The letters "CE" are the abbreviation of French phrase "Conformité Européene" which literally means "European Conformity". The term initially used was "EC Mark" and it was officially replaced by "CE Marking" in the Directive 93/68/EEC in 1993. "CE Marking" is now used in all EU official documents.
"CE Mark" is also in use, but it is NOT the official term. For instance, in the Directive 2007/47/ec, of 5 September 2007, amending the directives 90/385/eec, 93/42/eec & 98/8/ec, the term CE Marking appears 9 times whereas CE Mark appears nowhere in the entire 35-page document.
- *Product Directives contains the "essential requirements" and/or "performance levels" and "Harmonized Standards" to which the products must conform. Harmonized Standards are the technical specifications (European Standards or Harmonization Documents) which are established by several European standards agencies (CEN, CENELEC, etc).
- CE Marking on a product is a manufacturer's declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation, in practice by many of the so-called Product Directives.*
- CEN stands for European Committee for Standardization.
CENELEC stands for European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization.
- CE Marking on a product indicates to governmental officials that the product may be legally placed on the market in their country.
- CE Marking on a product ensures the free movement of the product within the EFTA & European Union (EU) single market (including totally 30 EEA* countries), and
- CE Marking on a product permits the withdrawal of the non-conforming products by EEA customs and enforcement/vigilance authorities.