The Cost of CE Marking

When organisations are looking to CE Mark their machinery, a question at the top of the list is "How much does it cost?".

Unfortunately, there is no set answer, and is akin to sourcing quotes for an extension on your home. The cost would depend on many variables including the size of the extension, the fittings required (if any) and whether you were going to carry out any of the labour-intensive work yourself.

Typically, CE Marking machinery can cost anything from £1,500 to £4,000 per machine depending on the complexity of the machine, whether it is in an assembly of machines or whether there are obvious faults which need to be rectified. The cost of CE marking of electrical goods (for domestic use) can be significantly more, due to the mandatory testing required for mass produced products.

What factors play a part in the cost of CE Marking?

  • Timeframes - how urgent do you need the CE certification?
  • Whether you would like to source a 3rd party certification body or looking to self-certify.
  • Which certification procedure applies to the product? This depends on the technical specifications of the product, and it's 'intended purpose'.
  • How many machines do you need to certify? Is it a stand-alone machine, or are you looking to get an assembly of machines certified at the same time?
  • What level of support will you require to prepare the relevant documents? (such as compiling the Technical Construction File (TCF))

Is it cheaper to source a 3rd party or self-certify?

CE Marking regulations allow you to self-certify your machine / machinery, as long as you follow the correct process and procedures. Spiers Engineering Safety offers training courses aimed at machine manufacturers, modifiers, and those involved in pre-purchase auditing, an understanding of what is required to demonstrate compliance with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC (MD). By completing this course, you will be able to confidently self-certify your machinery.

You may want to weigh up the cost and time of investing in training your staff in CE certification against sourcing a 3rd party. The type and number of machines you need certifying will play a part in your decision.

In order to get an accurate cost of CE Marking, you will need to have certain information to hand.

This includes:

  • Which standards apply to the product? (are these European Harmonized Standards?)
  • Which Certification procedure applies?
  • Which Directives and standards apply? Some have specific requirements for protective measures, testing and may even specify the involvement of independent third parties including notified bodies.

There might be some more significant factors which play a part in the costing too. These include:

  • Using Contractors or an Authorised Representative - these may cost more than self-certifying your machines.
  • Location and Travel Costs - this can be quite complex depending on where the machines are, where they’re going (if they need to be moved once CE Marked) and if they’re going to be in an assembly of machines.
  • More than one supplier / integrator - This can be both time consuming and costly as the documentation will be need to be compiled from various sources.
  • Poor planning of resources - If there is no clear plan in place, this will also add time (and in turn, cost) to the overall project.
  • Confusion or failures during the conformity assessment procedure - This can lead you to a dead end with wasted time and effort.
  • Assembling Machines of unknown provenance without proper (or trustworthy) documentation.
  • Uncontrolled/certified change of machines that are to be reused or included in the new assembly of machines.
  • Shortcomings of design specification - This can result in excessive snagging at the tail end of the project which will need to feed back into the design risk assessment, verifications and technical file.

The pricing of CE Marking also varies depending on the type of product. For example, the CE Marking of medical equipment is more costly than the CE Marking of electrical goods, this is due to the sensitivity of the components involved.

What shall I ask my supplier to make sure I'm getting a fair quote?

There are many providers of CE Marking services and the approach and deliverables vary as greatly.

The basics of the conformity assessment procedure are very general, and this can result in some service providers giving a very poor service with no real alternative for the client. In practice, in order to have a high level of confidence with the outcome and meet the requirements of applicable standards, it is necessary to follow a more logical procedure that shows how all decisions can be linked back to the design risk assessment. You should check that your service provider not only knows this, but that their working methods are in line with the spirit of it.

This procedure and its relationship to the design risk assessment is the very core function of your service provider so it is reasonable to expect that it is well defined.

Collaboration and Information Management

CE Marking conformity assessment requires many interactions between stakeholders and contributors. This produces a lot of records and correspondence that should be reflected in the technical construction file (TCF). Check that your provider is governing this process properly and efficiently. There are several platforms designed to support the conformity assessment procedure.

Other questions you may ask your supplier:

  • How do you demonstrate your work is in line with the design risk assessment?
  • Do you provide support for the DRA?
  • Does this quite include travel and expenses?
  • What do you expect us to have ready for you before you arrive on site?
  • What will you do when you're here and will it require our support?
  • As a result of the CE Marking, what actions are you likely to require from us?
  • Is there a portal to manage the response of corrective actions and evidence?
  • Will you act as the Authorised Representative?
  • Will you sign the Declaration of Conformity?