Fraudulent use of CE Marking

A service of PlugSafe

The European Union has a system of self-certification called CE Marking.  CE Marking applies to many electrical and electronic products, but domestic plugs and sockets are specifically excluded from the scheme (see page 7 of the EU Commission’s “Guidlines on the application of Directive 2006/95/EC“).  Domestic plugs and sockets are subject to national standards and regulations (eg BS 1363 and The Plugs and Sockets, etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994).  They are also used in commercial and light industrial applications.  The guidelines state plugs and sockets: “must not be CE marked”!

Wonpro CE

The three images above are of a modular universal socket manufactured by Wonpro.  the central image (with the faceplate removed) shows that the shutters operate independently rather than together, something which sockets standards do not permit.  On the image of the rear of the socket the CE Marking (which should not be present) is shown highlighted.

Not only does Wonpro ignore the requirements for CE Marking, its US marketing company, misleadingly called “Europlugs” has published highly misleading claims on its website under the heading The Myth of CE and UL.  it claims the following:
“Wonpro Universal Power Adapters are CE certified” - but there is no such thing as CE certification!
“CE allows the design of a universal receptacle” - CE is a mark, not an entity!  There is no foundation to this claim.
“The British government had no problem accepting CE” -  Not true!  What the British government actually says (in Guidance notes on the UK Plugs & Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994) is: As the devices regulated by Part I (plugs and sockets) are outside of the scope of Community Directives and the Regulations are national in origin in support of the General Product Safety Directive, the CE Marking is not to be used. Its use may constitute an offence under section 1 of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968.
Wonpro Universal Power Strips are IEC60884-1:2002 Compliant” - Not true!  (see example non-compliances below)
The CE standards contains NO country specific requirements.”
- There is no such thing as a CE standard!
“NO product can gain access to the European Union market without the CE Marking!” - Not true, see top of this page.

Wonpro/Europlugs claims that “We are helping to rebuild  Iraq  &  Afghanistan!”  and “We are very proud and very honored to have this opportunity to help our Military get connected & get power in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in foreign countries all over the world!”  However, contrast those claims with this article in which James F. Jennings,  a safety officer in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, discusses the three most common electrical safety issues for forces deployed in support of overseas contingency operations: grounding, unauthorized power strips, and different voltages.  Amongst other things he states that “Chinese power strips are often poorly constructed and easily catch on fire. However, their multiuse outlet configurations make them very appealing. They are not UL or CE approved and are not allowed on U.S. military facilities in Southwest Asia.

It appears that Wonpro are attempting to mislead US purchasers by invoking the non-applicable CE Marking which, in any case, has no standing in the US!

Some examples of non-compliance with IEC60884-1:2002 by clause number:

1 Scope ..... The rated current is limited to 16 A maximum for fixed socket-outlets provided with screwless terminals.
The Wonpro socket pictured above has screwless terminals, and is clearly marked with a current rating of 20 A.

9 Checking of dimensions.
The dimension of entry holes corresponding to pin diameter and to distance between contact surfaces do not comply with any standard sheet.

9.2 It shall not be possible, within a given system, to engage a plug with a socket-outlet having a higher voltage rating,
250 V rated Wonpro sockets accept 125 V rated NEMA 1-15 and NEMA 5-15 plugs.

10.1 Live parts of plugs shall not be accessible when the plug is in partial or complete engagement with a socket-outlet,
Many plug types (such as Schuko) rely on a recessed socket to provide this protection.  Universal sockets with flat faces fail to do this.

10.5 Shuttered socket-outlets shall, be so constructed that live parts are not accessible without a plug in engagement.  The means for achieving this shall be such that they cannot easily be operated by anything other than a plug,
Wonpro shutters, as illustrated above, are independently operated by any small object pressed against a single shutter.

11.1 Accessories with earthing contacts shall be so constructed that when inserting the plug the earth connection is made before the current-carrying contacts of the plug become live. 
Wonpro universal sockets claim to accept plugs of Type E (French style) and Type F (Schuko), Type E plugs require an earthing pin projecting from the socket.  Type F plugs require earthing clips mounted in the socket recess.  Neither of these facilities exist in a universal socket, therefore earthing is not possible with either type E of F.

13 Construction of fixed socket-outlets.  PlugSafe has on file an independent test report commissioned from a Taiwanese test house by Wonpro.  Every requirement in this section is marked “N/A” (Not Applicable).  This is clearly wrong!
This section includes vital aspects such as:
13.1 Socket-contact assemblies shall have sufficient resilience to ensure adequate contact pressure on plug pins.
13.2 Socket-contacts and pins of socket-outlets shall be resistant to corrosion and abrasion.
13.7 Covers, cover-plates or parts of them which are intended to ensure protection against electric shock shall be held in place at two or more points by effective fixings.
13.14 Socket-outlets shall withstand the lateral strain imposed by equipment likely to be introduced into them.

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