marking.

Definition of CE Marking

In its simplest definition, the CE marking symbolizes the equipment complies with all requirements relating to safety, public health, consumer protection, or other requirements defined in directives issued by the European Commission. It is neither an agency approval nor a quality mark.

Responsibility for the CE Marking

The CE marking is a key indicator of a product’s compliance with the European Union legislation and enables free movement of products within the European Economic Area. The manufacturer does not have to be located within the EU but is ultimately responsible for the product.

According to the Official Journal of the European Union, “By affixing the CE marking on a product, a manufacturer is declaring, on his sole responsibility (and irrespectively of whether a third-party has been involved in the conformity assessment process), conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve the CE marking.” 

Affixing the CE Marking

According to the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU, the following are rules and conditions for affixing the CE marking.

  1. “The CE marking shall be affixed visibly, legibly, and indelibly to the electrical equipment or to its data plate. Where that is not possible or not warranted on account of the nature of the electrical equipment, it shall be affixed to the packaging and to the accompanying documents.

  2. The CE marking shall be affixed before the electrical equipment is placed on the market.

  3. Member States shall build upon existing mechanisms to ensure correct application of the regime governing the CE marking and shall take appropriate action in the event of improper use of that marking.”

Marking of Electrical Products Being Attached to Electrical Equipment

According to the Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU Guidelines, “When a power cord set has not been placed on the market and is sold together with another item that is also covered by the LVD, there is no need to affix the CE marking on the cord set, if this is provided for use only with the main article and the CE marking must be affixed on the main article only.”

Not All Products Need the CE Marking

It is important to note that not all products are required to have the CE marking. Joe Caligiuri, Product Compliance Specialist at Interpower, explains: “If you look on a cord set from Interpower, you will notice that the cable has the CE marking on the outer jacket. The cable on its own can have a CE marking, because it is considered a finished product. The IEC 60320 molded connectors and country-specific plugs are not considered finished products, so they do not have a CE marking. If a cord set is shipped with the equipment, it is covered under the EU declaration (Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU). If shipping only a cord set to a customer in the EU, the package will be labeled with the CE marking for the cord set.”

Example of CE Marking on Interpower Cord Set Packaging
CE Cordset Package Marking

Some Examples of Products Within or Outside the Scope of LVD

Note: The following table is a sample of Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU Guidelines (November 2016).

Scope of LVD Products Example Products
No Molded Country-Specific Plugs

plug blog-continental-euro blog-brazil-plug

Yes Appliance and Interconnection Couplers

 IEC-angle-connector-rewireable C19-connector-rewireable IEC-outlet

Yes Cables cable-black cablewhite
Yes Cord Sets and Interconnection Cord Sets (Plug + Cable + Connector) denmark-cordset jumpers


Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU (February 2014)

Low Voltage Directive 2014/35/EU Guidelines (November 2016)

Additional Resources

European Commission’s website on the CE marking

Information on the CE marking for manufacturers

Member Countries of the EU


Interpower offers free technical support. For further assistance, please see Interpower’s contact information below.

Guide to Worldwide Plug and Socket Patterns

Topics: designing for export, IEC, European Union Compliance, CE Mark

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