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Why do manufacturers shed blood, sweat and tears to get ENEC approval?

July 2019, by Mitchel Waite, Product Manager

The answer is safety. It evidences the quality of products and their safety compliance. How does one prove that their products are safe? Is self-testing credible enough? ENEC solves these dilemmas by providing independent 3rd party certification which deems a product safe under European directives.

ENEC = electrical safety in Europe


Up until 1992 every country had its own compliance and safety approval mark for electrical products. Manufacturers and buyers were dissatisfied and overwhelmed with the number of different approval marks on products, the costs involved and lack of common ground between them.

The market therefore demanded a common approval mark for the whole of Europe (and did you know, it all started with us, in the lighting industry?). Since then, the European Certification Bodies in the electrical sector have opened the ENEC Mark to all electrical product sectors.

But what is it, and what does it stand for?

ENEC is another of those abbreviations we all love. It stands for "European Norms Electrical Certification". These four letters form the high-quality European registered trademark for electrical products that demonstrate compliance with European directives (EN). 

The ENEC mark complements, but doesn’t replace, the mandatory CE marking on electrical products sold on the European market. ENEC is a voluntary marking, but the big difference is, unlike previous safety marks, testing takes place at independently approved testing laboratories, or in approved manufacturer laboratories; while CE is only an in-house self-declaration.

Note: ENEC marking covers the Low Voltage Directive but it does not cover other directives that might be applicable as well like the EMC directive, ErP directive and the RoHS directive.

It is a common misconception that CE marking indicates that products have been approved as safe by the European Union or by another authority. When in fact it represents a self-declaration from the manufacturer or importer that the product has been assessed and complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European Directives. Which is why, for certain products, a manufacture will display both CE and ENEC marks.

How does ENEC work?

ENEC approval isn’t easy. It’s not a simple case of sending off your best product and ticking all the boxes. It’s a continuous assessment process, which doesn’t end once the product enters the market.

The ENEC Mark Scheme procedures constitute a full certification scheme (ISO Type 5).

This includes:

  • Third party testing and certification
  • Annual factory inspection
  • Ongoing product and production monitoring
  • Visible use of ENEC Mark logo on products
  • Regular marketplace monitoring of the ENEC Mark (approved products are re-tested every two years to ensure continued compliance)

ENEC test labs strict requirements include:

  • New Testing Laboratory initial assessment criteria
  • Stringent re-assessment programme of testing operations
  • Regular testing expert meetings
  • Comparative testing programmes

Source: ENEC for safe electrical products in Europe

Why, you, the customer should look for an ENEC Marked product?

Manufacturers invest a substantial amount to achieve ENEC approval. As a customer, it's a powerful tool in determining which manufacturers have gone above and beyond to demonstrate the safety and quality of a product. ENEC is a universal and highly recognised certification throughout Europe, and as a customer it can save you time and money when trying to select a product that's fit for purpose. Additionally, it provides enhanced ‘peace of mind’ and reassurance on the reliability of the investment.

When it comes to heritage luminaires, there's a narrow selection of manufacturers with ENEC approved products. DW Windsor is one of those few, so you can be assured of the quality and reliability of your investment in us.

Many electrical products in Europe are not safe. Brands are becoming more and more comparable and since CE marking is self-declared and does not require independent testing, validation from impartial testing companies, such as ENEC, are becoming increasingly important as they represent the safety demands of customers.

Key benefits of ENEC approval

  • Provides independent proof that the product complies with the relevant EN electrical safety standards and performance testing requirements
  • Guarantees that the manufacturer applies a quality management system according to ISO 9001
  • The manufacturer has a verified production control, e.g. factory inspections
  • Reassurance of one high quality mark recognised throughout Europe
  • Independent, third-party, impartial testing
  • European full certification scheme (ISO Type 5)
  • Constant quality control from the manufacturer is a requirement and is also checked (products are re-tested every two years)

We hope this article has demystified the ENEC mark and re-emphasised its importance in the electrical industry.

Take a look at our ENEC approved products >