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.


  • 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!

Five things you need to know about CE Marked Wire and Cable

Wire is sim­ple right? Maybe not! Here are the top five things to know when select­ing wire and cable prod­ucts for use in designs that will be CE Marked:

  1. Wire and cable prod­ucts sold in the EU must be CE Marked under the Low Volt­age Direc­tive, and MAY bear BOTH the CE Mark and the HAR mark. The HAR mark may only be applied by man­u­fac­tur­ers that have met the require­ments for the use of the HAR mark. More infor­ma­tion on the HAR mark. 

    Picture of the HAR Mark.
    The HAR Mark
  2. The HD 21.X and HD 22.X Har­mo­niza­tion Doc­u­ments pre­vi­ous­ly used for deter­min­ing com­pli­ance and apply­ing the CE Mark are being replaced by the EN 50525.X fam­i­ly of stan­dards start­ing on 2014-01-17. See the list.
  3. Wire and Cable prod­ucts with Dec­la­ra­tions of Con­for­mi­ty that refer to old­er ver­sions of the Low Volt­age Direc­tive, or that refer to HD doc­u­ments that have been super­seded are NO LONGER COMPLIANT.
  4. Wire and Cable prod­ucts used in “large-scale” machine tools and fixed instal­la­tions do not need to meet WEEE require­ments.
  5. Design­ers are not required to use CE Marked wire and cable prod­ucts in CE Marked Prod­ucts.

Need to know more? Check out this arti­cle!

CE Marking Wire and Cable — Necessity or Luxury?

When I set out to inves­ti­gate the need for CE Marks and <HAR> marks on wire and cable prod­ucts, I would not have guessed that it would turn out to be as much of an odyssey as it did. For most prod­ucts, deter­min­ing the need for a CE Mark is rel­a­tive­ly straight­for­ward, but not for wire and cable prod­ucts! As equip­ment design­ers, engi­neers and tech­nol­o­gists, we rarely think much about wire and cable. We’re most­ly con­cerned with the insu­la­tion colours, num­ber of con­duc­tors, the gauge, and the volt­age rat­ing. Some­times we’re also con­cerned about the tem­per­a­ture rat­ing, the flex­i­bil­i­ty, or per­haps the shield­ing. The reg­u­la­to­ry approvals car­ried by the wire are often assumed, or not con­sid­ered at all. This com­mon prod­uct can bring a world of headaches if the require­ments are not ful­ly con­sid­ered.

Regulatory Requirements

North America

In North Amer­i­ca, the three main reg­u­la­to­ry orga­ni­za­tions for elec­tri­cal com­po­nent safe­ty cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are UL, CSA, and NOM. All three pub­lish stan­dards applic­a­ble to wire and cable, and the mark­ings and com­mon wire styles, like TEW, AWM, MTW, and SOW, are dri­ven by these stan­dards.

Europe — HAR Marking

What about Europe? The EU has a sep­a­rate sys­tem for iden­ti­fy­ing wire and cable, iden­ti­fied by the HAR Mark. Learn more about this mark.

Picture of the HAR Mark.
The <HAR> Mark

The HAR mark, which stands for “Har­monised”, has been based on the appli­ca­tion of Har­monised Doc­u­ments (HD) pub­lished by CENELEC, includ­ing the HD 21.X and HD 22.X fam­i­lies, which was replaced by the EN 50525 series of stan­dards effec­tive 2014-01-17. But what is the basis for mark­ing, and is there a legal require­ment for man­u­fac­tur­ers to use marked wire? The HAR Mark is one of the ear­li­est com­mon marks in the EU, orig­i­nat­ing from an agree­ment signed in 1974. Man­u­fac­tur­ers who wish to use the HAR Mark are required to meet strin­gent qual­i­ty con­trol require­ments before being grant­ed the right to use the HAR mark. Wire and cable prod­ucts bear­ing the HAR mark are accept­ed by all of the sig­na­to­ry states to the HAR agree­ment. (Need to know more? Have a look at the EEPCA web site.) The HAR mark is not legal­ly required, but using prod­ucts bear­ing the HAR Mark may make a manufacturer’s life a bit eas­i­er when deal­ing with author­i­ties.

Europe — CE Marking

What about the CE Mark for wire and cable?  To answer that ques­tion, we need to look at the CE Mark­ing require­ments in more detail. In gen­er­al, CE Mark­ing Direc­tives are aimed at prod­ucts, not at com­po­nents, although there are some excep­tions. Wire and cable prod­ucts are one of those excep­tions that stand out. On its own, wire or cable has no defined use or appli­ca­tion, in that it must be built into some­thing to be use­ful. The com­pli­ance of the final prod­uct con­tain­ing the wire prod­ucts is deter­mined based on test­ing relat­ed to the fin­ished prod­uct, and the com­pli­ance of the wire used in the prod­uct is based on the spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tion and the wire product’s per­for­mance in that prod­uct. So why are wire and cable prod­ucts CE Marked on their own?

Determining the Right Directives

Most direc­tives require that prod­ucts with­in the scope have some defined func­tion, like the Machin­ery Directive’s def­i­n­i­tion of a machine:

…an assem­bly, fit­ted with or intend­ed to be fit­ted with a dri­ve sys­tem oth­er than direct­ly applied human or ani­mal effort, con­sist­ing of linked parts or com­po­nents, at least one of which moves, and which are joined togeth­er for a spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tion…”, [1]

or the EMC Direc­tive def­i­n­i­tion of “appa­ra­tus”:

…‘appa­ra­tus’ means any fin­ished appli­ance or com­bi­na­tion there­of made com­mer­cial­ly avail­able as a sin­gle func­tion­al unit, intend­ed for the end user and liable to gen­er­ate elec­tro­mag­net­ic dis­tur­bance, or the per­for­mance of which is liable to be affect­ed by such dis­tur­bance…” [2]

Clear­ly, these def­i­n­i­tions don’t include com­po­nents. So what direc­tives do apply to wire prod­ucts? The first direc­tive that comes to mind is the Low Volt­age Direc­tive. If we take a look at the def­i­n­i­tions in the Direc­tive [3] we find:

Arti­cle 1

For the pur­pos­es of this Direc­tive, ‘elec­tri­cal equip­ment’ means any equip­ment designed for use with a volt­age rat­ing of between 50 and 1 000 V for alter­nat­ing cur­rent and between 75 and 1 500 V for direct cur­rent, oth­er than the equip­ment and phe­nom­e­na list­ed in Annex II.

Once again, we have a pret­ty spe­cif­ic def­i­n­i­tion for the tar­get of the Direc­tive: “elec­tri­cal equip­ment”. Or do we? What, exact­ly, is “elec­tri­cal equip­ment”? The Direc­tive doesn’t define this term, but it does give us a list of exclu­sions in Annex II [3]:

Annex II

  • Equip­ment and Phe­nom­e­na out­side the Scope of this Direc­tive
  • Elec­tri­cal equip­ment for use in an explo­sive atmos­phere
  • Elec­tri­cal equip­ment for radi­ol­o­gy and med­ical pur­pos­es
  • Elec­tri­cal parts for goods and pas­sen­ger lifts
  • Elec­tric­i­ty meters
  • Plugs and sock­et out­lets for domes­tic use
  • Elec­tric fence con­trollers
  • Radio-elec­tri­cal inter­fer­ence
  • Spe­cialised elec­tri­cal equip­ment, for use on ships, air­craft or rail­ways, which com­plies with the safe­ty pro­vi­sions drawn up by inter­na­tion­al bod­ies in which the Mem­ber States par­tic­i­pate.

At this point, it doesn’t look like wire prod­ucts are includ­ed in the direc­tive. No fur­ther def­i­n­i­tion of “elec­tri­cal equip­ment” is giv­en, and wire and cable are not specif­i­cal­ly exclud­ed in Annex II. Where do we go from here to bet­ter under­stand the def­i­n­i­tion of “elec­tri­cal equip­ment”?

The IEC pub­lish­es the Inter­na­tion­al Elec­trotech­ni­cal Vocab­u­lary (IEV), IEC 60050 [4], defin­ing hun­dreds of terms relat­ed to elec­tro-tech­ni­cal top­ics. This is the next log­i­cal step in try­ing to under­stand what is cov­ered. Def­i­n­i­tions in the IEV are num­bered as a means to cat­a­log the terms, and I’ve pro­vid­ed the def­i­n­i­tion num­bers for ref­er­ence. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the IEV does not con­tain a def­i­n­i­tion for “elec­tri­cal equip­ment”, but it does define “equip­ment” [3, 151–11-25]:

equip­ment — sin­gle appa­ra­tus or set of devices or appa­ra­tus­es, or the set of main devices of an instal­la­tion, or all devices nec­es­sary to per­form a spe­cif­ic task

Note – Exam­ples of equip­ment are a pow­er trans­former, the equip­ment of a sub­sta­tion, mea­sur­ing equip­ment.

The def­i­n­i­tion uses the term “appa­ra­tus”, which con­tin­ues the lack of clar­i­ty. Is wire appa­ra­tus? Look­ing up the def­i­n­i­tion for “Appa­ra­tus” 151–11-22, the IEV gives us:

appa­ra­tus — device or assem­bly of devices which can be used as an inde­pen­dent unit for spe­cif­ic func­tions

Note – In Eng­lish, the term “appa­ra­tus” some­times implies use by skilled per­sons for pro­fes­sion­al pur­pos­es.

Wire clear­ly doesn’t meet the def­i­n­i­tion for appa­ra­tus, since it couldn’t be con­sid­ered and “inde­pen­dent unit for a spe­cif­ic func­tion”, so is wire a device? Now we have one more term to try to under­stand. The def­i­n­i­tion for “device” is found in the IEV at 151–11-20:

device — mate­r­i­al ele­ment or assem­bly of such ele­ments intend­ed to per­form a required func­tion

Note – A device may form part of a larg­er device.

Now we’re get­ting some­where. Wire could def­i­nite­ly be con­sid­ered to be a “mate­r­i­al ele­ment”, but we’re stuck again at the need to “per­form a required func­tion”. One more term might apply. Let’s look at “com­po­nents”. The def­i­n­i­tion for a “com­po­nent” is found at 151–11-21:

com­po­nent — con­stituent part of a device which can­not be phys­i­cal­ly divid­ed into small­er parts with­out los­ing its par­tic­u­lar func­tion

Now we’ve got it! Wire is clear­ly a com­po­nent, and this clear­ly makes sense when you con­sid­er the use we make of wire and cable prod­ucts. But how does this relate back to the legal def­i­n­i­tion of “elec­tri­cal equip­ment”? Since the IEV is not called out by the Direc­tive, we can’t lean on this def­i­n­i­tion alone to decide the applic­a­bil­i­ty of the CE Mark to these prod­ucts.

Low Voltage Directive Requirements

The EU Com­mis­sion pub­lish­es a Guide for most of the Direc­tives, and the Low Volt­age Direc­tive is no dif­fer­ent. There is lit­tle direct ref­er­ence to wire and cable prod­ucts, how­ev­er, [5, para. 8] does men­tion it in broad terms, “…the Direc­tive cov­ers con­sumer and cap­i­tal goods designed to oper­ate with­in those volt­age lim­its, includ­ing in par­tic­u­lar, …elec­tri­cal wiring, appli­ance cou­plers and cord sets…” [5, Annex II] pro­vides a pic­to­r­i­al list of prod­ucts, illus­trat­ing the cord set require­ment. With­in the volt­age lim­its set by the scope of the LVD, the require­ment for cord sets and oth­er “safe­ty crit­i­cal” sub-assem­blies that include wire or cable makes sense. A com­plet­ed cord set with an IEC 320 con­nec­tor on one end and a coun­try spe­cif­ic plug, like a a CEE plug cap, is a com­plete prod­uct with a defined end-use, and so fits the scope. This seems to answer the orig­i­nal ques­tion: “Do wire & cable prod­ucts, on their own, require a CE Mark?”, at least under the LVD. The next ques­tion must be: “Are there any oth­er CE Mark­ing Direc­tives that might apply?”

RoHS and WEEE Directives

We can exclude the EMC Direc­tive, since the def­i­n­i­tion of appa­ra­tus in that direc­tive is quite clear. What about RoHS [6], and WEEE [7]? Let’s look at RoHS and WEEE togeth­er, since these two Direc­tives are linked in appli­ca­tion. The 2011 RoHS direc­tive [8] includes some def­i­n­i­tions of what elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ic equip­ment is, and includes two key def­i­n­i­tions for machine builders:

Arti­cle 3 


For the pur­pos­es of this Direc­tive, the fol­low­ing def­i­n­i­tions shall apply:

  1. elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ic equip­ment’ or ‘EEE’ means equip­ment which is depen­dent on elec­tric cur­rents or elec­tro­mag­net­ic fields in order to work prop­er­ly and equip­ment for the gen­er­a­tion, trans­fer and mea­sure­ment of such cur­rents and fields and designed for use with a volt­age rat­ing not exceed­ing 1 000 volts for alter­nat­ing cur­rent and 1 500 volts for direct cur­rent; 
  2. for the pur­pos­es of point 1, ‘depen­dent ‘ means, with regard to EEE, need­ing elec­tric cur­rents or elec­tro­mag­net­ic fields to ful­fil at least one intend­ed func­tion; 
  3. large-scale sta­tion­ary indus­tri­al tools’ means a large-scale assem­bly of machines, equip­ment, and/or com­po­nents, func­tion­ing togeth­er for a spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tion, per­ma­nent­ly installed and de-installed by pro­fes­sion­als at a giv­en place, and used and main­tained by pro­fes­sion­als in an indus­tri­al man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty or research and devel­op­ment facil­i­ty; 
  4. large-scale fixed instal­la­tion’ means a large-scale com­bi­na­tion of sev­er­al types of appa­ra­tus and, where applic­a­ble, oth­er devices, which are assem­bled and installed by pro­fes­sion­als, intend­ed to be used per­ma­nent­ly in a pre-defined and ded­i­cat­ed loca­tion, and de-installed by pro­fes­sion­als; 
  5. cables’ means all cables with a rat­ed volt­age of less than 250 volts that serve as a con­nec­tion or an exten­sion to con­nect EEE to the elec­tri­cal out­let or to con­nect two or more EEE to each oth­er; [7]

The term “large-scale” is nev­er defined in the direc­tive. So what is “Large-scale” when it comes to machine tools? An expla­na­tion of the term is giv­en in two places, [9] and [11]. The over­all descrip­tions get a bit involved, but essen­tial­ly it comes down to prod­ucts that weigh 3 tons or more, or are at least 2.5 m x 2.5 m. Any­thing small­er than this is not con­sid­ered “large-scale” and is there­fore with­in the scope of the WEEE Direc­tive. Some exam­ples of “large-scale sta­tion­ary indus­tri­al tools” include [9]:

  • Machines for the indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing of mate­ri­als and goods, such as
    • CNC lath­es;
    • Bridge-type milling and drilling machines;
    • Met­al form­ing press­es;
    • News­pa­per print­ing press­es;
  • Machines for the test­ing of work pieces, such as
    • Elec­tron beam, laser, bright light, and deep ultra vio­let defect detec­tion sys­tems;
    • Auto­mat­ed inte­grat­ed cir­cuit board and print­ed wiring board testers;
  • Cranes;
  • Oth­er machin­ery of sim­i­lar size, com­plex­i­ty and weight.

What then, is a “large-scale fixed instal­la­tion”? [9] can help us out here too. Some exam­ples are giv­en in the FAQ:

  • Pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing lines, includ­ing robots and machine tools (indus­tri­al, food, print media etc.);
  • Pas­sen­ger lifts;
  • Con­vey­or trans­port sys­tems;
  • Auto­mat­ed stor­age sys­tems;
  • Elec­tri­cal dis­tri­b­u­tion sys­tems such as gen­er­a­tors;
  • Rail­way sig­nalling infra­struc­ture;
  • Fixed installed cool­ing, air con­di­tion­ing, and refrig­er­at­ing sys­tems or heat­ing sys­tems designed exclu­sive­ly for non-res­i­den­tial use.

So, machine tools that weigh less than 3 tons, or are small­er than 2.5 x 2.5 m, are includ­ed in the scope of the RoHS direc­tives, but machines larg­er that this, or sys­tems that fit the descrip­tions of Large Scale Fixed Instal­la­tions are out. What about WEEE? The WEEE Direc­tive gives us some sim­i­lar def­i­n­i­tions in Arti­cle 3:

For the pur­pos­es of this Direc­tive, the fol­low­ing def­i­n­i­tions shall apply:

  1. large-scale sta­tion­ary indus­tri­al tools’ means a large size assem­bly of machines, equip­ment, and/or com­po­nents, func­tion­ing togeth­er for a spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tion, per­ma­nent­ly installed and de-installed by pro­fes­sion­als at a giv­en place, and used and main­tained by pro­fes­sion­als in an indus­tri­al man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ty or research and devel­op­ment facil­i­ty;
  2. large-scale fixed instal­la­tion’ means a large-size com­bi­na­tion of sev­er­al types of appa­ra­tus and, where applic­a­ble, oth­er devices, which: 
  3. are assem­bled, installed and de-installed by pro­fes­sion­als; 
  4. are intend­ed to be used per­ma­nent­ly as part of a build­ing or a struc­ture at a pre-defined and ded­i­cat­ed loca­tion; and 
  5. can only be replaced by the same specif­i­cal­ly designed equip­ment; 

WEEE also pro­vides anoth­er list of prod­ucts to con­sid­er in [8, Annex­es I & II]. From the point of view of machine builders we need only look at Annex II, 6., which lists exclu­sions:


  • Drills 
  • Saws 
  • Sewing machines 
  • Equip­ment for turn­ing, milling, sand­ing, grind­ing, saw­ing, cut­ting, shear­ing, drilling, mak­ing holes, punch­ing, fold­ing, bend­ing or sim­i­lar pro­cess­ing of wood, met­al and oth­er mate­ri­als 
  • Tools for riv­et­ing, nail­ing or screw­ing or remov­ing riv­ets, nails, screws or sim­i­lar uses 
  • Tools for weld­ing, sol­der­ing or sim­i­lar use 
  • Equip­ment for spray­ing, spread­ing, dis­pers­ing or oth­er treat­ment of liq­uid or gaseous sub­stances by oth­er means 
  • Tools for mow­ing or oth­er gar­den­ing activ­i­ties 

If we take the inter­pre­ta­tion of “large-scale” as [11], then it becomes clear that WEEE does not include most heavy machin­ery. Small­er equip­ment, i.e. not “large scale”, would be includ­ed. Seems clear enough, but how does this relate back to wire and cable?

In read­ing [9, Q5.2], we find that “Inter­nal wires are not cables. Inter­nal wiring in any EEE that is with­in the scope of RoHS 2 must sim­ply meet the mate­r­i­al restric­tions like all oth­er parts of the EEE; there is no indi­vid­ual CE mark­ing and DoC require­ment. If an EEE is sub­ject to a tran­si­tion peri­od or a scope exclu­sion, the same applies to the inter­nal wiring. The same prin­ci­ple applies to per­ma­nent­ly attached cables, e.g. most lamp cables.” [9, Q5.3] con­tin­ues this line of rea­son­ing in rela­tion to exter­nal cables, adding, “Exter­nal cables that form part of anoth­er EEE because they are sold togeth­er or marketed/shipped for use with an EEE, e.g. pow­er cords, must meet the mate­r­i­al restric­tions but do not need an indi­vid­ual CE mark­ing and Dec­la­ra­tion of Con­for­mi­ty if they are cov­ered by the DoC for the EEE and the EEE is CE marked.” The com­ment regard­ing the applic­a­bil­i­ty of the CE mark applies only to the RoHS Direc­tive require­ments.

Read­ing the def­i­n­i­tions is nev­er enough. The exclu­sions to the RoHS Direc­tive [11, Art. 2] include some impor­tant points:

4. This Direc­tive does not apply to:

c) equip­ment which is specif­i­cal­ly designed, and is to be installed, as part of anoth­er type of equip­ment that is exclud­ed or does not fall with­in the scope of this Direc­tive, which can ful­fil its func­tion only if it is part of that equip­ment, and which can be replaced only by the same specif­i­cal­ly designed equip­ment;
d) large-scale sta­tion­ary indus­tri­al tools;
e) large-scale fixed instal­la­tions;
j) equip­ment specif­i­cal­ly designed sole­ly for the pur­pos­es of research and devel­op­ment only made avail­able on a busi­ness-to-busi­ness basis.

So machin­ery that is not either a large-scale sta­tion­ary machine tool nor a large scale fixed instal­la­tion is with­in the scope of the RoHS and WEEE Direc­tives.

Summing Up

It looks like we have the full pic­ture now, so let’s recap. Wire and cable prod­ucts:

  • are includ­ed in the LVD, despite their usu­al clas­si­fi­ca­tion as com­po­nents, and there­fore require CE Mark­ing under this direc­tive
  • are exclud­ed from RoHS and WEEE when in com­po­nent form,
  • are includ­ed in RoHS and WEEE when used in small-scale machin­ery (i.e., not large-scale sta­tion­ary indus­tri­al tools or a large-scale fixed instal­la­tion), con­sumer prod­ucts, and med­ical devices that are not in-vit­ro or active implantable devices

So why are these prod­ucts CE marked when in com­po­nent form? The most obvi­ous answer seems to be that some wire and cable prod­ucts have been explic­it­ly iden­ti­fied in the Com­mis­sion Guid­ance on the Direc­tive [5, Annex II]. Fur­ther, these prod­ucts must always be incor­po­rat­ed into some oth­er prod­uct, many of which are includ­ed in the scopes of LVD, RoHS and WEEE. In the case of the LVD, wire and cable prod­ucts have a direct impact on the safe­ty per­for­mance of many safe­ty-crit­i­cal assem­bles, like cord sets, so per­for­mance of the wire and cable prod­uct is essen­tial to the safe­ty of the end prod­uct.  It’s worth not­ing here that “cables” are includ­ed in the exam­ples [5, Annex II], but “wire”, e.g., an indi­vid­ual insu­lat­ed con­duc­tor, is not men­tioned. This implies that wire does not need to be CE Marked as a com­po­nent.

Is there a manda­to­ry require­ment for the use of CE Marked or marked wire and cable prod­ucts? No. No more so that there is for any oth­er com­po­nent that may be select­ed for use in a CE Marked prod­uct. How­ev­er, it is always rec­om­mend­ed to use CE Marked com­po­nents when­ev­er they are avail­able, as this reduces the like­li­hood of prob­lems relat­ed to these prod­ucts caus­ing issues with the com­pli­ance of the final prod­uct.


I’d like to acknowl­edge the con­tri­bu­tions of the fol­low­ing peo­ple to this arti­cle, and offer my thanks for their assis­tance. Some of those list­ed are mem­bers of the IEEE Prod­uct Safe­ty Engi­neer­ing Soci­ety, as well as mem­bers of the EMC-PSTC list:

Mr. Jon Cot­man, Mr. Ted Eck­ert, Mr. John Gav­i­lanes, Mr. Richard Robin­son, Mr. Joshua Wise­man, Mr. John Woodgate.


[1] DIRECTIVE 2006/42/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 May 2006 on machin­ery, and amend­ing Direc­tive 95/16/EC. Brus­sels: Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. 2006.

[2] DIRECTIVE 2004/108/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 15 Decem­ber 2004 on the approx­i­ma­tion of the laws of the Mem­ber States relat­ing to elec­tro­mag­net­ic com­pat­i­bil­i­ty and repeal­ing Direc­tive 89/336/EEC. Brus­sels: Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. 2004.

[3] DIRECTIVE 2006/95/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 Decem­ber 2006 on the har­mon­i­sa­tion of the laws of Mem­ber States relat­ing to elec­tri­cal equip­ment designed for use with­in cer­tain volt­age lim­its. Brus­sels: Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. 2006.

[4] Inter­na­tion­al Elec­trotech­ni­cal Com­mis­sion (IEC). “Elec­tro­pe­dia: The World’s Online Elec­trotech­ni­cal Vocab­u­lary,” [Online]. Avail­able: [Accessed: 2013-12-19].

[5] L. Mon­toya, Ed. Guide­lines on the Appli­ca­tion of Direc­tive 2006/95/EC (Elec­tri­cal Equip­ment Designed for Use With­in Cer­tain Volt­age Lim­its). August 2007 (Last Mod­i­fied: Jan­u­ary 2012). Avail­able: [Accessed: 2015-08-24].

[6] DIRECTIVE 2002/95/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 Jan­u­ary 2003 on the restric­tion of the use of cer­tain haz­ardous sub­stances in elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ic equip­ment. Brus­sels: Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. 2002.

[7] DIRECTIVE 2012/19/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 4 July 2012 on waste elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ic equip­ment (WEEE). Brus­sels: Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. 2012.

[8] DIRECTIVE 2011/65/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 8 June 2011 on the restric­tion of the use of cer­tain haz­ardous sub­stances in elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ic equip­ment. Brus­sels: Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. 2011.

[9] RoHS 2 FAQ. Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Direc­torate-Gen­er­al Envi­ron­ment. 2012. Avail­able: Accessed 2013-12-12.

[10] DIRECTIVE 2011/65/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 8 June 2011 on the restric­tion of the use of cer­tain haz­ardous sub­stances in elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ic equip­ment, 2011/65/EU. Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Brus­sels. 2011.

[11] DRAFT Fre­quent­ly Asked Ques­tions on Direc­tive 2012/19/EU on Waste Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tron­ic Equip­ment (‘new WEEE Direc­tive’). Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Direc­torate-Gen­er­al Envi­ron­ment. Unpub­lished.

IMAGES: Selec­tion of wire and cable prod­ucts, unknown source. HAR mark cour­tesy Ören Kablo.