CE (Conformité Européenne, or European Conformity) and UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) are two of the most common marks you’ll see on electronic devices and other products sold in the European Union and United Kingdom.
If you’re an electronic device manufacturer aiming to achieve compliance in different markets, understanding the difference between CE and UKCA is crucial.
In the guide below, we’ve shed light on both certifications and conformity marks and provided detailed instructions to help you achieve both CE and UKCA compliance.
To request a quote for testing your product for CE and/or UKCA, or to ask our engineers any questions about compliance and certification, contact us online or call us at 866-540-5287.
What is CE?
The Basics of CE Certification
CE is a mandatory conformity mark for products sold in the European Economic Area (EEA), which consists of the European Union and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The CE mark signifies that your product complies with the EU’s standards regarding product safety, health and environmental protection. Compliant products feature a “CE” marking that’s visible on the device, its packaging and/or its manual.
Significance for Electronics Manufacturers
As a manufacturer, the CE mark works like a passport for your device, allowing it to enter the market throughout the European Economic Area.
The EEA market is extremely large, with more than 453 people living in 30 countries. As such, gaining a CE mark for your device is an important step in accessing one of the most important markets in the world.
The CE mark and its relevant standards apply to a wide range of electronics, from computers, TVs, phones and other consumer electronics devices to industrial machinery.
What is UKCA?
Introduction to UKCA Marking
The UKCA marking is the United Kingdom’s equivalent to the CE mark. It was introduced after Brexit and applies to devices being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland).
Although Northern Ireland is part of the UK, the UKCA mark is not required for products sold in Northern Ireland. Instead, applicable products sold in Northern Ireland are required to carry the CE mark and comply with relevant European standards.
UKCA’s Relevance for Electronics
As a manufacturer, the UKCA mark provides access to the United Kingdom market, which has more than 65 million people. The UKCA marking replaces the CE mark, which was used in the United Kingdom until Brexit was completed in 2021.
By law, all products that are subject to UK regulations need to bear the UKCA mark in order to be sold in the United Kingdom.
How to Get a CE Mark
To get a CE mark for your device, you’ll need to complete testing to verify that it operates within the standards set by the European Union. You’ll also need to prepare a declaration of conformity (DoC) and add the CE mark to your product in a visible location.
Steps to CE Certification
- Identify the relevant EU directives. In order to gain CE certification, your product will need to comply with all relevant directives. These directives vary based on your type of product — for example, different directives apply to toys versus electrical devices.
Typically, electronic devices sold in the EU are regulated via the Low Voltage Directive, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive, RoHS and related regulations.
- Complete CE testing for your device. To assess your product’s conformity, you’ll need to complete lab testing. This involves working with an accredited testing lab to verify that your device operates within the limits specified under the relevant directives.
As specialists in lab testing and compliance, we can test your device to verify that it fully complies with all relevant standards for European conformity.
- Prepare technical documentation. Next, you’ll need to create technical documentation that provides evidence of your device’s compliance. This includes design details, results from your product’s CE testing, and manufacturing information for your device.
- Prepare an EU Declaration of Conformity. Next, you’ll prepare an EU Declaration of Conformity. This is a formal document that affirms that your device meets any relevant EU directives.
- Add the CE mark to your product. Once the above steps are complete, you can add the CE mark to your device, its packaging, and any accompanying documents that are supplied with your product.
How to Get a UKCA Mark
Process for Obtaining UKCA Certification
- Identify applicable UK legislation. Similar to CE certification, the first step in acquiring UKCA certification for your device is to identify the relevant UK legislation that applies to your product.
Our team can help you identify relevant UK directives and prepare a list of standards for your device.
- Complete compliance testing. Next, you’ll need to evaluate your product against these standards. Also similar to CE certification, this part of the process is typically carried out by an accredited testing lab.
- Prepare technical documentation. Next, you’ll prepare technical documentation that demonstrates your product complies with the UKCA standards.
- Create a UK Declaration of Conformity. After preparing technical documentation, you will need to produce a UK Declaration of Conformity confirming that your product is fully compliant with all relevant UK regulations.
- Affix the UKCA mark to your product. Once the above steps are completed, you can add the UKCA mark to your product and its packaging to demonstrate to the public that it’s compliant with all relevant UK standards.
Contact Us to Talk About CE or UKCA Testing
As an electronics manufacturer, navigating the complexities of product compliance in different markets can be a serious challenge.
As specialists in FCC, CE and UKCA testing and compliance, we can help you understand the conformity marks your product needs to enter different markets, carry out testing, and achieve the compliance you need to sell your device internationally.
To request a free quote for testing and compliance for your device, or to ask our engineers any questions about the certification process, contact us online or call us at 866-540-5287.