CE marking is mandatory for many product groups. It is a manufacturer’s or his authorized representative’s declaration that the product meets the requirements stated in the New Approach directives. Machinery, toys, and medical devices, as well as all devices that generate electromagnetic interference, are subject to the legislation on CE marking in the EEA. However, there is plenty of products that do not need CE marking. Below we list goods without CE marking.
Which products do not need to have CE marking?
It is common knowledge that CE marking does not apply to products placed on the market outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Most New Approach directives require affixing the CE marking on the product. The directives do not include the following product groups:
- packaging and packaging waste
- the trans-European high-speed rail system
- the trans-European conventional rail system.
Does the furniture have to have CE marking?
Certain product groups are not subject to the New Approach directives. If so, what goods do not need to have CE marking? The most popular group of such products is furniture (e.g., wardrobe, shelves, chairs, beds, counters, shelves, and other home furnishings; office or shop equipment). However, products subject to CE marking under the relevant directives (within voltage limits 2014/35/EU and with electromagnetic compatibility 2014/30/EU) are exceptions. An example of such a product can be kitchen cabinets with built-in lighting elements.
The most important groups of goods that are to be placed on the market with CE marking, apart from furniture, are sports products, goods available for general use or movement, some cosmetics, food contact articles, clothing, textiles, etc.
Is sports equipment subject to CE marking?
For some product groups, it is uncertain whether the good needs CE marking or not. Sports equipment is such a product group. It should be noted that, as a rule, there is no obligation to affix the CE marking to sports goods. Manufacturers are still obliged to comply with the requirements for safe use. It is related to the durability of the materials that the equipment was made of.
For this reason, the most used products, such as balls and bicycles, do not have to have CE marking affixed. However, all types of protectors, like helmets, are subject to the Personal Protective Equipment Regulation 2016/425, and the CE marking should be applied. It is also required for equipment that is targeted toward small children. Thus some manufacturers include information on the product label from which age the use of the product is recommended.
Is CE marking mandatory for all products for children?
It is well known that all types of toys are subject to CE marking. In this case, a toy means any product or material designed or clearly intended for use by children under 14 years of age. It is essential because it concerns the children’s safety while using such equipment. However, there are some exceptions. The Toy Directive includes product categories that, although they could be classified as toys due to their appearance or purpose, are not subject to product certification regulations. Therefore, there is no need to affix CE marking. Directive 2009/48/EC does not require CE marking or possession of certificates of compliance for items related to and used by children, for example:
- babies’ pacifiers
- puzzles having more than 500 pieces
- lamps of interest to children
- fashion jewelry for children
- holiday decorations that are primarily intended for ornamental purposes
- collectible products not intended for children under 14 years of age, e.g., historical toy replicas and faithful reproduction of (the packaging must read it is intended for use by those over 14 years old).
CE and other regulations
Even if the product is not subject to CE marking legislation, it does not mean other European regulations do not concern the article. For example:
- articles for contact with food, e.g., all types of pots, cutlery, tableware, plastic bags, etc. (these are under Regulation (EC) 1935/2004. The manufacturer applies a certain marking declaring that the use of a given product does not involve the risk of chemical substances released into foods/beverages.)
- packaging and packaging waste (packaging waste meaning all packaging or packaging materials covered under Directive 2008/98/EC, except for residues arising during the manufacture of packaging)
- clothing and textiles (Regulation (EU) No 1007/2011).
Some factories provide their employees with work clothing such as aprons. Clothing of that kind could also be subject to the Personal Protective Equipment Regulation. If the product’s purpose is to protect against dirt, it does not require special marking. However, when it protects against any hazard that the worker is exposed to, it is considered personal protective equipment, and CE marking is necessary.
The obligation to affix CE marking does not include products classified as equipment used on seaborne vessels. For this reason, CE is not placed on packaging, railway equipment (i.e., rolling stock), or products under the Marine Equipment Act. In this situation, however, the CE marking is replaced by another conformity mark, the “steering wheel.”
Products without CE marking
In summary, what products do not need to have CE? The following list consists of products that are not required to have CE marking affixed:
- sports equipment
- clothing, textiles
- high-speed rail
- marine equipment
- some toys and products for children
- articles intended to come into contact with food
- holiday decorations.
In accordance with Article 30 of Regulation No 765/2008/EC, appropriate action will be taken towards any misuse or non-compliance of CE marking placement. State Member provides for penalties for infringements, which may include criminal sanctions for serious infringements, under the domestic law of each country. Each country ought to have its own consumer protection body. For example, in Poland, the main institution responsible for implementing consumer protection is UOKiK (Office of Competition and Consumer Protection).
The CE marking is not needed when placing a product on the market that is not included in the European Economic Area. The letters “CE’ must appear on products traded on the extended Single Market in the EEA.
Whereas there is no need to affix CE marking to the product, the manufacturers are obligated to ensure that the article is safe for use. Therefore, warning notices should be placed on the products. A detailed user manual or instructions to the installer should also be attached to the device. The General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC applies to all goods and groups of goods that are not included in the New Approach directives. Even if your product does not need CE marking, it should meet the requirements in this directive.