CE Marking In Boardgames Advice: Reading Your Report
Updated: Jan 21
Since our blogs on CE marking are getting a fairly regular flow of hits its clear that this is something people are hungry for information about. As a proud owner of my very own CE Testing Report I'm now privy to information that could be valuable to share.
For those reading this blog totally unaware of what CE marking is please follow the link to our previous blogs on this subject: CE Marking In Boardgames Advice. As a short overview the CE mark is a European Union safety mark which can be placed on products prior to sale to the public to show that they are safe for use. It takes the form of a "CE" on products and stands for European Conformity ( specifically Conformité Européenne).
Firstly, I'm not going to quote specific chunks of my report or post it directly. This is simply because I haven't attained permission from my testing center to do so (I don't know of any resources showing sample reports, if anyone does please either let me know or attach a link in the comments).
Secondly, please note that your lovely technical report means nothing without the attached risk assessment documentation. The technical report is your justification for thinking what you say you think in your risk assessment, the risk assessment is what justifies you having a CE mark. The technical report is not your CE marking. So, because it bares repeating, it should go something like: "I deserve a CE mark because my game won't burn anyone, and I know that because this technical report says it meets the flammability requirements of the European Standard 'Safety of Toys EN71:Part 2: 2011+ A1:2014'".
Thirdly, as always my comments are based on personal experience, which in this case is a single specific technical report, several years of risk assessments and general technical documents. As such they should not be taken as everywhere and always true.
The Testing Report
So, all that said, what will you be looking at? In short a document of around 15 pages of, at points, very dense technical information. Remain calm, for once its not your job to study and understand all parts of it. You should really only need to understand the first couple of pages. The first page should state who they tested for (you) and an age range. If you specify a range of anything over 7 years old you'll be tested for a age grade of 7+. We specified 14+ for SSO and got tested as safe for anyone down to the age of 7. This is because there are three testing grades in CE marking for toys, baby (0-36 months), child (3-7 years) and adult (7+).
The second part of the page should contain a report summary saying that your sample meets the requirements of EN71 Part 1 (no bits will shatter into pointy shards or choke anyone), Part 2 (it won't burst into flame in a warm room) and Part 3 (no bits you can scrape off contain super cyanide). It should also say that your sample is properly labeled under 'Directive 2009/48/EC Safety of Toys'.
Most likely you will have a series of notes in relation to your labeling, mentioning importers and repeated labeling. This is fine, what they boil down to is that if you are an importer your name needs to be on the box of the game you are importing or you are contravening EU regulations. If you go through your game collection you might see Asmodee labeled on games that they didn't have anything to do with manufacturing as importers. If you don't have an importer, and its fair to assume you don't, this doesn't refer to you but your testing bureau have a responsibility to mention it to you. Additionally, you should in theory have the manufacturer and product identification details (i.e. the name of the game) on every part of your product if possible but just on the box if not. Its fair to assume that with meeples, euro cubes and dice etc it won't be possible, so your game will fall into the "just on the box if not" category. Again, its part of your testers responsibility to remind you since you were forced to take the less ideal option, but its nothing to worry about.
Check the last page of the report, if its a picture of your game that should be all you need to know about your technical report, store it securely with your risk assessment and leave it be. Provided you don't change manufacturer or game elements it will cover your game forever. Feel free to check the rest of the report to see how much boron and antimony you have in your game and how much you're allowed to have, but the point is that the first page says that the rest of the information is just confirming that you have nothing to worry about.