It is likely you are in need of CE marking if you develop machinery, electrical, or medical products that require safety instructions and want to sell those products in Europe.

As part of the CE marking process, all safety-related information, such as labeling, instructions for use, packaging, and user manuals must be translated into the official language of each country where the product will be sold or distributed.

Similar to how FDA approval in the United States confirms a product is safe to use, CE marking for Europe verifies that products conform to standardized health, safety and environmental requirements. The mark confirms that the product complies with applicable European Union (EU) directives and can be legally sold in European markets.

While translating documents is only one aspect of the CE marking process, it is an important part. So you need to get it right.

Here are a few reasons why accuracy is so critical to CE marking translations:

1. Inaccurate CE marking translations delay an already lengthy process

CE marking is a long, involved process that requires a significant investment of both time and money on the part of any company that wants to sell its products within the European Union. As part of the review process, the company must submit accurate translations of all operating instructions and safety documents. If the documents are inaccurate, approval will be delayed or even denied.

Prolonging an already lengthy process with an inaccurate translation is costly on a number of levels. First, it will delay the completion of the CE process and may even require that the entire process be restarted (costing more time and money). Second, delays will affect your ability to quickly get your product to market, which can mean lost sales or enable your competitors to gain initial market share.

2. Inaccurate translations can add to the costs of CE marking

The most obvious reason to get a translation right the first time is to avoid having to pay to translate again. Cutting corners with a translation may come back to bite you when you have to pay not once, but twice to get an accurate translation. Further costs may be incurred also if you have to restart the entire CE process.

3. Failure to attain CE marking can result in regulatory action

CE marking requirements are enforced by customs officials, government inspectors, and accident investigators. Not only will it be difficult to get your product past customs officials without the proper CE documentation, a failure to comply with CE marking can result in an investigation by the EU regulatory body.

4. Liability for safety remains with the manufacturer of the product

No matter who translates your document, the manufacturer retains liability for the product. Therefore, for your own protection, it is critical to ensure you get an accurate translation and that all safety information is clearly conveyed to those who will be using the product.

CE marking opens the door to opportunity in lucrative new markets. As such, you should view your CE marking translations as a critical component to leveraging that opportunity. Translations are not just a legal requirement, but an extension of your brand image and product. If you want to succeed in global markets, start by ensuring the documents that accompany your products are accurate, understandable, and reflect their quality.