All manufactured goods that are to be sold in the European Union must comply with community health and safety regulations before they can enter the EU market. A wide range of EU regulations exist to ensure consumer products and materials are safe and effective for use by European citizens. Passenger cars, trucks, buses, along with agricultural tractors are a special class of products are assessed according to requirements tailored to their unique hazards and environmental concerns associated with their use. Once certified they are e/E-Marked rather than CE marked like other manufactured products. In addition, certain electronic subassemblies (ESAs) may also need to comply with e/E-marking regulations. Plus, in some circumstances these ESAs will need to meet both the e/E-mark and CE mark sets of regulations.
The processes associated with CE and e-marking are administered differently and it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to be aware of all possible compliance obligations associated with their products and to meet the requirements in full. Whole vehicle regulations cover a broad scope of systems and attributes, including brakes, turn signals, safety restraints, tailpipe emissions, and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).
About the ECE Regulations for Vehicles
The first set of regulations was initially developed through the European Commission (EC) to create a common set of vehicle regulations for all EU member states. Approval is shown with the lower-case “e”. The second set of parallel vehicle regulations have been created through the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). While the UN regulations cover nearly identical requirements, they are more globally applicable rather than simply being in place for the EU. Products certified to the UNECE regulations are marked with an upper-case “E”. Over the past several years the European Commission has simplified vehicle approvals by acceding its own community-wide regulations to those of the UNECE. Now only a single ECE type approval for vehicles and vehicle ESAs is required for all of Europe. This single type approval is denoted by having the upper-case “E”-mark placed on the vehicle or ESA.
A properly E-Marked product is granted unrestricted access to the EU market and can nearly always be used without further testing, assessment, or other conformity marks. In addition, the value of an E-mark can extend beyond Europe since many countries model their own compliance requirements to those of the European Union and many accept E-Mark reports as suitable proof of compliance.
The full scope of European motor vehicle regulations are outlined at a high level in the European Commission framework directive 2007/46/EC. The directive lists the vehicle systems and performance attributes that are regulated and the associated regulations that apply (for example, tail pipe emissions, safety restraints, EMC, and others). Since December 2014 the European Commission has acceded its requirements for EMC to the UNECE requirements in UNECE Regulation 10. For vehicles and ESAs mounted on vehicles the applicable EMC requirements are listed in UNECE Regulation 10 Revision 5 and type-approved certified system will be labeled with upper-case E-mark.
The product specific framework regulation for agricultural and forestry tractors is the EC Regulation No. 167/2013.
What Does E-Mark Approval Mean?
E-mark approval helps to prove your vehicle or vehicle component complies with the relevant EU ECE regulations and can therefore, be sold in the EU. E-mark approval is a necessity for whole vehicles as well as a range of automotive systems and parts. The approval mark is given by a certified authority and each country has its own certifying body. The EU ECE approval can be very complicated and many people use an independent, third-party technical service team that can help you test all the relevant vehicle parts to ensure they are compliant. The manufacturers are then able to affix the e-mark sticker onto the vehicle parts and provide a certificate.
The Benefits of the E-Mark Certification
There are many benefits of the e-mark certification as your vehicle and vehicle parts will then comply with EU standards and can unlock further opportunities for future growth and you will receive relevant and correct certification as proof. It also allows you access to the EU market and other regions that are covered by the UN ECE. Affixing the e-mark sticker will help to avoid any recalls or loss of revenue due to lack of sales. Lastly, the e-mark is recognized in the European Common Market.
For motorcycles and their parts, noise and exhaust gases they must all also comply with the requirements of the European Commission (EEC Directives) and the European Economic Commission (ECE Regulation). The certification of conformity is granted to ensure vehicle is safe enough and fits to all the environment protection methods. The e-mark is affixed in many different ways depending on the country of certification.
E-Mark Certification Process
To become e-mark compliant, the testing that takes place must be independently certified. Firstly, you should determine if the e-mark testing or CE mark testing that is applicable and correct for your products. Next, you will need to ensure you have a test plan in place and this should then be submitted to a certified body such as the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA). This test plan should include all the possible worst-case selections in order to try and reduce the testing along with standard Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing (EMC) information. After the approval has been finalized, testing can then take place in a laboratory of your choice, but it will need to be certified to ensure it can perform the testing. If you can’t choose a laboratory, the testing should be done by a certified body representative such as a VCA authorized witness.
The e-mark involves a comprehensive assessment of the products performance and to ensure a thorough appraisal of the testing facility used. Once the clearance has been granted, applicants will then be given an approval certificate which can be used to ensure the manufacturers affix the approval mark on the correct components and issue the certificate of conformity (CoC) for all the vehicles.
The E-Mark Logo
The e-mark logo is a rectangular frame and the number inside the frame is the EU country code or the state number that is used for granting the approval. If one state grants the approval, then it is deemed sufficient for all other member states.
The EU certification, which is otherwise known as EC is the e-mark and this is based on the EU directive and is a safety certification mark. The European Commission requires all member states to apply the marking on a motor vehicle, vehicle parts and systems.
E-Mark Country Codes
The country/state codes are as follows:
E1 – Germany, E2 – France, E3 – Italy, E4 – Netherlands, E5 – Sweden, E6 – Belgium, E7 – Hungary, E8 – Czech Republic, E9 – Spain, E10 – Yugoslavia, E11 – United Kingdom, E12 – Austria, E13 – Luxembourg, E14 – Switzerland, E16 – Norway, E17 – Finland, E18 – Denmark, E19 – Romania, E20 – Poland, E21 – Portugal, E22 – Russian Federation, E23 – Greece, E24 – Ireland, E25 – Croatia, E26 – Slovenia, E27 – Slovakia, E28 – Belarus, E29 – Estonia, E31 – Bosnia and Herzegovina, E32 – Latvia, E34 – Bulgaria, E37 – Turkey, E40 – Macedonia, E42 – European Community, E43 – Japan, E45 – Australia, E46 – Ukraine, E47 – South Africa.
With over 25 years of experience in quality assurance, HQTS is ready to help your import and export business build a robust quality assurance plan. Our many service locations are prepared to be your one-stop-shop for inspection needs, Including ensuring your vehicle and vehicle parts are ready to be sent out and get their e-marking approval. Contact us today to find out how we can help you navigate your current quality control challenges.