What are CE and VDE Standards?


What is CE?

The CE mark (officially CE marking) is a mandatory conformity mark on many products placed on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA). The term initially used as "EC Mark" and it was officially replaced by "CE Marking" in the Directive 93/68/EEC in 1993. "EC mark" is still in use, but it is not the official term.

By affixing the CE marking, the manufacturer, its authorized representative, or person placing the product on the market or putting it into service asserts that the item meets all the essential requirements of EU electrical directives 73/23/EEC & 93/68/EEC and that the applicable conformity assessment procedures have been applied. The CE marking is a mandatory European marking to indicate conformity with the essential health, safety and consumer protection requirements set out in European Directives. Most similar to UL or the NEC in the United States.

The CE mark, therefore, indicates that the product is acceptable for safe use within the community. US manufacturers require CE marked products and components when their end use product is going to be shipped and used in Europe. CE is self-certifying which means that if the compliant product does not meet a specific European product standard, the importer must document how the product is safe. In this case, reference can be made to another body such as UL or NEC. If this is not possible, the manufacturer can state that the product fulfills the safety requirement on its own with verifiable documentation.

What is <VDE>?

Standards for innovation and safety

Ever since the first electro-technical standard VDE 0100 was passed on November 23, 1895 at the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany, VDE standards have been an inseparable part of the development of key technologies in electrical engineering, information technology and consumer protection.

DKE - the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies - is a joint organization of DIN (German Institute for Standardization) and the VDE. The VDE is responsible for the daily operations of the DKE, which is the national organization for developing standards and safety regulations for electrical, electronic and information technologies. DKE represents German interests in the European and international standardization organizations CENELEC and IEC.

The VDE Testing and Certification Institute tests electrical products and issues the worldwide known and respected VDE certification mark. In turn, the know-how accumulated annually in the roughly 16,000 tests flows back into the VDE's standardization work. The VDE publishing house (VDE Verlag GmbH) publishes and markets the VDE regulatory works and specialist publications on standardization.

The VDE provides current information on standardization proposals and developments in electro-technical fields on its DKE Internet homepage. You can also find the right contacts for our free telephone service and information on the DKE offices throughout Germany. DIN-VDE or IEC standards can be researched, ordered and subscribed to online.

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What are CE and VDE Standards? PDF