For twelve years the CE quality mark has been appearing on packaging, to the delight of ink manufacturers, but the utter disinterest of virtually everybody else. The European Commission has been reviewing the mark’s future. What does CE actually mean? Do we need it?
Topic: Labelling and packaging
Who: The European Commission
When: Autumn 2005
The European Commission announced that it is planning to scrap the CE quality mark that currently appears on manufactured goods.
The CE mark first appeared in 1993 and was intended to be an easy and convenient way for manufacturers to show that their products, at least so far as the manufacturers were concerned, were fully in conformity with any applicable EU regulations and laws.
Unfortunately, things have not turned out quite as the Commission hoped. The Commission has received evidence that the logo is poorly policed, suffers from a lack of credibility and does not actually guarantee product safety. What's more, consumers are apparently confused as to exactly what the logo signifies, so all in all, 12 years on, it is time to say goodbye.
Why this matters:
21st century packaging is cluttered with hieroglyphics, most of which even manufacturers, let alone European consumers, have little idea of the meaning of. The European Commission is to be praised for biting the bullet and scraping an initiative which was ill-conceived in the first place and has never been property promoted, regulated or understood.