What is CE marking?
Basically CE marking it is a CE logo, at least 5mm tall, that must be placed on nearly all products sold in European Union. This regulation covers such products as electrical and electronic equipment, radio devices and machines as well. CE stands for “Conformité Européenne”, which means “European Conformity” in French.
CE making is compulsory and is neither a “quality mark” of any kind nor a certificate of origin. Even low-quality products must be CE marked. CE mark implies that a product can be sold in EU, no matter where it was designed and manufactured. To be precise the regulations use phrase “placed on the market or put into service” in preference to “sold”. In other words, CE marking is not required for a prototype during R&D stage, as it is not posed to the market yet, but it is applicable if free samples are sent to customers or a product is rented, for instance.
By placing CE marking on a product a manufacturer states, that the product fulfills the requirements of the relevant European directives applicable to that product. CE marking implies manufacturer’s responsibility unlike, for example, UL or CSA approvals, which mean that a product is certified by an independent test house.
The declaration of conformity can be filled in also by an importer or distributor if it was not done by a manufacturer. In this case the importer or distributor will carry legal responsibility for product conformity.
Radio product CE certification
CE certification means that a product meets the requirements defined in applicable EC directives. A radio product must fulfill Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU, RoHS 2011/65/EU and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) 2012/19/EU.
RED covers electromagnetic compatibility, efficient use of radio spectrum, safety and health aspects. If radio is a part of e.g. an industrial, medical or automotive product, other directives are also be applicable.
Testing for CE marking
The simplest and easiest way to show your product compliance with RED is through testing. Testing covers three areas:
- EMC & RF Testing
- RF Exposure Evaluation (SAR)
EMC and RF tests are used to show that a product complies with electromagnetic compatibility and efficient use of radio spectrum requirements.
Needed EMC and RF tests depend very much on the product configuration (radios and their frequency bands, power supply, connectors etc.) Using pre-certified radio modules can reduce needed RF tests.
Regarding safety RED points to the LVD Directive 2014/35/EU. However, the supply voltage limits in LVD have been removed from RED. Thus, all products, even e.g. AAA battery operated products are subject to safety inspection.
A radio product must also undergo Radio Exposure Evaluation. Evaluation can be done by calculations if total transmitting power is less than 20mW (all simultaneously transmitting radios) or device is used >20cm from human or animal tissue.
In other case SAR must be tested.
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