How much does a CE mark cost?17 February 2015
New product development requires planning. Timelines, budgets and business plans guide the business or entrepreneur through the process. Indeed, without a plan, new product development cannot begin.
CE marking is part of most products, so inevitably during the planning stage, the questions arise,
- How much does a CE mark cost?
- How long will it take?
At first glance, this question is simply impossible to answer. There are far too many variables. The price of CE certification can differ greatly from one product to another. However, for successful product development planning, you will need an answer; a guide with which to measure your proposal. So how do you do it?
Who will tell us what standard applies?
....Knowledge is Power
Which certification procedure applies is based on the technical specifications of a product, as well as its ‘intended purpose’.
There is no directory or designated body that will tell you what standards apply. You need to determine this yourself (or with guidance from a contractor). It is the definition or description of features that determines what directive is applicable.
The responsibility for CE compliance lies strictly with the manufacturer and the importer, even if 3rd party bodies make mistakes during testing and certification. The responsibility is always yours. It is better to take full control.
The advice is to research comparable products and see what standards they adhere to. Investigate what standards you believe are applicable. Once you have a base knowledge, then consult the experts (3rd party certification bodies such as SGS, Intertek or BSi). In the end, it is your decision which tests to take. In the absence of guidance from you, most experts have to revert to the safest advice - test for everything you might possibly need.
- Which CE directive(s) applies to the product?
- Which standards apply to the product?
- Which certification procedure applies?
With this information you can compare quotes from service providers such as test laboratories, certification bodies and consultants and ensure that will provide the same service.
Fine Tune your budgets/timescales
In almost 90% of the cases, the CE marking regulations allow products to be self-certified for CE marking. In other words, you can do the CE marking yourself and you are not required to have the product certified by a 3rd party certification body.
To determine the costs of CE certification you also should take into account the following aspects:
- Are you required to involve a 3rd party certification body, or are you allowed to do self-certification?
- Is it possible for you to do in-house testing/inspections, or do you need to subcontract this?
- Can you buy CE approved parts or components that will make your own CE marking effort easier?
- What if the existing design does not pass the conformity assessments? How much time and money does it cost us to make design changes? How much does it cost us to do the re-testing?
...Before you test
"Over 50% of products fail EMC Testing the first time" Intertek
Some 3rd party certification bodies do offer pre-assessment and advice. We advise to carefully prepare your product for compliance testing; do as much as you can to increase your chances of passing first time.