|Robert Atkinson 2||04/04/2019 16:47:25|
266 forum posts
First please don't mention the B word, assume equivelent level legislation whatever happens re EU membership.
The question is - where do model engineers stnd regarding CE compliance and marking? For this Forum it's the Machenery Directive, Low Voltage Directive and EMC directive. With the notable exception of the EMC directive and radio amateurs, none of these differentiate between commercial production and one-off or personal projects. Thus in theory if you build your own CNC mchine or convert a manul machine to CNC you have to comply with the directives. For any form of commercial production or use by employees non compliance is an offence.
I assume no one does this, but is anyone aware of any official guidance (references please not just opinions) releaving hobbyists?
Obviously if you DIY, keep it in the shed and nothing goes wrong the question is moot. What if somthing goes wrong or you sell (or give away) your one off? Unfortunatly things do go wrong. and we are now a litigous society with lawers happy to take on cases and insurance companies happy to use any reason not to pay out. Some senarios are:
You sell or give away youe machine and the new owner is injured an they (or more likely their insurance co.) comes after you for compensation.
The machine catches fiire and burns down the shed/house/next door/ street
The Machine causes radio interference and OFCOM come knocking on your door.
I'm not suggesting anyone should stop building their own machines, but I think we should raise awareness of possible issues and encourage good practice in the machines we build. Unfortunatly I don't think things are going to get better and one incident with the wrong press coul have a big mpact on the hobby.
|Brian G||04/04/2019 17:25:31|
|491 forum posts|
Perhaps a remedy would be to approach our representatives in the European Parliament to remove the requirements for non-commercial builds in the same way as for boilers?
|4425 forum posts|
CE Marking is easy - you don't have to! The CE mark is applied by the manufacture or vendor to commercial items. The mark asserts (not necessarily truthfully or accurately) that the item meets all relevant safety and technical standards, and there should be a documentation pack that shows this has been done.
Meeting standards in a home workshop might be necessary, but only where there's a legal requirement so to do. Privately adding a CE mark is illegal.
Whatever you do, it's important to stay within the law. Making guns or crystal meth in the UK will get you a prison sentence, but many other activities have to be tested in court, and a 'reasonable' defence will do. I err on side of caution - I don't want to test a project's legality in court because it's expensive even if you win. Fortunately common sense will get you a long way, especially if you keep a low profile and stay private.
Selling and insurance are more complex because they involve someone else. For example, if I make a boiler and operate it in private, no problem unless there's a serious blunder and I have to make a claim. Operating the same boiler at a club requires a certificate issued by a recognised inspector, still fairly low key. Making and selling boilers above a certain size is professional, and the maker should meet all necessary requirements. I'm not aware this system causes any problems. Likewise, selling second-hand and home-made privately is less onerous than trade. It's not reasonable to expect a rusty collection of Myford lathe parts to be CE marked, or even that they can be expected to work after reassembly. Unless the seller claimed otherwise!
My advice is for amateurs to adopt 'good practice' and be ready to show reasonable precautions were taken. More important is to avoid raising unnecessary concerns. Given the slightest excuse some people will assume a workshop must be involved in terrorism or dangerous anti-social behaviour. Actually, Model Engineering is safer and more responsible than many other hobbies - including Amateur Radio. There's no need to sex up the risks.
|Mike Poole||04/04/2019 18:12:48|
1969 forum posts
My job was to make modifications to manufacturing equipment to improve reliability and cycle time, our planning dept. were beginning to be concerned that the original CE conformance would be invalidated and the machine would need to be recertificated to maintain conformance. Glad I have retired.
|Neil Wyatt||04/04/2019 18:57:07|
16115 forum posts
My advice is keep out of the workshop and stay in bed.
In practice, hobbyists can comply simply making sure anything they make that involves voltages above 50 and below 1000 volts meets the standards, below, which I think you might be daft not to meet through adequate insulation, fusing and care not to allow overload:
"Protection against hazards arising from the electrical equipment
2.—(a) Persons and domestic animals must be adequately protected against danger of physical injury or other harm which might be caused by electrical contact direct or indirect;
(b)Temperatures, arcs or radiation which would cause a danger must not be produced;
(c)Persons, domestic animals and property must be adequately protected against non-electrical dangers caused by the electrical equipment which are revealed by experience;
(d)The insulation must be suitable for foreseeable conditions.
Protection against hazards which may be caused by external influences on the electrical equipment
3.—(a) The electrical equipment must meet the expected mechanical requirements in such a way that persons, domestic animals and property are not endangered;
(b)The electrical equipment must be resistant to non-mechanical influences in expected environmental conditions, in such a way that persons, domestic animals and property are not endangered;
(c)In foreseeable conditions of overload the electrical equipment must not endanger persons, domestic animals and property."
|John Paton 1||04/04/2019 19:12:20|
|164 forum posts|
Is the answer not within the word Hobbyist? I take that as being for your own use and not for reward and also not involving your employment or the employment of others.
Some Model Engineers are most certainly in business - some in very large businesses - involved in making large numbers of models for sale (Bing, Stuart Turner etc along with those that make museum and shop display models). They will doubtless be covered by CE in the same way that manufacturers of cuddly toys are. So the term Model Engineer does not offer an exclusion.
Once work is done for reward it is arguably a cottage industry not merely a hobby. Ditto the use of your car for transporting items for business sale is not domestic and pleasure use within the terms of car insurance.
|Robert Atkinson 2||04/04/2019 19:17:55|
266 forum posts
Dave (SOD) said
"CE Marking is easy - you don't have to! and Privately adding a CE mark is illegal."
Do you have any references to back up these statements? I Did ask for references in my question. The CE regulations state that there must be compliance at offering for sale or at "first use". They say nothing about commercial production. What does "privately" mean? The responsibility for compliance is on the manufacturer or importer. If you manufacture or import it you can (must) put a CE mark on it (unless it is something like lifting equipment that needs certification by a Notified Body). By doing so you also take responsibility. There is no relief for on-off's or non commercial items. There used to be exemption in the LVD where you did not to have to mark an item that was for own use but you still had to ensure it conformed so not putting a sticker on was silly. This exception has been removed.
I'm not sure why you think amateur radio is more dangerous than model engineering especially now most amateurs don't use valves or build their own equipment.
|vintage engineer||04/04/2019 19:40:17|
132 forum posts
I thought CE marking meant Chinese Export?
|Cabinet Enforcer||04/04/2019 20:00:31|
|43 forum posts|
Try looking at the enactment into UK law of these directives, eg PUWER.
Your many questions are largely moot, CE marking is mainly about common safety standards for the purposes of free trade, not the regulation of hobbyists.
|Phil Whitley||04/04/2019 20:24:46|
|839 forum posts|
I will add this to Neils (excellent) post!
CE marking is a certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). The CE marking is also found on products sold outside the EEA that are manufactured in, or designed to be sold in, the EEA.
The operative here is "products SOLD" if you are not selling it, it does not need a CE mark
Can you self certify CE mark?
Yes, CE-marking by Self Certification can be performed in cases where harmonized standards cover all relevant safety aspects of a product. In accordance with the requirements of the applicable Directive, as manufacturer you can carry out the safety assessment procedures and compiling the required documentation
If you build it, and it kills you, it is your responsibility, no one elses, and certification is irrelevant because it was not an item for sale.
If you ask your employee to use it, you are responsible for that employees safety, no one else. I know many engineering firms who also make much of the equipment they use, for their own use only and not for resale, therefore do not need CE marks, but must comply with relevant HSE requirments under the safety at work regulations.
If you make something that produces EMI, and ofcom come knocking, it is your responsibility, and CE marking has nothing to do with this situation.
Google is your friend, and will provide all the answers you require, and many references. The main requirement for CE marking is that the manufacturer produces documentation that assures compliance, and any importer hold copies of the documentation. There is no requirement for any manufacturer to have any testing done, other than that he carries out himself in his own test facility. Given that everything made in China which needs a CE mark to be sold in the EU is so marked, regardless of compliance, tend to, shall we say, somwhat invalidate the integrity (if it indeed ever had any) of the CE system. As an electrical engineer, I could never understand why we should "harmonise" our electrical system with a group of countries in which the electrical regulation and safety records were vastly inferior to our own. When we leave, all this will be irrelevant. We need to remember that Britian set the standards in the first place!
|219 forum posts|
I would suggest that as far as the Machinery Directive goes, the definitive source of info should be its implementation into UK law:
The key bit is probably
and definitions of e.g. "responsible person" are at
It's in legal language but it's perfectly understandable IMO (I am not a lawyer!). Reading this I would tend to agree with the original poster that there's no obvious exemption from the requirements for hobby or personal use.
Of course what it makes sense for us to do in real life is another question entirely...
Edited By Bikepete on 04/04/2019 21:04:38
|Andrew Johnston||04/04/2019 22:20:03|
4700 forum posts
The formal phrase is placed on the market. But Phil is essentially correct, if you'e not producing items for sale to the general population then there is no requirement to CE mark. As far as I'm aware it is illegal to CE when it is not mandated.
|Paul Kemp||04/04/2019 22:26:27|
|283 forum posts|
How do you interpret this?
"For the purposes of these Regulations, machinery or partly completed machinery shall not be regarded as being placed on the market or put into service where—
(a)it does not have affixed to it either the CE marking, or any inscription likely to be confused with the CE marking, and—
(i)it will not be put into service in an EEA state;
(ii)it is imported into an EEA state for re-export to a country which is not an EEA state; or
(iii)it is imported into an EEA state other than in the course of a business by a person who intends to use it other than in the course of a business; or"
The second bit applies to trade fairs and is irrelevant.
i would say as you don't put a CE Mark on your home made tools the first part is satisfied and as a "hobbyist" is not intending to use it for business (iii) is nearly there too except it's not been imported. Any proper lawyers out there?
|4425 forum posts|
For references have a read of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy's guidance here.
It refers throughout to 'products', for example:
'By placing the CE marking on a product a manufacturer is declaring, on his sole responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking.'
The word 'product' isn't used in the ordinary sense. Rather it has a specific legal meaning requiring commercial application as well as fabrication or manufacture.
What I make in my workshop isn't commercial, and I am not a manufacturer. As I don't manufacture products, a CE mark isn't required.
Private marking, by which I meant me applying a CE mark to something made in my workshop for non-commercial use, breaches: 'Before you place a CE marking on a product, you need to establish which New Approach Directives apply to your product. You must not attach a CE marking to a product outside the scope of the directives.'
Amateur radio has occasional fatalities. Agree electrocution by equipment is now unusual, but putting up aerials is risky. Falling off masts and roofs is most common, but every so often an antenna or metal ladder touches a power line. Model engineering is more likely to involve minor painful accidents. Off-hand I don't recall anyone being killed.
|Ian Johnson 1||04/04/2019 23:23:00|
|74 forum posts|
This is a classic case of over thinking a non existent issue. Most regulations are for the employer to adhere to, we can do pretty much as we please in our own homes. If we were subject to the PUWER regs for example, I would think 99% of us would be in court telling the judge why we took the machine guard off! You can work on top of your roof and not bother about the work at height regs. Dig a big hole and not bother about the confined space regs etc.
We are not expected to know or adhere to he industrial and employment laws, but If you are selling stuff that is a different matter altogether.
Most hobbyists in the UK will probably fall foul of the Council environmental officer and local by-laws, noise and nuisance laws
And It's always better to beg forgiveness than beg permission!
|Robert Atkinson 2||05/04/2019 07:01:27|
266 forum posts
Ahh, you are ignoring the "and" in point a,
AND "it will not be put into service in an EEA state" put into service means using.
Conformance is not about making, selling or business use. The lathe you buy as a hobbyist has to conform to the same requirements as one used by business. Domestic appliances have to conform too. Selling is not a requirement, selling, marketing OR putting into use requires compliance otherwise you could give non compliant items away free with a token compliant ones.
Neil's approach is OK for the LVD but what about Machinery. EMC and Pressure directives?
|Cabinet Enforcer||05/04/2019 08:05:09|
|43 forum posts|
Robert, your last post hangs your very tedious clipboard on a different set of goalposts to your first one, as well as being wrong again; are you just deliberately trying to have an argument?
If you have a genuine concern, why have you not contacted the relevant enforcing authority and sought their opinion?
|Barrie Lever||05/04/2019 09:52:38|
|254 forum posts|
Well you are in the majority, I would wage good money that more people in the World think that a CE mark stands for China export than anything else !!
I know you were joking but I am not sure that my response is a joke, I might actually be correct.
All joking aside the CE marking scheme is a complete farce, it only works if everyone plays by the same rules.
I know of items like serious radio control sets having CE marks that are issued by some tiny test house in Malaysia, there was no way that the test house could carry out a proper CE test.
There is even difference of opinion between German machine tool factories on what is required from say machine safety encosures to be CE compliant.
Like I say, pick the bones away and it is a joke.
|Neil Wyatt||05/04/2019 09:52:53|
16115 forum posts
'Uniquely singular' products don't need CE marking.
I know this is the case as I did a lot of research when making a mobile display unit as a commission. If I made furtehr ones to a similar design they might need CE marking, however I was careful to avoid features that would bring it within the scope of any relevant directives (e.g. we agreed it would not be lit).
I would add that if some of the posts here are correct anyone who has taken two electrical items and connected them together (such as building their own PC or 3D printer or fitting a DRO system to their machinery) had better contact their lawyers.
You could even construe that using an non-OEM charger for your phone constitutes a new assembly that should comply with the regulations... heaven help you if you then use it to make a business call!
|Robert Atkinson 2||05/04/2019 10:24:02|
266 forum posts
I'm not sure what you mean by the first paragraph, can we have plain languge please?
On the second, I would not want to be the person who put the compliance spotlight on the hobby. I have my own opinion on this, based on professional involvement since the regulations were introduced. Yes I'm being deliberately controversial, but to raise awareness not be argumentative.
PUWER does not apply to hobbies becaue they are not work and have no employees. CE compliance is certainly a key requirement of PUWER, but CE applies to much more than work equipment.
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