Typical questions regarding technical law

You wish to distribute a product which contains moving parts and are not sure if this product is subject to the Machinery Directive?

Does the product distributed by you need to have a CE marking affixed to it?

Is it permitted that the product has a CE marking affixed to it?

In which cases it is permitted to affix a CE marking on a product and in which manner this has to be done?

How declarations of conformity have to be drawn up? Which content such a declaration needs to have? Who has to sign the declaration of conformity?

Does the product distributed by me have to undergo an EC type-examination?

These and many further questions often are arising if electronic products or toys are concerned. But also regarding many other product types, the same questions are arising. Recently also even so-called E-Bikes, thus bicycles with electronic power system, are affected.

Many details uncertain

Repeatedly, due to the technical progress, there are new questions arising. Does a conventional bicycle by the addition of an electronic switchgear unit become a product for which a complete declaration of conformity according to the Machinery Directive has to take place?

Many matters are unclarified in detail . In case of faults, next to disciplinary fines imposed on the management, there is the danger of prohibitions of distribution or recalls. Therefore, especially in this steadily changing field, competent legal advice is required.

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Product safety and CE marking

The Product Safety Act (in Germany transferred into “Produktsicherheitsgesetz”, “ProdSG”) is inter alia basis of the regulations regarding the CE marking. In its Article 7 ProdSG it is stated that a CE marking only may be affixed if this explicitly is provided for by an ordinance according to Article 8 ProdSG.

On the other hand, a CE marking may not be affixed to a product if this is not permitted by an ordinance according to Article 8 ProdSG regarding products of this kind. At the same time it derives from this scheme that one must not advertise stating that the respective product has a CE marking. The reason is that it is a legal obligation to affix the CE marking to products which are required to be labelled and that advertising by pointing out matters of course is prohibited.

Sometimes it cannot be determined easily if a certain ordinance is applicable. Here legal advice can be helpful.

Under certain circumstances, the necessity of a CE marking regarding certain products can be influenced by advertising such a product for certain scopes of application or use by certain groups of persons. In case that for example the Directive on the safety of toys is applicable, products require a CE marking which do possibly not require a CE marking in case of use by persons of another age group than children. In such cases, the scopes of application should deliberately be selected and defined.

In collaboration with competent engineers, we support enterprises in fulfilling the obligations of assessing conformity as well as regarding the CE marking. In this context, besides others, particular emphasis also is laid on the implementation of a quality management-system. This promotes the quality of the products and it thereby can cause additional market success.