How to check CE Certificates

CE logo on a product

The importance of a PPE CE certificates check has increased markedly in recent months, thanks to increased demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, while PPE production has increased, some manufacturers and vendors have not met the minimum requirements stipulated by legislation.

A CE certificate is a document that confirms that a particular item of PPE meets statutory requirements. However, there is evidence that some providers are attaching this guarantee to PPE products that are not certified or do not reach the standards necessary for certification.

So how do you check CE certificates?

Check For Supporting Documentation

If you're purchasing PPE, it is a good policy to ask for CE certification. Supplying a CE certificate is not a legal requirement in the UK. However, it is a good idea to check that the vendor has one regardless.

Check For A Declaration of Conformity

If you're sourcing PPE from the EU, you should check that the vendor has a Declaration of Conformity. This legal document confirms that PPE complies with (EU) PPE Regulation 2016/425. In the EU, it is illegal to sell PPE without an accompanying Declaration of Conformity.

Check The Documents Are Authentic

The next step is to confirm that the documents you receive are authentic. You'll want to make sure the report includes information corresponding to the following fields:

  • Reference or certificate number
  • A statement that the certificate was issued under applicable regulations
  • Product information, such as SKU and description
  • Information about the manufacturer and origin of the PPE
  • The notified regulatory body
  • Evidence that the notified body is in the EU
  • The signature of the person certifying the document
  • The date of issue and expiry
  • Terms and conditions

Certificates should contain all these pieces of information. If they do not, then you should contact the notified body listed on the document. The notified body is usually just a government department in an EU Member State that can confirm whether or not the certificates are legitimate.

The notified body the document refers to can vary from supplier to supplier, depending on their jurisdiction. You can find a full list of all EU notified bodies here to check that the one you've been supplied is legitimate.

If you suspect that any details of the documents you've been provided are false, then you should report it to the relevant regulatory body. They will then be able to take the matter up with the supplier.

Additional Information To Consider

Ideally, you want to confirm the information provided on the CE certificate, line by line.

For the product, check the type of PPE, SKU and description to ensure that it matches. Also, confirm the manufacturer's information, including its full name and address. Check that their representative is a real person, and that the declaration is the sole responsibility of the manufacturer, not a third party.

Checking CE certificates is vital for anybody using PPE equipment. It could be the difference between preventing the spread of COVID-19 and not.

Zoe Brightmore
About the author

Zoe Brightmore

Zoe is a volunteer of PPE4People. A recent BSc neuroscience graduate with experience in scientific writing and two new kittens.