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  • Almost half of people do not recognise a genuine CE mark, according to a new survey conducted by NSAI
  • One in ten said they never look for the CE mark when shopping for toys or electrical products
  • The survey comes on December 8th – one of the biggest shopping days of the year

NSAI is advising people to always check for the CE mark when buying electrical products or toys, as one of the biggest shopping days of Christmas, December 8th gets underway.

The warning comes as a new survey reveals almost half of people do not recognise a genuine CE mark. The online study of 984 people, conducted by NSAI, found that 49% did not recognise the real CE mark when placed side-by-side with a fake one. While 10% of respondents said that they never look for the CE mark when purchasing toys or electrical products.

“From Christmas fairy lights, to tablets or mobile phones; electrical products and toys make up the majority of our Christmas shopping lists and therefore it’s vital you ensure what you are buying is safe and complies with safety standards” said CEO of the NSAI, Maurice Buckley. 

“By law, all toys and electrical products for sale in Ireland must display the CE safety mark. The CE mark is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with safety standards and it must be visible on the product itself or on its packaging. If it doesn’t have the CE mark, don’t buy it,” Mr. Buckley warned. 

The CE Mark demonstrates that the product has undergone safety testing in the design and manufacture process. Almost everyone who took part in the NSAI Christmas Quiz knew that all electrical products, toys and medical devices sold in the EU must display it on their surface or packaging. 

Over half of all respondents (56%) said they always look for the CE mark when buying toys and electrical products, while a third said they sometimes check for it depending on the product. 92% of those who took part knew that ‘CE’ stands for Conformité Europeenne.

“Most of the products and services we encounter every day are governed by standards. But unfortunately, due to counterfeiting or the misuse of the CE Mark, there is never a 100% guarantee that a product bearing the mark is safe,” said CEO of NSAI, Maurice Buckley. 

“That’s why NSAI is advising consumers to familiarise yourself with the CE mark and always buy products from trustworthy shops and online outlets,” Mr. Buckley added.  


NSAI’s Top Five Festive Tips for Shoppers

5. Look for the CE mark

Only buy toys and electrical products that contain the CE mark. This means the product complies with all safety standards. The CE mark should be visible on the product itself, or on the packaging. If the toy or electrical product doesn’t have the official CE mark, or does not have the CE mark at all, don’t buy it! 


4. Watch out for fakes

Always buy from a reputable retailer. Rogue traders may ignore health and safety standards and sell products with fake CE marks. Make sure to look for a genuine CE mark symbol. The full contact details of the manufacturer or importer should also be on the product or packaging. If not, don’t buy it.

3. Take action

If you come across a toy or electrical product that seems unsafe or doesn’t have a CE mark, don’t buy it. Contact the market surveillance authority – the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Visit 

2. Mind the electrics

Take care when buying toys or decorations with electrical parts or a transformer. Read the safety instructions carefully and check Christmas lights for signs of damage, such as frayed or exposed wires. If your Christmas lights look worn, it’s much safer to replace them altogether rather than repairing them. 

1. Make sure the toy is age appropriate

When buying a toy, take time to examine it first for rough edges, dangerous or detachable small parts or small holes that could trap little fingers and be a choking hazard.  Pay attention to minimum age warning. If the toy uses batteries, make sure the child cannot open the part of the toy where the batteries are stored. 

For further information, contact NSAI or follow us on Twitter @NSAI_Standards