Updated: Sep 22
What is the CE mark for?
The CE mark is a symbol affixed to the package of product to recognize which product confirms to the standards set forth by the European Council for toy safety. The product safety directive applies to all products manufactured in Europe or imported into Europe from a third country. If you manufacture your games in Europe you should also have a CE test report. Check the EC Europa website.
Does my board game need a CE mark on it?
The council for toy safety has detailed in its Annex that a toy for people over the age of 14 is not considered a toy and does not need a CE. However, if your game will be played by kids as well, it is the utmost importance that you ensure the safety of players and get a test report for your game.
Whose name should be on the CE test report?
If you are an importer or a distributor of games, you have the same responsibility towards the games as the manufacturer does. Hence, you should have a test report showing that the games you are selling conform to the standards. Having a report from a manufacturer is not enough to cover in case your company and games are audited.
Is the CE mark on my board game applicable to other countries as well?
Though the UK is Brexiting (looks like it) from Europe, still the two governments are in transition, and many of the rules that applied in Europe still apply to the UK. As long as the UK government does not declare otherwise, the CE safety standards apply to the UK as well.
As for the USA, CE does not apply and is not a sufficient proof for safety standards. In the USA, the federal government has established the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), and they have a separate set of standards under the ASTM F963 act. For more information, check our article about getting an ASTM test report.
However, CE and the European standards are still most widely used and though countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, and Korea have their own set of standards, the CE standards will do.
Check our article about overlapping tests.
What does the CE standard tests include for board games?
Overall, toys are all under the EN-71 category, however, within this category, there are various tests.
For board games' CE, the most common tests are as follows.
Physical and Mechanical Properties – making sure that the physical property of the game do not present any risk, such as sharp edges that can cut or small pieces that can cause asphyxiation.
Flammability – to make sure that the toys are not prone to burn.
Chemical substances – to ensure that the chemicals used in the board game do not harm human health. This largely relates to heavy metals used in coating and color.
Checking the labeling on the package to make sure it is according to standard.
Some tests such as electrical properties, radioactivity, elasticity etc. understandably do not apply to board games. There are additional tests required by the European Union namely the REACH test, but we will discuss them in a separate article.
How to get the CE standard check?
Hero Time cooperates with world-leading testing labs and can help with the standard test. In general, there are 5 steps your game should go through to permit the affixation of the CE mark.
Make 3-5 proof samples of your game.
Send them to the testing lab.
The testing lab will take apart your game and check for the mentioned standards.
After a week, the lab will give you back the results of the test with a test report, and also a license.
Once you get the test report, you can affix the CE mark to your game.
What documents will I need?
As you are looking to sell your game in Europe, you will need the following documents.
The test report from the testing lab
An official declaration of conformity from the manufacturer.
The CE mark on your game
If you want to learn about other required labeling, simply go and download the required labels.
How Much does the CE Test Cost?
The price largely depends on the game that is being produced. Each component in the game should undergo the mentioned tests.
EN 71-1 costs 70 USD per item,
EN 71-2 costs 80 USD per item,
and EN 71-3 costs 105 USD per material and color.
an item refers to a whole set of a component. For example a set of cards is one item. The outer box is considered one item, and so are the meeples and other components.
In the Chemical test each color needs to be tested for chemical composition, and so does each material, so if you have multiple-color meeples, each color needs to be tested. If you have two meeples same color but made from different material there is also a need for two tests.
Paper or cardboard tokens need only one EN 71-3 test, as they are all printed on one sheet.