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Beware the FAKE "CE" mark

NTomokawa

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#1
You might know the "CE" mark as a European certification. What you might not know is that some unscrupulous Chinese businessmen have cooked up a "China Export" that looks dangerously similar to the CE mark.

I present to you:



More here:
https://www.cemarkingassociation.co.uk/ce-marking-and-the-chinese-export-logo/
https://www.francenetinfos.com/sigles-ce-conformite-europeenne-china-export-156532/ (in French)

However, do know that even the legitimate "CE" mark is a self-certificate, which means it is essentially worthless.
At least in my domain, which is commercial/industrial lighting, all products destined for the EU market must bear either the ENEC or the TUV mark.

Now let's see how many FAKE "CE" marks you own...
 

sergeauckland

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#9
CE certification is a complex issue. It is self certified, but whoever 'places the product on the market' i,e. manufacturers and/or importers must keep a 'Technical Construction File' for each item which records all tests done to justify the CE mark. As these test often require sophisticated test equipment like Faraday cages or electrically anechoic chambers, tests need to be done at proper laboratories if the manufacturers don't maintain their own facilities. A Certificate of Conformity has to be issue for every item, with the name of the person responsible for the certifictation.

Trading Standards in the UK are responsible for policing CE, although they are complaints driven, but they do investigate suspected infringements, especially with imported products.

It's not a perfect system by any means, but it has worked, and reputable manufacturers keep to it. There is a problem with China Export, and much of the stuff sold through eBay coming direct from China is suspect, so as with most things, it's caveat emptor.

S
 
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#11
This is an interesting topic. Self-certification might be more reliable with traditional distribution channels, whereby major suppliers and retailers were proud to defend their reputations.

With all the chaos from Chinese mass-dumping and virtually unregulated internet sales, there are plenty of knock-off "certifications", unfortunately.

Silly academics might call this "regulatory arbitrage." But it simply is corruption by politicians and charlatans.

Regardless, the UL or CE certifications are not especially impressive. But indeed, basic health and safety standards save lives.
 

sergeauckland

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#12
When CE certification first came about, now some 20 years ago, distribution was much more orderly, as Fone said, end users didn't buy direct from China on eBay, which was then just an auction site for people to sell their second-hand stuff.

It was therefore much easier to police, companies monitored themselves (and their competitors), and more than once companies were shopped to the authorities by competitors who had reason to suspect a competing product didn't meet CE requirements.

Now it's a free for all, and Trading Standards can't possibly monitor every purchase of a cheap DAC, or toy or whatever that people buy direct on eBay. Even reputable companies get caught out when what gets shipped isn't of the same standard as the sample submitted for certification. That's why many companies, like Behringer, have their own directly controlled factories in China where they can monitor quality rather better than if they were using subcontractors or OEM suppliers.

If we keep buying DACs for £5 including free postage from China, amplifiers for £10, then is it any surprise they don't meet CE traceability requirements?

S
 

L5730

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#13
It's the 'legit' style on Topping stuff.
I'd like to think Topping is legitimate enough to actually adhere to the requirements of the certification they claim.
They do reply to emails, even if it is on a few days per week basis.

Xiaomi is another brand I would like to put trust into, or at least as much trust as any US/EU brand.
 

Juwieh

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#14
You might know the "CE" mark as a European certification. What you might not know is that some unscrupulous Chinese businessmen have cooked up a "China Export" that looks dangerously similar to the CE mark.
Sorry, but this is an urban legend that keeps on going through the web. there is no such thing as a "FAKE" CE mark or a Chinese Export logo.

People keep on spreading that on the web for more than 10 years, and no one has ever presented any evidence of the existence of such a fake "Chinese Export" logo. To the contrary, there is even an official statement from the European commission that such a logo or any other similar logo does not exist.

Of course CE marks that do not adhere to the legally required proportions can be found on many products. But this is simply a sloppy design of the labels, it does not say anything regarding the validity of the CE mark. Such a mark can be valid or invalid, just as the correct CE mark can be valid or invalid.

There is also no rationale for using such a such a disproportionate symbol intentionally. Manufacturers gain no advantage by using it - they only have disadvantages.

Applying a "fake" CE mark would be a violation of Article 30, No. 5 of EU regulation No 765/2008:
The affixing to a product of markings, signs or inscriptions which are likely to mislead third parties regarding the meaning or form of the CE marking shall be prohibited.
So if it were a fake "China Export" symbol, the product would be illegal anyway.

In addition to that, Annex II of EU regulation demands:
the proportions given in the graduated drawing in paragraph 1 shall be respected.
So, customs would have the right to reject the products at the border. Apparently this hardly happens, but still as a manufactrurer you run the risk.

And even if you get it into the EU, it will still be considered a CE mark, thus you still are responsible for the product's compliance. There is no excuse for the manufacturer claiming this being a "Chinese Export" symbol instead of a CE mark.

And finally, let's assume that some customs employee or judge woul believe you that Chinese Export excuse, it still doen't help, because if your product does not comply to the standards, it is illegal, with or without a CE mark.

So all that a disproportionate CE symbol is indicating is that the manufacturer has engaged a very poor label designer, nothing else.
 
Last edited:

Juwieh

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#16
I'm sorry, that link doesn't work at my end.

But, yes, there are a number of sites that claim the same as NTomokawa - thus I am not surprised that he/she believed in this. I too used to believe it in the beginning, until I was made aware by someone that this is not true. So I dove deeper into it, read all the regulatations and rules and Wikipedia pages in various languages (some still spread the legend, unfortunaltely), and came to the undoubtful conclusion that the Chinese Export thing is simply a hoax.
 

Juwieh

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#18
Maybe this helps to support my claims:
The Commission is aware that there exists the misconception attributing CE marking the meaning ‘Chinese export’. The Commission is not aware of the existence of a ‘China export mark’ but considers that the mark the Honourable Member refers to constitute the CE marking as foreseen in the European legislation without, however, respecting the dimensions and proportions prescribed therein.
(Official anwer of the EU commission to a MP who had submitted an official Parliamentary question regarding the "Chinese Export" rumour. Full question and answer can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=WQ&reference=P-2007-5938&language=EN )
 

scott wurcer

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#20
With all the chaos from Chinese mass-dumping and virtually unregulated internet sales, there are plenty of knock-off "certifications", unfortunately.
When I was in Chengdu doing a Habitat build, my wife and I were wandering through a street of small vendors to find a universal mains adapter. What we got would stun anyone anyone with knowledge of basic safety codes, I wish I had saved it (only a $1 wasted).
 

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