Navigating the Maze: European Regulations and Certifications

Last updated: 8 January 2024


The European Union is one of the largest trading blocs. With about 23.2 million enterprises operating in the business economy in 2022*, there is a huge pond of fish for B2B business activities. This opportunity does not come freely, however.  There are house rules to follow before a company can enter the market, such as certifications and regulations. Today we will take you through the vital certifications and regulations companies must comply with to put their product on the European market.  

Explaining the regulations and certifications 

These formal acknowledgements belong to product compliances that allow products from foreign countries to enter European countries. How the compliances work in Europe differs from the United States. While in the States sold products must comply with relevant federal or state-enforced standards and regulations, The EU uses CE marking for almost all products that enter the EU marketplace*. Let’s dive into how CE marking works. 


The CE Marking: What is it?  

The CE marking, which stands for “Conformité Européenne”, is a requirement for all products in the European Economic Area (EEA). The mark is required in all 27 member states of the EU, as well as Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. Switzerland accepts the CE mark for some products and Türkiye requires that many products be CE-marked. They indicate that products sold in the EEA have been inspected and assessed to meet high safety, health, and environmental protection requirements. Without it, products cannot be legally sold in the EEA. As post-Brexit, the CE marking is still valid in the UK as announced on 1 August 2023 despite their planning to phase out the CE marks in England with their equivalent of the “UKCA” mark. This will go on indefinitely, announced the UK government*.  

For now, it’s clear that non-EU companies need CE marking to enter the market of European Economic Countries but does the marking apply to all kinds of products?  

The CE Marking: To what does it apply to 

The CE marking does apply to most kind of products*.  Among other things, it applies to construction products, gadgets, children’s toys, Television, and Industrial machinery. It is valid as well to plastic material products that come to contact with food.  

So, in general, the CE marking is required to be on all products that go through the European market.  

Obtaining The Marking 

As the product’s manufacturer, the producer bears sole responsibility for declaring compliance with all requirements. There isn’t a license which a company needs to have to qualify the CE marking which means that manufacturers are self-sufficient to affix the marking on their products. However, there are steps they need to do before obtaining the CE marking: 

  1. Manufacturers must first ensure their products conform to all relevant EU requirements*.
  2. Manufacturers need to determine whether they will assess the products themselves or if they need a notified body*. 
  3. They must put a technical dossier documenting conformity.
    Before placing products on the market, technical documentation is necessary to prove that products meet the essential requirements and therefore justify and support an EU declaration of conformity. It needs to be accessible to the market surveillance authorities should they request to see it as soon as possible. It is also needed to keep the technical documentation for 10 years from the date the products are placed on the market. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to draw up the technical documentation*. 
  4. The manufacturer or authorized representative needs to sign an EU declaration of conformity (DoC). DoC proves that the manufacturer of the product takes full responsibility for the product’s compliance with the applicable EU law. It is also the responsibility of the manufacturer to draw up the technical documentation and to translate the declaration into the language or languages required by the EU country in which the product is sold*. 


Navigating the complex landscape of European regulations and certifications is an essential journey for any business seeking success in the European market. With millions of enterprises operating within the European Union and its associated regions, the opportunities are vast, but they come with stringent rules and requirements. The CE marking, standing for "Conformité Européenne," is a critical symbol that signifies compliance with high safety, health, and environmental standards. It's a prerequisite for most products entering the European market. To achieve this, manufacturers must take the necessary steps, from ensuring conformity with EU requirements to maintaining detailed technical documentation. This CE marking not only represents a product's adherence to EU law but also serves as a gateway to the extensive consumer base of the EU and its neighboring regions. Therefore, understanding and adhering to these regulations and certifications is not just a requirement; it's the key to unlocking success in the industrial European market.

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