An update on CE Marking Electrical Cable

CE Marking Wire and Cable

A picture showing a selection of wire and cable products
Domestic and European Wire and Cable Products

In an earli­er post, I wrote about the require­ments for CE Marking wire and cable and dis­cussed the mark. In 2016, the Construction Products Regulation 305/​2011 (CPR) came into effect, repla­cing the Construction Products Directive 89/​106/​EEC. The CPR included pro­vi­sions cov­er­ing any kind of mater­i­als that could be used in con­struc­tion, and that includes elec­tric­al cables.

A New Standard under the CPR

A new stand­ard was approved, EN 50575, cov­er­ing the char­ac­ter­ist­ics of power, con­trol and com­mu­nic­a­tion cables used in per­man­ent install­a­tions in build­ings. EN 50575 cov­ers the reac­tion of cables to fire. The stand­ard provides require­ments for four char­ac­ter­ist­ics: flame spread, smoke gen­er­a­tion, the form­a­tion of mol­ten droplets and acid con­tent. The res­ult is a new set of mark­ings for cables covered by the stand­ard, includ­ing CE Marking. Also required by the CPR is a Declaration of Performance, not a Declaration of Conformity. The Declaration of Performance provides dif­fer­ent inform­a­tion than that found in a Declaration of Conformity.

Application of EN 50575

EN 50575 only applies to cables or wir­ing products inten­ded for use in con­struc­tion. It should not be applied to wir­ing mater­i­als used for intern­al wir­ing of appli­ances and products. These products are out­side the scope of the CPR and there­fore are also out­side the scope of EN 50575.

Conclusions

  • Cables used for per­man­ent install­a­tion in build­ings must be CE Marked start­ing 1-​Jul-​2017
  • Wire and cable products used in machines and appli­ances are not affected by EN 50575, and there­fore should not be CE Marked
  • Cables used to inter­con­nect machinery and which are per­man­ently installed into build­ing infra­struc­ture (e.g., Ethernet cables and oth­er inter­con­nect­ing cables run through build­ing struc­tures in per­man­ent wire­ways or in plen­um spaces) require CE Marking as of 1-​Jul-​17
  • Wire and cable products, like line-​cord assem­blies, for example, require a CE Mark because they are com­plete products and are covered by a spe­cif­ic EN Standard under the Low Voltage Directive.

Here’s a good sum­mary of the new require­ments and an explan­a­tion of the new mark­ings in a video by General Cable. Full dis­clos­ure: we have no rela­tion­ship with General Cable or any oth­er wire and cable man­u­fac­turer.

Need more help? Get in touch!

Author: Doug Nix

+DougNix is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Compliance InSight Consulting, Inc. (http://www.complianceinsight.ca) in Kitchener, Ontario, and is Lead Author and Managing Editor of the Machinery Safety 101 blog.

Doug's work includes teaching machinery risk assessment techniques privately and through Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Kitchener, Ontario, as well as providing technical services and training programs to clients related to risk assessment, industrial machinery safety, safety-related control system integration and reliability, laser safety and regulatory conformity.

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  • Philibert Pérusse

    Thank you for your post, as always most instruct­ive.

    As a Canadian man­u­fac­turer of semi-​custom indus­tri­al equip­ments expor­ted World Wide, we are man­u­fac­tur­ing our own elec­tric­al & con­trol pan­els. In those pan­els, the wire used would typ­ic­ally either be TEW for CSA/​NEC designs or H07V-​K for CE designs (we also have a dual TEW/​H07V-​K wire we some­time use).

    Using dif­fer­ent types of wir­ing does cause man­u­fac­tur­ing head­aches: 1) we have to store both types of wires in vari­ous sizes from 1mm2 to 25mm2 and in vari­ous col­ors (blue, black, red, white). 2) we have to make sure stor­age is segreg­ated as to avoid mix-​ups and mak­ing sure staff uses the right wire 3) sourcing H07V-​K wire is dif­fi­cult (much less avail­able) and more expens­ive (the dual-​approval wire is very expens­ive and we are using it for lar­ger wire sizes to avoid stock­ing two dif­fer­ent types). 4) CE/​H07V-​K mark­ings are almost unread­able (espe­cially on small sizes) as they are engraved mark­ings as opposed to CSA/​TEW mark­ings which are prin­ted mark­ings 5) CE/​H07V-​K “dark-​blue” col­or is rather incon­sist­ent across pur­chased batches, while TEW dark-​blue is more con­sist­ent.

    After read­ing through your assess­ment we are kind of won­der­ing if going all-​in with TEW-​only would be a right thing for us, although my first reac­tion to this is that we have to ensure the TEW mater­i­al does meet CE tech­nic­al require­ments. If a wire or device does not have CE mark­ings, as the man­u­fac­turer we are the ones apply­ing the CE mark on the over­all product. Using a CE-​marked product does provide us with some con­fid­ence to the end-​compliance to CE reg­u­la­tion for our mark­ing. However, on the oth­er hand TEW marked wire would not be some brand-​less-​chinese-​source-​low-​quality wire. It is still a good qual­ity wire with good elec­tric insu­la­tion, and if it is good/​safe enough for us Canadians, why would it be good/​safe enough for European, Middle-​Eastern, Chinese folks.

    To answer that ques­tion, in an ideal world I would like to do a full review the H07V-​K requirements/​tests and com­pare against TEW requirements/​tests and get a good sense of the rel­ev­ant dif­fer­ences. But this is a rather tedi­ous pro­cess, going through dozens of norm­at­ive ref­er­ences, try­ing to make sense of very technical/​specialized stuff. I am not even sure where I would start this pro­cess from! And I am not even sure where that would lead us in the end… would we get to the answer we wish for?

    So, I am won­der­ing what is your take on this? I am not ask­ing you to do that com­par­is­on nor to put your head on the block with an answer! I am just won­der­ing what you think about dif­fer­ences in CSA vs CE wire types such as TEW/​H07V-​K, obvi­ous pit­falls to try to avoid, etc.