CE MARKING MAY BECOME OBSOLETE

The CE marking may become obsolete

By Kim Boll Jensen, Bolls Rådgivnings- & Testcenter

Once the CE marking with all its testing and documentation requirements is in place, most expect to be covered for the rest of the product's life. This is only true for products with a short lifespan. Indeed, there are certain 'traps' that surprise many producers.

The Directives require that all products be produced in accordance with the latest/applicable standards at all times. Information on the standards in force can be obtained from the Internet (see link at the bottom of the article) under Harmonised Standards. Here you have to look at the dow date (dow = Date Of Withdrawal), which indicates the latest date for when the old standard should be withdrawn. Or, to put it more understandably, when the new standard should be complied with at the latest.

It will typically be 2-3 years from the time a new standard is published in the Official Journal until the old one is deleted, i.e. a transitional period of 2-3 years.

The Low Voltage Directive is relatively innocent. There are many product family standards that have been in use for many years. When a product is approved according to the applicable standards, there are usually nicely long transition periods between the standard used and the new version of the standard coming into force. Almost no new product family standards are introduced under this directive.

BUT beware of the EMC and R&TTE (radio and telecommunications terminal) directives!

As far as the EMC directive is concerning, in the first several years since the CE marking was introduced, many products have only had to comply with generic standards, but slowly more and more product family standards are emerging. If your product is covered by one of these, you must move to conformity according to the product family standard rather than the generic one. For example, there will be a new standard covering both IT and audio equipment , but more changes are on the way.