ENEC Important or not?

Some words on ENEC. This approval mark is mainly focussed on Europe. It stands for European Norms European Certification. The mark is voluntary however for some organizations it is mandatory since there are specifiers that require ENEC marking for the products. The ENEC mark was established over twenty years ago now and started in the lighting industry. The lighting industry wanted a approval mark for the whole of Europe.

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Until that time every country did have its own approval mark and manufacturers where complaining about the number of approval marks on their products and especially the costs involved. The ENEC mark was established by EEPCA and is maintained by them. It stand for European Electrical Products Certification Association.

The mark shows compliance with the low voltage directive. For luminaires there it is currently a pure safety mark (changes are coming) but for components also minimal performance criteria must be met. When the standards are fulfilled and some requirements with regard to production control the product can be certified in this scheme.

Lighting products that are marked with a ENEC mark are tested in Europe by a independent third party laboratory and meet the requirements for production quality control (ISO9000 series). All as per the ENEC agreement.

ENEC marking is not replacing the CE marking, it is just another voluntary marking that shows that the product is independently tested while CE is only a self declaration. A big difference therefore. Important to know is that the ENEC marking covers the Low Voltage Directive but it does not cover the other directives that might be applicable as well like the EMC directive, ErP directive and the RoHS directive.

On the EEPCA website the certified products can be found and in that way you can also check if a certificate is still valid or if a product really is certified. The certification database is public.

What are the main advantages for the end-user:
– he knows that the product was evaluated by a third party laboratory
– he can rely on the production of the manufacturer since he is checked
– constant quality control from the manufacturer is a requirement and is also checked

What are the advantages for the manufacturer:
– it opens up another part of the market where specifiers require ENEC marking
– luminaire manufacturers that need ENEC will also generally search for ENEC components in their sourcing proces.
– when using ENEC marked components (especially in lighting) minimum performance requirements are also covered

Other advantages exist of course but these I guess are the most important ones. Another one that is worth mentioning is product liability. With the marking you still are liable, that is not being changed to another party, but it will help you significantly when a problem does occur. How do you expect to stand in court when you have done all tests yourself and prepared your own documents (in many cases no documents exist!) or if you have a third party test lab, accredited, supporting you with the marking and the procedures that are attached to that? I think I know the answer.

Of course all is a matter of choice, what do you need, or more important what do your customers ask. For some how you sleep at night is a consideration?

Jacob.




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