How To Distinguish A Real CE Mark From A Chinese CE Export Mark

Due to the rise in exporting business, and the elimination of location barriers, the products manufactured have to meet universally recognized quality standards to be launched successfully in the market. 

Many brands use CE marks on their products as a claim of assured safety, quality, and authenticity to customers. CE mark implies the product’s compliance along with strict EU standards and regulations.   

But do you know that often the CE mark on products can be fake? While many reputed Guangzhou sourcing agents like MatchSourcing use the authentic CE mark, there are few companies too that involve in fraudulent activities. It is still necessary to be able to distinguish the original CE mark from the fake “Chinese Export” mark. But how? Let us see.



Why is CE Mark Important?

Important symbol

Source: Freepik

Conformité Européenne abbreviated to CE literally means European Conformity. If you ask, in simple terms, it is a kind of necessary certification required by the manufacturers, and suppliers if they are willing to trade in the European region. It straightforwardly implies that the products having this said mark ensures us that the product complies with the applied health, safety, and environmental regulations issued within the EU.  

It is a very necessary quality check required for businesses to freely operate and trade in the EU. What kind of quality checks, and certifications are required by your product really varies. 

There are many certifications that apply to certain products while some of them need to be applied to all the products, irrespective of the product type. 

CE marking is one of the widely used, most trusted quality standards in the EU, without which trading of certain products is considered highly illegal. The European Standards Committee has created a set of harmonized standards. Only those products bearing a CE marking are said to be following these regulated harmonized specifications and are considered safe enough to be launched into the market and consumed by consumers freely. 

Now the next question is: What happens if we do not CE mark our products? Is there any consequence if we fail to get our products CE marked? Well, here is the answer. If the products are not appropriately CE marked, they are considered illegal and unfit to be brought to market. However, it should be noted that the legal consequences depend really on the principles of national legislation at the moment of judgment.

Do all the products require CE marking to be legally allowed to be traded in the EU? Although not all, most of the products traded in the EU need to be CE marked. Let us see what products need to be CE marked before bringing them to market:


  • Medical devices  and equipment
  • Cableways
  • Active implantable medical components
  • In-vitro diagnostic medical devices
  • Hot water boilers
  • Construction products
  • All types of machinery
  • Low-voltage electrical equipment
  • Recreational craft
  • Electric & electronic equipments
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Pressure equipment & gas appliances
  • Radio & telecommunications terminal equipment
  • Lifts
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Noise emitting devices in the environment
  • Cableways
  • Equipment used in explosive atmospheres
  • Explosives for civil use
  • Measuring equipment
  • Equipment with electromagnetic compatibility
  • Non-automatic weighing instrument
  • Toys & recreational craft



Official CE Mark 

Original and official

Source: Wikipedia

We all know that CE marking is a confirmation of compliance of the products manufactured with EU rules and regulations. Compliance with the necessary requirements of the necessary EU directives is meant for ensuring health, safety, and environmental protection. 

The CE Mark is mandatory for specific products ( depending on their purpose and the materials they are composed of)  that are sold in the European Economic Area (EEA).

There are basically three entities involved in any business/trade. This CE marking signifies that all three of them take responsibility for the quality standards of the products and assure the national authorities as well as the consumers that it wouldn’t lead to life, safety, or any kind of environmental risks.



It is the responsibility of the manufacturers to ensure that the products manufactured and launched in the extended market of the EEA are safe and risk-free for consumption. They need to carry out the conformity of compliance thoroughly and accurately, set up an assessment, deliver the correct technical reports, issue the EU declaration and affix the necessary CE marking, provided that products/services are in compliance with all rules and regulations.


2.Importers & Distributors

Importers and distributors are the middlemen of this trading system. They should assure that only CE-marked products that declare that they are compliant with EU-issued regulations are allowed to be brought to the EEA market.  Not adhering to this can lead to them being a major legal risk, and can empower the law to seize their authority of being a supplier.  



EU consumers are the receiving end. So it becomes our responsibility to see that the products we purchase are CE marked, and if not, consumers should report to the concerned authority right away. 

The real CE mark has “CE” letters inscribed in bold. Sometimes, alongside the CE mark, there is a code that represents the ID number of the respective Notified body needed for conducting the product’s assessment and certification.



CE Chinese Export Mark

CE VS Chinese CE-marking

Source: Wikipedia

Many-a-times, the CE “Chinese export” mark can be seen on products produced and manufactured in, and exported from China. The spacing between the letters of the Chinese export mark is closer than the official CE marking.

The mark is very similar to the original CE mark when it comes to the design. It would be peculiarly impossible for you to distinguish between the two if you are not aware of the difference between them. This may result in you getting misled and considering your product to be CE marked and safe to use. 

The “Chinese export” mark is not an official/legal European mark and is considered fake in the EU. Many factories in China apply that mark on their products and afterward, put them on the market. They do it in an attempt to trade their product without having the quality check done. 

Since such products haven’t had any risk assessment, safety evaluation, or testing, there are high risks of them being unsafe and unhealthy to use. They haven’t been certified against the relevant CE standards, and their placing on the EU market, which is seen as an illegal act can lead to serious legal consequences for the manufacturer. If you want to check it out, power supplies usually have a fake CE Chinese export label.




In a nutshell, even though the “Chinese export” mark resembles the official European CE Mark, it doesn’t strictly imitate its dimensions or proportions. For this reason, the letters are formed identically, but the spacing between them is different. This is precisely what differentiates the two marks. A correct CE mark has the E started on the circular profile drawn out by the C character.

There are many Chinese sourcing agents who deal with these things using China control quality inspection services. MatchSourcing is a Guangzhou sourcing agent that helps you understand the CE marking better and guides you through the product assessment so that your product can be authentically CE marked and you can avoid falling into traps of fake CE markings in the Chinese market. So, contact MatchSourcing for all your sourcing needs.



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