Which Countries Require CE Marking of Medical Devices?
This blog serves as a reference guide with a discussion of information resources for, and a list of which countries require CE marking of medical devices.
You can locate the current list of countries that require CE Marking of medical devices by visiting the list of Competent Authorities (CAs) on the following Europa webpage (http://bit.ly/ContactPoints). That page has 33 national CAs identified. CAs are the US FDA equivalent in the European Union (EU). In addition to member states in the EU, the CAs list also includes signatories (i.e., – countries that have signed the 1985 Schengen Agreement to allow people to pass between countries with no border controls) and EU candidate member states. For the most current status of candidate member states and potential candidate member states, you can visit the following Europa webpage: (http://bit.ly/EuropaCountries). As of September 21, 2013, the status of the 33 CAs is categorized in the list at the end of this blog posting.
Australia-EU Mutual Recognition Agreement
In addition to the 33 countries listed below, the Australia Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has a mutual recognition agreement with the EU—the EC MRA (http://bit.ly/TGA-EU-MRA). This agreement, however, has limitations. The agreement includes a rule of origin clause which excludes products manufactured outside the EU and Australia. Other restrictions include:
- Radioactive medical devices
- High-Risk, Class III devices
- Excluded barrier contraceptives, including condoms
- Devices, including medicinal and those of biological origin
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), you can begin the medical device registration process if your company has regulatory approval from one of the founding members of the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF). The five founding members are: 1) the USA, requiring a 510(k) or PMA; 2) Canada, requiring a Medical Device License; 3) Europe, requiring CE Marking; 4) Australia, requiring Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG); and 5) Japan, requiring Japanese Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (JPAL) certification or approval. The next step is to select an Authorized Representative in the KSA and submit a Medical Device Marketing Authorization (MDMA) application. For low and medium risk device classifications (i.e., – Class I, IIa, and IIb), you may begin marketing your device in the KSA before obtaining formal regulatory approval (this regulation is subject to potential change). For higher-risk devices (i.e., – Class III), you must first obtain MDMA certification before distribution of the device in the KSA. The medical device regulations for the KSA are interim regulations. You can verify the current regulations by visiting the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) website (http://bit.ly/SFDAMedicalDevices).
Many other countries have alternate, abbreviated processes similar to Australia and the KSA if your medical device is already approved by one of the GHTF countries. Often, this is stated as “country of origin approval.” Countries recognizing country of origin approval that offer an abbreviated approval process include Argentina, Singapore, China, etc. These countries do not merely “rubber stamp” the approval, but the approval process is less rigorous.
If your product is manufactured in the US, but you do not have a PMA or 510(k) issued by the US FDA, a CE certificate is not enough. Your company must establish a country of origin status in Europe to take advantage of the abbreviated approval processes. This is sometimes done by establishing a facility in Europe, but the CE certificate must be issued to the European facility. Other workarounds have been developed, but that is beyond the scope of this blog.
2 EU Candidate Member States with Competent Authorities
These two countries below are candidate member states for joining the EU. These countries are not signatories, but both countries have established a competent authority for reporting recalls and vigilance related to medical devices distributed within their borders. Turkey has also has established four Notified Bodies.
3 EEA Signatories with Competent Authorities
For a long time, Switzerland was neither a member of the EU nor a signatory. However, in 2008, Switzerland became the 25th country to sign the Schengen Agreement, which allows people to pass between countries with no border controls. All three countries below have established a competent authority. Switzerland has established five Notified Bodies, and Norway has two.
28 EU Member States with Competent Authorities
The list below identifies the 28 members of the EU. The date in parenthesis is the year that each member joined the EU. All of these countries have competent authorities that regulate medical devices, and many of these countries have established Notified Bodies. Germany, Italy and the UK have the greatest number of Notified Bodies.
- Austria (1995)
- Belgium (1952)
- Bulgaria (2007)
- Croatia (2013)
- Cyprus (2004)
- Czech Republic (2004)
- Denmark (1973)
- Estonia (2004)
- Finland (1995)
- France (1952)
- Germany (1952)
- Greece (1981)
- Hungary (2004)
- Ireland (1973)
- Italy (1952)
- Latvia (2004)
- Lithuania (2004)
- Luxembourg (1952)
- Malta (2004)
- Netherlands (1952)
- Poland (2004)
- Portugal (1986)
- Romania (2007)
- Slovakia (2004)
- Slovenia (2004)
- Spain (1986)
- Sweden (1995)
- United Kingdom (1973)
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