UL (Underwriters Laboratories) vs. CE Marking (Conformit? Europ?ene)

#1
UL (Underwriters Laboratories) vs. CE Marking (Conformité Européene)

A company I know of wants to bring in some equipment from Europe, which contains a CE mark on the electical panels. The local government says (with support from UL) that CE marks are not sufficient, and that the panels need to be field inspected by UL.

Can anyone explain the difference? Just what is a CE mark?

Thanks
 
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#3
Richard Olson said:
Basically the CE Mark indicates the product meets the basic requirements of the European health, safety, and environmental agencies. Compared to UL requirements, it is less strict. Here are a couple links that have some info about CE Marking. Good luck, it's kinda' confusing...
Ahh, thanks Buttercup Liver Hiney! :bigwave:
 

Al Rosen

Holed-up in a Hotel in South Florida
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#4
db said:
A company I know of wants to bring in some equipment from Europe, which contains a CE mark on the electical panels. The local government says (with support from UL) that CE marks are not sufficient, and that the panels need to be field inspected by UL.

Can anyone explain the difference? Just what is a CE mark?

Thanks
The CE mark is the EU's answer to UL in the US. Depending on the type of equipment you have to comply with certain EU directives. There is the Low Voltage Directive, Machinery Directive, EMC Directive and Medical device Directive. For other than the Medical Device Directive(MDD), you can self certify to the standards by testing and keeping a "Technical Construction File". For the MDD you are required to have a Notified Body in the EU that audits your QMS and Technical Construction File. I am most familiar with Medical device requirements. From your post, I'm assuming it isn't a medical device.

The UL standards for many CE marked products are harmonized with the IEC standards in the EU. If the product is CE marked, It probably will meet the UL requirements. CE is not recognized by US local agencies. They will want a UL label.
 
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#5
Al Rosen said:
CE is not recognized by US local agencies. They will want a UL label.
I think that is the case. I would imagine that the opposite is also true. That a European agency will probably not accept a UL label either.
 

Al Rosen

Holed-up in a Hotel in South Florida
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#6
db said:
I think that is the case. I would imagine that the opposite is also true. That a European agency will probably not accept a UL label either.
That is correct. Also, sometimes there are different ratings for UL and CE the same device or component.
 
#7
The key here is "self certify". CE marks can be placed on products after you determine that you meet the requirements. UL tests products independently and then continues to audit your manufacture to assure that you are making them to the standard that they originally tested. Changes to the product must be submitted to UL for approval (like a QS PPAP). We can debate the structure (UL isn't perfect) but I am much more comfortable leaving a UL approved lamp on all night than I am with a product that has just a CE mark.
 

Sidney Vianna

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#8
The CE-Mark is enforced through the European Directives for REGULATED products, and carry the power of Law in Europe. People have been sent to jail for falsifying data, as it relates to product compliance to the Directives.

To the best of my knowledge, the UL Mark (for product safety), even though very prevalent in North America, is a voluntary certification. Most manufacturers like to have their product UL (and CSA) approved in order to minimize liability exposure.

It is not correct to say broadly that manufacturers can self-certify their products and apply the CE-Mark.

Depending on the Directive (MDD, ATEX, PED, In-Vitro MDD, etc...) your product has to comply with, and depending on the route (modules) one choses to demonstrate compliance, you MUST engage with a Notified Body prior to applying the CE-Mark to your product
 
#9
:agree: Sidney, I agree for the industries you've cited. :truce:
However, jail notwithstanding, there are a whole lot of 120/220VAC consumer and commercial products out there with a CE mark that are self-certified. Good luck getting one on the shelf at Wal-Mart or H.H. Grainger without a UL label. Europe=can't sell without CE mark due to law=can self certify. USA, can't sell without UL mark due to lack of interest due to liability=must certify through UL. U-pick.
 

Al Rosen

Holed-up in a Hotel in South Florida
Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
:thedeal:
The bottom line is the Europeans figgured out how to limit US exports without imposing direct tariffs.
 
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