Voluntary certificates issued by Notified Bodies: the news from the European Commission

18 October 2022

The European Commission has expressed its opinion on voluntary certificates issued by Notified Bodies, identifying the requirements to which they must comply when carrying out voluntary certification activities.

On 14 September 2022, the European Commission issued a Note for the attention of market surveillance authorities and notifying authorities in order to regulate voluntary certification activities for products subject to EU technical harmonisation legislation.


The market increasingly requires the intervention of notified bodies to verify the conformity of products subject to EU technical harmonisation legislation.

The voluntary certificate is a guarantee that the manufacturer has carried out the correct certification procedures and places on the market a product that meets the safety requirements of EU harmonised legislation, protecting both the end consumer and the manufacturer or distributor.


Considering the high demand for voluntary certificates on the market, the European Commission has moved to regulate their activity by providing guidelines to be followed by notified bodies, surveillance authorities and certificate users.

The requirements set out in the note include that:

  • the document issued by a third body involved on a voluntary basis may bear the word “certificate” only if the body involved on a voluntary basis is a notified body for the specific area;
  • a body may carry out activities on a voluntary basis in areas where it is not notified, but must clearly mention that these activities are not within the scope of its notification;
  • the non-notified activities must be clearly distinguished from the notified ones.

The Commission then invites market surveillance authorities to take note of the provisions of the Note and to verify in their markets that products are accompanied by the correct documentation, with a focus on conformity assessment.

Products to which European harmonised legislation applies, for which the required conformity assessment procedure has not been followed, are withdrawn from the market and the economic operator who authorised their placing on the market will be held responsible for this infringement.


Ente Certificazione Macchine, Notified Body No. 1282 for the directives and regulations listed in the Notified Bodies Database of the European Commission NANDO, provides services in both the mandatory and voluntary fields, on a wide range of products and equipment.

Following the Note of 14 September 2022, our team has already adapted to the requirements of the European Commission and we have already started to apply the stipulated provisions in our voluntary certification activities.

Moreover, considering the interest aroused by the Note and the numerous enquiries received, ECM has decided to organise an informative webinar scheduled for late November.

For more information, please contact: Paolo Bernardoni – Sales Manager ECM paolo@entecerma.it | mob. (+39) 345 9938661