“It gives people a level of confidence in your product,” he says.
Complying with the law
There can be costly consequences if a product on the market is found to be noncompliant. European national agencies, such as customs authorities and the departments of health, industry and labor conduct market surveillance for CE marking. Penalties for noncompliance include fines and imprisonment and are determined by national law.
“It’s important to make sure that all applicable requirements are fulfilled before a machine is placed on the market,” Holmgren says. “If a machine is involved in an accident, investigators always check if the CE marking is applied and if it’s correct.”
If a workplace safety inspector even suspects that the CE marking is missing or that regulations have not been fulfilled, he can stop a machine from being used, he says. EC authorities are then contacted and use of the machine is banned in all EU countries until the manufacturer has made all the machines safe or can prove that the regulations have been fulfilled.
Asking experts for help
“It is important for U.S. manufacturers to understand all requirements and standards applicable to their product for CE marking,” says Karen Grantham, an account executive for TUV SUD America’s Eastern Region. “In addition, they must prepare the proper documentation to support compliance to the applicable requirements. That is why it is advantageous to find a partner, who is knowledgeable, capable and authorized to assist in meeting the regulations.”
The fee for a third party will depend on the complexity of the product and how much testing is required, she says.
The time spent on product inspection and re-inspection also depends on how well a manufacturer has prepared documentation, test reports and how many deviations from the standards there are, Holmgren adds.
The help of a consultant can be expensive. Zuyderwijk takes a unique approach to CE marking with self-certification services. His Web site, www.cemarking.net, which has been up and running for 10 years now, provides a wealth of information for free. Zuyderwijk says one of the biggest CE certification myths is that the CE marking requires third-party certification. In almost 90 percent of the cases, he says that’s not true and self-certification can save a lot of time and money. His e-mail course and newsletter are free, but he also offers products for sale including an eBook and an online guidance system. And he, too, does consulting, conformity assessment and testing services.
AERO Specialties has begun working with distributors throughout the European Union.
The former vice president of sales and marketing for AERO Specialties has launched a new branding and marketing firm for small to mid-sized aviation companies.
In addition to working directly with distributors, AERO expects to open a distribution center in the EU soon.