The CE Mark

Topics Covered

The CE Mark

Attestation of Conformity

Systems of Conformity Attestation

Notified Bodies

Harmonised European Standards : Annex Z

CE Mark and Accompanying Information

Further Reference

The CE Mark



When a CE mark is placed on a product, it indicates that the product should be accepted as meeting the requirements of the appropriate harmonized Standard, or has a European Technical Approval, and has fulfilled the requirements of the Attestation of Conformity (see below).  It may then be placed on the market in any Member State.

Once it has been affixed to a product, testing for non-compliance is the responsibility of the enforcement authorities, in the UK it will be the responsibility of Trading Standards Officers, in England, Wales and Scotland and by Environmental Health Officers in Northern Ireland.  Top

Attestation of Conformity

The Mandate from the European Commission to the Standards drafting body is a set of instructions as to what needs to be covered in order to support the CE mark.  These instructions are aimed at ensuring that all matters that are covered by regulation (law) in the Member States are addressed in the harmonized standards.

Systems of Conformity Attestation

The Mandate identifies which of six systems of Attestation of Conformity applies to which products.  The six systems are as follows:




Manufacturer’s Declaration



Initial Type testing



Certification of factory control production



As 2 plus continuous surveillance



As 2 plus initial type testing



As 1 plus audit testing of samples

The degree of third party involvement in testing and certification increases as the system specified increases from 4 to 1+.  The concept is that the system specified by the Commission should be as least onerous as is consistent with safety but is more onerous the more critical the product is to  safety.  All the systems require the manufacturer to operate a factory production control system.  Where initial type and audit testing, certification and continuous surveillance of factory production control are referred to in the six systems above these must be carried out by Notified Bodies which have been identified as being competent for the tasks identified and notified to the Commission as being so.  Where third party involvement in testing is not specifically required, for example in systems 2+, 2 or 4 laboratories cannot be notified to the Commission as being competent.  In these circumstances it is advisable to use a UKAS laboratory accredited for the tests being considered. Top

Notified Bodies

•        Test laboratories

•        Inspection bodies

•        Certification bodies

Attestation may be undertaken by any Notified Body acting within its scope.

Harmonised European Standards : Annex Z

Harmonised European Standards are drafted by the Committee for European Standards, CEN, following instructions given in the mandate from the European Commission.  European Standards can be much like National Standards except that the guidance for their production requires them to be performance based rather than prescriptive in nature.  The emphasis on performance has led to a sharp focus on establishing the definitive, often referred to as “reference” test procedures to be used when establishing compliance.  The Scope of a European Standard is whatever has been agreed by the Technical Committee responsible for the drafting work as meeting the requirements of the market place.  In addition harmonized Standards include an Informative Annex Z which establishes the conditions for the CE marking of the product.

The conditions consist of those characteristics identified by the mandate as being essential for the products such that the finished works can meet the Essential Requirements of the CPD, together with reference to the relevant requirement clauses of the Standard.

The Annex also indicates which system of Attestation of Conformist applies to the products covered by the Standard and assigns the various tasks to the manufacturer and notified body as is relevant.  The manufacturer needs to prepare and retain a declaration of conformity which enables him to affix the CE mark to his products.  The declaration may be based on an element of third party certification depending on the system of attestation required.

The manufacturer then needs to affix the CE mark and the required accompanying information to the product or on the label, packaging or accompanying commercial documents if it is not practical to label the product. Top

CE Mark and Accompanying Information

An example of the type of information to be provided is shown below

The number (01234) beneath the CE mark is that of the notified body, if required by the system of attestation and in the box beneath 02 relates to the year and the next line (01234-CPD-00234) is the number of the certificate of conformity, where relevant.  The bottom box identifies the product standard and lists the required characteristics.  It is not obvious from the information given which system of attestation in force, this can be found from the product specification or the manufacturers declaration.



AnyCo Ltd, PO Box 21, B-150



EN 771-1

Category I, ID, 215-102-65 mm clay masonry unit

Compressive strength:mean


70 N/mm2 ( bedface), 40 N/mm2

( header) (Cat I)

Moisture movement:


Bond strength : Fixed value

0.15 (N/mm2)

Active soluble salt content:


Reaction to fire : Euroclass


Water Absorption:


Water vapour diffusion coefficient


Direct airborne sound insulation:


            Gross density

1800 (D1) kg/m3


As in attached drawing

Equivalent thermal conductivity:

0.5  W/mK

Durability against freeze-thaw


Note:  NPD stands for No Performance Determined and means that in the country where this clay brick was being offered for sale there was no regulatory requirement to declare the characteristic moisture movement.  The relevant clause in the Standard indicates that this is required to be stated ‘where relevant’ and in this case is not.  Top

Further Reference

The list of UK notified bodies, their reference numbers and scopes (which refer to the attestation systems) can be found on the DTLR Website

Primary author(s): G.Edgell

Source: CERAM Building Technologies

             Briefing Note 1 June 2002

For more information on this source please visit

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback