How to distinguish CE Marking symbol vs China Export symbol?

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20 April, 2022

How to distinguish CE Marking symbol vs China Export symbol?

The Conformité Européenne (CE) mark is common on products in North America and Europe. However, the China Export mark and the CE mark are easily mistaken, which is understandable because they look almost identical.

This similarity is something that has been recognised by the EU parliament.


Image 1: Conformité Européenee          Image 2: China Export


What is the CE marking?

The CE mark is required on certain products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). There are several conformity categories covering different products.

For products that require CE marking, companies need to ensure that their products meet the applicable standards. Certain categories, such as medical devices, require testing by an accredited third party called a Notified Body.

For a medical device to be awarded the CE mark, the process is more intensive. Manufacturers must submit samples and technical documentation for external inspection by any of a number of Notified Bodies. These bodies review product documentation and, depending on requirements, review test reports or conduct their own tests to ensure that the product complies with regulations.

The CE mark on medical devices also includes the identification number of the notified body that conducted the certification.

The image below shows an example of CE marking on a medical device.

1639 is the ID of the notified body. Notified bodies are only authorized to certify specific product types.

Image 3: Non Woven Swabs Pouch with CE1639


What is China Export marking?

The China Export Mark means that the product was manufactured in China.

No registration, testing or auditing is required to use it. The mark can be used arbitrarily by Chinese manufacturers. Products bearing the China Export mark vary in quality and have no regulatory requirements.

These products do not confer any risk assessment, safety assessment or quality test.


What are their differences and how to distinguish the symbols?

To better understand the difference between the two marks, take a look at the side-by-side comparison presented in the image below. As you can see, the difference is not only in the meaning, but even if the “Chinese export” mark looks like the official European CE mark, this one does not respect its dimensions or proportions.

In that sense, the letters are formed identically, but the spacing between them is different. Thus, that is precisely what differentiates the two marks. A correct CE mark has the E beginning in the circular profile drawn by the character C.


Image 1: Conformité Européenee                   Image 2: China Export

When buying products, it is good practice to check their certification markings and do research to ensure that the product really does comply with the CE regulations it falls under.

The European CE marking is a guarantee of quality. It means that the product complies with the European Union’s safety, health and environmental protection requirements. This label indicates that the manufacturer has responsibly assessed the product and guarantees that it meets the obligation necessary to be sold within the EU.

The Chinese CE mark (from the acronym China Export), on the other hand, only indicates that the product was manufactured in China and is equivalent to the “made in China” labels.