Good question. CE is an abbreviation for the French “Conformite Europeenne.” A CE marking on a product indicates it has met the European Union’s health, safety and environmental requirements. The idea is to ensure consumer safety. Manufacturers selling products in the EU must meet CE marking requirements, where applicable, in order to market their products in Europe. Here is a list of countries that require the CE marking: CE Marking Countries.
Manufacturers need to put their products through a conformity assessment process and affix the CE marking to their products, but there is no comprehensive list of products that require a CE marking. Therefore, it is a manufacturer’s responsibility to determine if its products require such a marking.
Some products can be self-certified by a manufacturer, such as eletromagnetic compatibility and “Class I” medical devices. Other products, such as simple pressure valves and anything used in an environment with explosive materials, need to be certified by an EU-approved lab.
The EU Web site New Approach Standardisation in the Internal Market has information on the products covered and a searchable database of products that need CE marking. A search for the term “RFID” yields no results, and I find nothing in the section entitled Radio and Telecommunication Equipment that leads me to believe RFID is covered there.
I ran a quick check with a couple of RFID vendors, who said they were not CE-marking their products. Given that the focus is on protecting consumers, it would appear RFID technology would not be covered in most cases, unless equipment is designed for use by consumers or in hazardous environments, such as on an oil rig. But if any of our readers have additional information about CE marking, please let us know by posting below.
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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