What is the CE marking ? 
The European Commission refers to the CE Marking of products as a "passport" which allows manufacturers to freely circulate their products within the European market place. The marking applies only to products regulated by European health, safety and environmental protection legislation (product directives). CE Marking is a mark that is affixed to a product to designate that it is in full compliance with all applicable European Union legal requirements.

The actual CE Marking consists the letters "CE" which a manufacturer affixes to certain products for access to the European market (consisting of 25 countries and also referred to as the European Economic Area or EEA). The letters "CE' are an abbreviation of a French phrase "Conformity European". The marking indicates that the manufacturer has conformed to all the obligations required by the legislation. Initially, the phrase was "CE Mark", "CE Marking" was legislated as its replacement in 1993.


  What's Europe trying to pull with this CE marking ?
  Since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1946, the European community has continued to pursue the plans for economic development laid out in that document.
"The community shall adopt measures with the aim of progressively establishing the internal market ... The internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured"
  • The Treaty of Rome, article 8a
CE Marking is just one measure that the European Union has adopted to establish a single market and foster economic development for the member states.
Listed below are some key events leading up to the free movement of goods throughout Europe:
  • 1975 The European Court of Justice via "the rule of reason" permits European Union (then called European Community) members to set national rules so long as trade between member states is not restricted. However, product restrictions were permitted for health, safety or environmental reasons.
    • 1979 The European Court of Justice upholds "mutual recognition" permitting products manufactured (or imported) by a member state which do not present a health, safety or environmental threat, to travel freely among other states.
    • 1983 The European Council requests the European Commission to propose revised legislation for health, safety and environmental product restrictions.

    The European Council approves "New Approach" legislation, eliminating national regulations that restrict trade and establishing community-wide standards, testing and certification procedures.
    • 1992 The Vice President of the Commission of Brussels along with ministers from the EU and the EFTA sign an agreement organizing the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital within the European Economic Area (EEA).

    * European Union (EU) member states : Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. (May 1, 2004)
    * European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members :
    Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
    The original data from website at
    by Phil Gardiol

    JUN.02.1999 TN8