EU Member States must incorporate the EU Directives in their national legislation. Products that comply with these Directives are given a CE marking (wrongfully also called CE brand, CE quality mark or CE symbol). This means that the product in question complies with the law.
For products for which there is an EU Directive in accordance with the “new approach”, the CE marking is mandatory. The manufacturer uses the CE marking to indicate that the product complies with the requirements for safety, health, environment and consumer protection, as stated in the applicable EU Directives.
Basically, the CE marking is like a passport for entering the market. The CE marking only indicates that the product complies with the minimum requirements set and is therefore not a quality mark. The supplier of the relevant product does, however, receive what is called a Declaration of Conformity, also known as the ‘DoC’, if the product complies with all the requirements in the associated European standards.
Depending on the safety risks, different procedures apply. It basically comes down to this: if the safety risks are limited, the manufacturer itself may issue a declaration that the product complies with the EU requirements set and may apply the CE marking to the product. For products involving greater risks, an official test report is required from a body appointed by the national government.
As described here, the CE marking does not reflect a product’s quality, but its compliance with the law. It shows that a (building) product has been tested or assessed in accordance with European technical specifications and the methods described therein.