Safety Ladders And Access Equipment – What Is CE Accreditation?

Safety Ladders And Access Equipment – What Is CE Accreditation?

14th January 2014

In the construction industry we often come across the term ‘CE Accreditation’ or 'CE Accredited Fabrications' and this article aims to take a look at this accreditation, what it’s for and why it’s used.
CE accredited fabrications
The letters ‘CE’ can be found on many products that are traded on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA) which consists of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) together with the European Free Trade Association countries Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.  CE marking is required for many products and is the verification by the manufacturer that these products meet EU health, safety or environmental requirements.

CE marking represents a key indicator that a product complies with EU legislation and this enables the free movement of products within the European market.  The CE marking is the manufacturer’s way of declaring conformity with all of the legal requirements necessary to achieve CE marking and ensures validity for the product to be sold within the EEA, the 27 member states of the EU and the European Free Trade Association countries.

CE marking is not necessarily an indication that a product was manufactured in the EEA – it merely states that the product has been assessed before being placed on the market to ensure that is satisfies legislative requirements.
 
It is the responsibility of the product manufacturer to:

•    carry out the conformity assessment
•    set up the technical file
•    issue the EC Declaration of Conformity (DoC)
•    affix the CE marking on the product

It is then the responsibility of the distributors to verify the presence of CE marking and the necessary supporting documentation.  If a product is being imported from a third country, the importer must verify that any manufacturer outside the EU has undertaken all the necessary steps and that the documentation is available on request.

Not all products sold in the EU will need to bear the CE marking – it applies to products which fall under one or more Directives which determine the requirements that the product must meet in order to attain CE marking.  A full list of product categories which will need CE marking can be found on the UK government website (www.gov.uk).

Before affixing a CE marking to any product, the manufacturer will need to establish which EU New Approach Directives apply.  The process followed depends on which Directives apply to the product.  This means that a manufacturer will need to take the following steps:

•    Identify the Directive(s) and harmonised standards which apply to the product.
•    Verify the product specific requirements.
•    Indentify whether an independent conformity assessment is required from a Notified Body  - whether an authorised third party (Notified Body) must be involved in the conformity assessment procedure needed for CE marking.
•    Test the product and check its conformity to EU legislation – this is the responsibility of the manufacturer.
•    Draw up and keep available the required technical documentation required by the Directive(s) for the assessment of the product’s conformity to relevant requirements and for the risk assessment.
•    Affix the CE marking to the product (this must be done by the manufacturer or his authorised representative within the EEA).  It must be indelibly fixed to the product so that it is visible and legible.  If a Notified Body was involved in the production control phase, a product identification number must also be displayed.