CE Mark Explained

CE marl logoThe CE mark is something every wood burning stove should have. From July 2013, it will legally be required for all multi fuel and wood burning stoves. Currently, it is only required for stoves that are imported into the UK. But what is CE mark anyway and why is it so important?


What is the CE Mark

The actual meaning of the “CE” is disputed but it is usually understood as an abbreviation for Conformite Europeenne which translates into “European Conformity”. It is not a quality mark and it doesn’t imply a formal approval by an official body. Instead, it implies that the manufacturer or/and distributor of the stove guarantees it meets the European safety and efficiency standards.

Domestic stove producers aren’t legally required yet to attach the CE plate to their products. But most UK manufacturers test and certify their stoves anyway in order to make sure that they meet all the standards. Also, the CE plate will be mandatory for every multi fuel and wood burning stove on the UK market from July 2013. Improper application of the CE mark will become an offence of deception which foresees up to 10 years of imprisonment or/and fine.

Misuse of the CE Mark

Although the main purpose of the CE mark is to help the consumers choose safe and efficient appliances, the CE mark isn’t always indicating compliance with the European safety and efficiency standards. Unfortunately, many unethical manufacturers, importers and dealers equip their products with the CE mark even if it doesn’t meet the required safety and efficiency standards. In some cases, the CE mark doesn’t stand for the “European Conformity” but for “China Export” which looks virtually identical as the CE logo.

The CE mark that indicates “China Export” isn’t illegal and the European and Chinese authorities are also discussing how to ensure compliance of Chinese imports with the European standards. Meanwhile, however, the consumers are recommended to be very careful when selecting wood burning stoves or similar appliances and decide for purchase only if they are absolutely sure that the CE mark is genuine.

After an accident involving inferior quality imported stove which unfortunately also claimed one life in 2011, the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA), Hetas and GasTec randomly selected and tested 10 stoves for safety. One of the tested stove was found to be so dangerous that the case was handed over to the court. The results of the testing haven’t been made public yet but most of the stoves are said to fail to meet the CE safety and efficiency standards.

How CE Compliance is Ensured

To comply with the CE mark standards, a stove must past a series of tests which involve testing of operation safety, construction quality, heat output and other factors that influence its efficiency and safety. The CE testing also involves worst case scenarios such as overloading in order to eliminate every slightest safety concern.