To enable the free movement of goods and services within the EU, there are a number of EU directives which set basic requirements in respect of safety, health and environmental protection. These directives must be transposed by Member States into their national legislation.
The directives do not contain any technical details, which are set in harmonised standards developed by the European standardisation bodies CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. Products manufactured according to one or several harmonised standards (which are published in the EU Official Journal) are considered as meeting the basic safety and health requirements set by the standard(s) in question.
The harmonised standards may be ordered from the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV): www.snv.ch.
In order to be placed on the market, a product must comply with certain essential requirements. Manufacturers must ensure that their products comply with applicable requirements by carrying out or commissioning a product conformity assessment procedure. If the product complies with the essential requirements, the manufacturer affixes the CE marking on the product and draws up an EC declaration of conformity. Manufacturers indicate their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark, as well as their address on the product. They must ensure that series production remains in conformity. The product must be accompanied by instructions and safety information in a language which can be easily understood. In the case where an external conformity assessment body intervenes, the manufacturer must affix the body's identification number.
The importer and the distributor must ensure that the manufacturer has fulfilled his obligations, i.e. check that the product has a conformity marking and that the required documents have been supplied.
Manufacturers (or their authorised representative), distributors and importers must provide the competent authorities with all necessary information on the product concerned in order to ensure product traceability.
In Switzerland, the Federal Act on Product Safety (PrSG) aims on the one hand at guaranteeing the safety of products on the market for commercial or professional uses and, on the other hand, at reducing technical barriers to trade by harmonising Swiss legislation with the rules of the European Union – Switzerland’s largest trading partner. The PrSG Act transposes Directive 2001/95/EC on general product safety into Swiss law.
Is CE marking compulsory in Switzerland?
CE marking is not mandatory in Switzerland but products bearing the CE mark are allowed on the Swiss market. CE marking is only required for goods exported from Switzerland to the EU (or EEA) which fall within the scope of EU directives.