General information on electrical products
In this section, we will explain everything you need to know and do as a manufacturer, importer and/or distributor of electrical products to ensure that your product meets the requirements set for it. Welcome to the training!
is an electrical product?
The legislation contains different definitions of electrical products, but the term covers virtually all equipment that requires electrical power or fields to operate (including battery-powered equipment). The requirements applied to electrical equipment are derived from EU directives, regulations and decisions, and also from national legislation.
The requirements can be roughly divided into two categories: one for the product and one for you as an economic operator. The legislation concerning electrical product includes essential requirements for the equipment and the assessment methods that are used to assess the conformity of the equipment. The technical details required for equipment are specified in European harmonised standards.
This section describes the technical requirements for electrical products, as well as the requirements for markings, instructions and packaging. We will also tell you about the obligations of economic operators in relation to conformity assessment, the documentation and labelling of electrical products, and the sale of products in a store/online store.
Read more about electrical products:
Electrical appliances on the Tukes website
Manufacturing, Importing and Sales of Electrical Equipment Guide (PDF)
The “Blue Guide” on the implementation of EU products rules (PDF)
What other directives/regulations might apply to electrical products?
Legislation lays down requirements on products in order to ensure various aspects of safety, health, environmental protection and consumer protection. All products must be safe and reliable to use, or they must comply with certain minimum requirements. Provisions on these requirements are laid down in EU directives, regulations and decisions, and in national legislation. Regulation often concerns only one characteristic of a product, so a single product is subject to several regulations. The CE marking indicates that the product complies with all the relevant regulations.
This teaching material describes the regulations that typically concern electrical products. However, electrical products can also be subject to many other regulations, depending on the characteristics of the products, and where it is used.
- When the product has functions that work wirelessly (Bluetooth, infrared, Wi-Fi), the product is covered by the Radio Equipment Directive. You can find more information on radio equipment on the Traficom website.
- Many products emit radiation that is used in data transmission, beauty care and heating for example. STUK monitors the radiation safety of equipment and lasers.
- If the product is used in potentially explosive atmosphere (bakery, sawmill, paint shop, etc.), the product is likely to be subject to ATEX legislation. You can find more information on ATEX on the Tukes website.
- If a product comprises at least one movable part and is operated by power other than human or animal effort, the product is considered a machine. However, it has been separately agreed that household appliances are not machines, but electrical appliances. You can find more information on machines on the Tukes website.
- If the product makes a loud noise when used, as many gardening machines do, it is also covered by the Outdoor Noise Directive (2000/14/EC) and the Government Decree on noise emission levels from equipment for outdoor use (621/2002). Regulations contain requirements for markings, for example.
- If a product is used in a vehicle and has an impact on the safety of the vehicle (such as headlights), the type approval of vehicle legislation applies to the appliance. You can find more information on the requirements at Traficom.
- When a product is used for the prevention, monitoring or treatment of illness or injury, the product is a medical device. Fimea monitors the conformity of medical devices in Finland.
- A gas appliance refers to appliances burning gaseous fuels that are used for cooking, cooling, air conditioning, heating, lighting or washing. You can find more information on gas appliances on the Tukes website.
- Pressure equipment means a tank, pipework or other technical unit which includes or might form overpressure, as well as the protective devices of the pressure equipment. Pressure equipment is used in industrial applications, workplaces and households. You can find more information on pressure equipment on the Tukes website.
- A construction product is a product or a product system that becomes an integral part of a building. Examples of such products are electrically operated doors, automatic smoke extraction hatches and wood pellet stoves. More information on construction products is available on the Tukes website.
Frequently asked questions
Can an assembler become a manufacturer?
The manufacturer is responsible for the safety and conformity of their product. The manufacturer’s responsibility passes to the modifying party if the product is modified in a way that affects compliance, and if the original manufacturer did not assign the modifications. Similarly, if an equipment is connected with a larger entity, the conformity of the individual equipment is no longer considered, but rather the new functional entity’s. This can happen in connection with assembly, for example.
The assembler is always responsible for their actions. In principle, the maker of a new functional unit (new electrical product) composed of several electrical equipment and components is considered the manufacturer. The assembler is not considered the manufacturer if the functional entity they made meets all the following conditions:
- The entity consists of equipment of only one/the same original manufacturer.
- The appliances in the entity are designed and intended to function together.
- The appliances have not been altered or modified in a way that deviates from the manufacturer’s instructions.
- The appliance was assembled in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
New electrical products made by the assembler are not put on the market for sale. Instead, they are made for a specific fixed installation. Therefore, these appliances do not need a CE marking or an EU declaration of conformity, which are the cornerstones of free movement. However, the products must comply with the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act, and they must be identified, equipped with a type plate and contain the name and address of the manufacturer (=assembler).