Not all products sold in the European Union (EU) need to bear CE marking. CE marking is only mandatory for those products that fall under the scope of one or more of the European Commission product directives, known as the 'New Approach Directives'.
These directives define essential requirements related to health, safety and environmental issues the products must meet in order to be placed on the European market.
What products need CE marking?
CE marking applies to the following product groups:
- active implantable medical devices
- appliances burning gaseous fuels
- cableway installations designed to carry persons
- construction products
- eco-design of energy-related products
- electromagnetic compatibility
- equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX)
- explosives for civil uses
- hot-water boilers
- household refrigerators and freezers
- in vitro diagnostic medical devices
- low voltage
- measuring instruments
- medical devices
- noise emission in the environment
- non-automatic weighing instruments
- personal protective equipment
- pressure equipment
- radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment
- recreational craft
- restriction of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment
- safety of toys
- simple pressure vessels
CE marking does not apply to items such as:
- pharmaceuticals, including cosmetics
Read more about product groups that are subject to CE marking legislation.
Directives that apply to your product
Over 20 directives exist for the different product categories requiring CE marking. Some products may fall under more than one EU directive or regulation.
Where EU directives or standards apply to your product, you must ensure it conforms to the specified essential requirements before you can trade your product freely in the EU market. Check the requirements for your product in the Trade Helpdesk database.
CE marking process
Before you place a CE mark on your product, you must determine exactly which directives apply and ensure that your product complies with the essential requirements of all applicable EU legislation. See how to place CE marking on a product.
Important: If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a withdrawal deal, the requirements for placing certain products on the UK and EU markets will change. The new UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark will replace CE marking for certain products being sold in the UK and the EU will no longer recognise CE marking certification issued by UK-based assessment bodies.
Read the latest UK government guidance on using the CE marking and the new UKCA marking after Brexit.