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I have made a watch with a microcontroller and a display which shows a real time clock.

I want to sell it to my friends officially.

  • Before I do that, do I have to obtain specific certificates for my hardware before I "put it on the shelf"?
  • Can I get any fine if I start selling hardware without any certificates ?

I want to sell it as a consumer device. I am from Romania and we are part of the European Union. It does not communicate wirelessly in any way. My watch also has a lithium ion rechargeble battery.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you wish to place the item on the market, then it will need to be CE marked, which requires that it meets all relevant European regulations. \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon B
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 20:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ (but: you're doing that marking yourself, which means that you're legally bound by the statement that yes, your device adheres to EU law) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 20:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ You also need a WEEE number so they can track the electronics waste back to you and charge you accordingly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janka
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 20:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can't imagine that you would actually get caught if you just sell it to a few friends. \$\endgroup\$
    – user57037
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 4:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of How to find out which certificates (FCC, CE etc.) are necessary for a product? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 16, 2017 at 15:44

1 Answer 1

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tl;dr: it takes more than a QC Passed sticker, but some self-testing and checking the datasheets for harmful stuff can be enough for a start.


As a business selling electronic products in the EU, you must:

  1. Put some labels on the product indicating the name of your company, the name of the product, what battery type it uses.
  2. Have a manual explaining how the product should be used, and shouldn't be used (a link to download a PDF is ok).
  3. Make sure you product is not dangerous to use. Are there sharp corners, pieces that can cut? Can a kid insert its finger in the products? If the product falls, does it brake in dangerous fragments?
  4. Check for interferences (spurs), even if there is no radio on your product. For a quick self-test you can borrow/rent a spectrum analyzer. For a real test, you must pay for a certification laboratory.
  5. Check if your product still works ok in the presence of interferences generated by other products. Hard to self-test, use a certification lab.
  6. Make sure your product does not contains harmful substances (lead, toxic flame retardants, mercury, etc). Using a lead-free process is just a small part, you also have to check what goes into the parts you build your product with.
  7. Register to an electronic waste collection program (country specific). In France you have to collect a small tax on each product sold and give that to an independent organization so they could pay for the safe recycling of your products even if you company doesn't exist anymore.
  8. Be aware of all the tax stuff (country specific), VAT and all. Sometimes there are simplified rules for small companies of individuals.

If you are selling kits, or experimental products, in small quantities, there is some tolerance. You can do some basic tests yourself to check, with a reasonable certainty, that the product is suitable and not dangerous.

But you have to inform yourself, way beyond what you can learn on Stackexchange, as you're ultimately responsible for what you sell. Ignorance is not an excuse, as all documents are available in all EU languages. Waivers that put all the responsibility on the customer are invalid. Lastly, if your product is competing with a commercial product, there is no tolerance and you must pass full certification, otherwise this would be unfair competition.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This misses vast amounts of legislation which (correct me if I'm wrong) no one here is qualified to advise on. Reluctantly, I've flagged this question for closure as extremely off topic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Paul Uszak
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ We don't even know if a PCB is an electrical device. From a position of complete and perfect ignorance, I suspect that it isn't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Paul Uszak
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 21:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ IANAL, but I have managed certifications for a bunch of portable electronics products. This is a rough summary of what is needed. It's far from perfect, but I'm not sure shying away from this kind a questions does anyone any good. If something I said was false or misleading, I'd be happy to edit my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sylvain
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 16:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow ! Thank you extremely much for your answer. I believe it is relevant to others who have similar question. I have seen some questions similar to this and I think it might help others or at least give them the first steps. I think it might be a huge help for others as it is for me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 26, 2017 at 23:01

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