Insights

CE Marking

How does it impact packaging?

The CE marking indicates conformity with health, safety and environmental standards for products sold within Europe.

What does the marking mean?

The CE mark is something that many will have seen before or at least recognize, as it is found on products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). The marking indicates conformity with health, safety and environmental standards for products sold within the EEA. It’s the responsibility of the manufacturers to identify the applicable directives and harmonized standards for their products. The CE marking also has implications on industrial packages, racks and tools, and it’s important to evaluate if a CE certification/mark is needed.  Based on Nefab’s experience and large engineering community, we have the knowledge to evaluate this, follow the need for health & safety and still keep costs down. Let us explain in detail how we approach this.

CE Marking and Packaging

Every machine that is sold or used within the European Union must comply with the health and safety requirements from the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, or better known as the CE mark. Simply said, it must be evaluated on health and safety aspects. Nothing more and nothing less.


The word “machine” in the directive has a very broad definition. It doesn’t only apply to machinery with a drive system, energy source and/or motion but also to equipment to lift, guarantee safety or those that are just powered by human effort. As such, it can also apply to industrial packaging, because:

  • Industrial packaging is sometimes used for lifting (e.g. lifting the packaging during transport or installation)
  • Industrial packaging can even be part of the machine and add safety (e.g. reels for industrial hoses)
  • Industrial packaging sometimes becomes an installation tool (e.g. a mechanical lever to get the product in place during install)

There are a few exceptions to cases where a CE certification is needed. An example is if the lifting is done with certified lifting equipment, like lifting eyes attached to the industrial packaging. In that case, the lifting equipment is already certified. But when in doubt or if the directive is unclear, the motto “better safe than sorry” certainly applies. Following the machinery directive will only improve health and safety of the industrial packaging.

"We have the knowledge to evaluate this, follow the need for health & safety and still keep costs down"

The CE Process

The process we follow at Nefab begins with a first assessment to determine if any certification is needed. If not, we still follow health and safety logic, but not the stringent machine directive. If a CE certification is needed, we assess conformity of the industrial packaging or tool. Are there any non-conformities that we can tackle? If not, we evaluate if it is part of Annex IV. If it is, we can’t do the certification ourselves and have to rely on external partners. In most cases, we can do our own CE certification, or Annex VII. Self-certification greatly increases throughput time and keeps costs under control. Annex VII is basically a risk assessment and a technical dossier. Risk assessment will define if the design has considered all risks regarding Health and Safety. If not or not sufficient, redesign of the industrial packaging is needed. If all risks are evaluated, Nefab will make a technical dossier, which will cover test results, description, drawings, manuals and quality control documents. After that, we can deliver a CE declaration of conformity and finally mark the industrial packaging or tool.

Packaging Solutions and the CE Mark

As such, the CE label isn’t the end of the CE process – there needs to be continuous follow-ups on the quality control documents created in the Annex VII technical dossier to prove a maintained quality. We hope it is now clear that CE can also apply to many of the industrial packages or tools used for transport and installation. With that in mind, Nefab can not only support our customers, but we can also take the lead in the CE certification by utilizing a strong engineering department, excellent sourcing capabilities and a dedicated global quality team.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact us today.

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