CE MarkComponentsEU European Union

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 <HAR> 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 and they are NOT inter­change­able.

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.

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5 thoughts on “An update on CE Marking Electrical Cable

  1. 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 wouldn’t 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.

    1. Philibert,

      I have been advising my cli­ents build­ing CE Marked machinery here in Canada to use TEW or MTW (as appro­pri­ate) in their designs. Ive giv­en this advice for nearly 20 years and have yet to have a prob­lem come up. The crit­ic­al aspects must be observed: Voltage rat­ing, sep­ar­a­tion, tem­per­at­ure rat­ing, ampa­city, etc.

      The only con­duct­or where I think there is value in more closely observing the EU scheme is the PE con­duct­or. These con­duct­ors are required by EN 60204 – 1 to have a 30/70 or 70/30 ratio GREEN to YELLOW. I have had issues on pro­jects where wire with green insu­la­tion had a yel­low stripe painted on the jack­et. This type of wire, com­mon here in Canada, was rejec­ted in Ger­many. So, extruded bi-col­our insu­la­tion on the PE con­duct­or is a must. All oth­er con­duct­ors can be nor­mal wir­ing mater­i­als. Where col­our cod­ing issues come up, col­oured heat shrink tubing can be used to place a 25 – 50 mm col­oured sleeve on the ter­min­a­tions. Also note that the only con­duct­ors whose insu­la­tion col­ours are man­dated in EN 60204 – 1 are the PE and the Neut­ral. All oth­ers are recom­men­ded col­ours, not man­dat­ory.

      I have had a few con­ver­sa­tions with EU wire and cable vendors, as well as a num­ber of Noti­fied Bod­ies, and I have yet to have any of them come back to me with man­dat­ory require­ment for H07V-K wir­ing products.

      One final point – EN 60204 – 1 man­dates cer­tain elec­tric­al tests for the fin­ished machine. IEC 61439 – 1 and -2 man­date cer­tain tests for elec­tric­al assem­blies. If the Assem­blies incor­por­ated into the machine pass the IEC 61439 – 1/-2 tests and the fin­ished machine passes the EN 60204 – 1 tests, in my opin­ion, the sys­tem is “good-to-go” and I would mark it. A con­trol pan­el or a junc­tion box could be con­sidered an elec­tric­al assembly. EN 60204 – 1 spe­cific­ally accepts assem­blies con­struc­ted under IEC 61439 – 1/-2.

      If you would like to take this con­ver­sa­tion into a private envir­on­ment, please feel free to email me dir­ectly or call our office. See the Com­pli­ance inSight links on the side­bar.

  2. 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.

    1. Philibért, did you see me pre­vi­ous post on CE Mark­ing wire and cable from a couple of years ago? That might answer your ques­tions. In addi­tion, remem­ber that you do elec­tric­al safety test­ing on the fin­ished equip­ment. Through that test­ing you are veri­fy­ing that the wire insu­la­tion is adequate for both surge with­stand and ohm­ic res­ist­ance. If this doesn’t answer your ques­tion I’d be happy to dis­cuss it in more depth with you. ?

    2. Philibert,

      It sounds like you’ve been think­ing about the CEMarked wire ques­tion for a while! My first ques­tion for you is: Have you read my pre­vi­ous post on CE Mark­ing wire and cable? https://machinerysafety101.com/2013/12/20/ce-marking-wire-and-cable-necessity-or-luxury/. In that art­icle I cov­er the basis for mark­ing of wire and cable based products (think line cords and com­pleted cable assem­blies), but not raw wire products. I also talk about the need for mark­ings. That art­icle may answer your ques­tion. If not, I’d be happy to have a deep­er dis­cus­sion with you on this top­ic.

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