The acronym CE stands for "Conformité Européenne" and can be translated as "European Conformity". The CE marking is affixed to products that comply with the applicable requirements of the European Community with regard to safety, health protection and environmental protection and for which a corresponding conformity assessment procedure has been carried out. Their trade is permitted throughout the European Economic Area.
UKCA stands for "UK Conformity Assessed", has emerged in the context of the Brexit as a British variant of the CE marking and marks the conformity of products with the requirements of the United Kingdom.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is one of the world's most important independent institutions for testing and certifying materials, components and end products in the area of product safety. Not only materials and products are tested, but also the entire manufacturing process in terms of safety, performance and environmental compatibility. Certification also demonstrates the conformity of products with the safety regulations of the USA and Canada. These are stricter than in Europe.
The Reach directive stands for "Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of Chemicals" and was issued by the EU. It serves to protect the environment and human health and is one of the strictest regulations for handling chemicals in the world. Reach-certified products adhere to the directive specifications.
The RoHS Directive (Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment) regulates the use of hazardous substances in equipment and components. For example, the use of mercury, lead and cadmium in most devices is prohibited. RoHS-certified products are free of environmentally harmful hazardous substances that are difficult to dispose of. RoHS conformity is required for CE marking of electrical products.
Analogous to the European RoHS Directive, China has also issued an order, called China RoHS, to restrict the use of certain hazardous substances such as heavy metals in electrical components. The green circle symbol marks that the limits are being met. If the values are exceeded, a time is to be indicated in the orange circle for safe use.
The WEEE Directive of the EU (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment) regulates the distribution, return and proper disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment in Europe.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of substances of concern for humans and environmental organisms because, among other things, they are toxic. Therefore, there are limits for PAHs set by the legislator.
With the EU regulations on conflict materials such as tin, tungsten and gold, due diligence along supply chains is being tightened. The procurement practices of large companies, for example, must be disclosed. This is intended to curb violence and human rights violations in conflict regions.