If you’ve ever come across a product with various symbols on it, you may have wondered what each of them mean. Generally, these small signs are a way of letting consumers know that a particular product has fulfilled certain requirements to be able to carry that symbol. 

Different industries and even regions may have requirements for compliance marks and symbols, so it’s always wise to be informed about the ones that apply to you. 

One of these symbols is the CE mark – if you’re selling products overseas (specifically the EU), then it might apply to you. Keep reading to learn more.  

What Is A CE Mark?

The CE mark stands for Conformitè Europëenne and essentially means the product that carries it has met the European Union’s standards. It is simply the letters C and E put together, with equal dimensions, forming a symbol that is no smaller than 5mm. 

Is A CE Mark Mandatory?

A CE mark is only mandatory to those products that require it. You can find a comprehensive list of the products that require a CE mark here

It’s forbidden to use the CE mark on products that don’t require it, so make sure the product you plan on labelling actually makes the list!  

What Countries Use The CE Mark?

There are a number of countries that currently use the CE mark. These include:

  • Austria 
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary 
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy 
  • Latvia 
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland 
  • Portugal 
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Solveinia
  • Spain 
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey 
  • United Kingdom 

I’m An Australian Business – Do I Need A CE Mark?

Australia does not use the CE mark. As a result, there is no reason for Australian businesses that are operating only within Australia to have the symbol on their products. Instead, Australian businesses will need to comply with other product labelling and packaging requirements (we’ll cover this in more detail later). 

However, an Australian business that operates overseas may need to look into getting a CE mark. 

I Conduct Business In The EU – Do I Need A CE Mark Logo? 

If you are an Australian business that sells products in the EU, then you may be required to have a CE mark on your products. Once again, the items will need to fall under the list of products that are required to have a CE mark, before they can legally be distributed in the market. 

If your products are manufactured in the EU or elsewhere abroad, the same concept applies. 

How Do I Get A CE Mark Logo?

There is no licence or special application form to attain a CE mark. In fact, either you or the manufacturer are responsible for fixing the CE mark onto products, where it is appropriate to do so. 

However, before you do so, there are a couple of steps that need to be followed first: 

  • Make sure the product meets all EU standards and requirements 
  • The product can be assessed by you or a notified body – determine which course of action is suitable and act accordingly 
  • Prepare a technical dossier
  • Sign the EU Declaration of Conformity

Once you have followed the relevant steps and attained the correct documentation, then you are able to place the CE mark on your products. It’s important to hold on to the documentation as if it is requested by the relevant authorities for an inspection, you will be required to provide it.    

What Is The Australian Equivalent Of A CE Mark?

For Australian businesses that are not operating in any of the countries that require a CE mark, you may be wondering if there is an Australian equivalent. The answer to this question is yes!The Australian version is the regulatory compliance mark (RCM). 

How To Get An Australian RCM

The Australian Communications Media Authority own the RCM. In order to attain an RCM, there are a number of steps that need to be followed: 

  • Ensure the product meets the relevant compliance standards
  • Prepare a product description
  • Test the products for compliance and have test reports
  • Attain certification for product compliance
  • Prepare a ‘suppliers declaration of conformity’ 
  • Place all the documents mentioned above in a compliance folder and keep it safe
  • Apply for a Responsible Supplier Number
  • Label the product  

Product Labelling Requirements In Australia

Regardless of whether the compliance marks are for Australia or overseas, it’s important to go through the correct steps and make sure your products are being labelled correctly with the right certifications. 

Labelling products honestly is a primary requirement for businesses under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). 

Consumers have a right to know where their products are coming from, what materials or ingredients have been used as well as any other relevant information. Not being honest on labels can amount to misleading and deceptive conduct, for which there are legal consequences. 

Therefore, it’s always important to make sure the information on any of your product labels are clear and transparent with information that is up to date.  

Key Takeaways

If you’re selling or manufacturing products overseas, then you may require a CE mark. Preparing the right documentation can be a bit confusing – in this case, it’s always best to talk to a legal professional. 

To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • A CE mark is a compliance certification that lets consumers know a particular product has met EUstandards
  • Over 25 countries currently use the CE mark 
  • There is no specific registration for the CE mark. If your product falls under the list of items that should carry it, the responsibility is on you to gather the correct documentation and affix your products with the mark 
  • The Australian equivalent of the CE mark is the RCM
  • Getting an RCM also requires going through the right process and attaining the relevant documentation before placing the mark onto any products 
  • Labelling products honestly is a legal requirement under the ACL  

If you would like a consultation on a CE mark, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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