An update on CE compliance

Update 23.45pm Mar 30: minor changes to the article to reflect the fact that recent versions of the BeagleBoard-xM appear to have acquired a CE mark.

Update, 8.40pm Mar 28: element14 have put out a new update to their FAQ, enlarging on what’s happening with CE compliance. It’s well worth a read – head on over!

Update, 6pm Mar 28: we have spoken with BIS this morning, and they have confirmed that, given the volumes involved and the demographic mix of likely users, any development board exemption is not applicable to us; as a result, even the first uncased developer units of Raspberry Pi will require a CE mark prior to sale in the EU. As we mention below, we are working with RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell to bring Raspberry Pi into a compliant state as soon as is humanly possible.

Following on from last week’s discussions, both RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell have now informed us that they are not able to distribute the Raspberry Pi until it has received the CE mark. While this differs from our historical view (as we’ve said before, we believed that the uncased Raspberry Pi was not a “finished end product”, and could be distributed on the same terms as earlier versions of the BeagleBoard and other non-CE-marked platforms), we respect their right to make that decision.

The good news is that our first 2,000 boards arrived in the UK on Monday and that we are working to get them CE marked as soon as is humanly possible, in parallel with bringing the remainder of our initial batch into the country. Pete and Eben have been burning the midnight oil – literally; I only exchanged about three words with Eben yesterday, and those were when he got back in from a long day’s hacking at two in the morning. On the basis of preliminary measurements, we expect emissions from the uncased product to meet category A requirements comfortably without modification, and possibly to meet the more stringent category B requirements which we had originally expected would require a metalised case.

We’re also talking to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), to better understand the terms under which other non-CE-marked platforms are permitted to ship to domestic end users in the UK, and to obtain a definitive statement as to whether we can distribute on the same terms. We should say the UK Government in general, and BIS in particular, have been incredibly supportive of the project so far; they are looking into this as a matter of urgency, so hopefully we should have another update for you soon. With graphs in. We know you guys love graphs.

All this means that we’re waiting on one of two things – the results of further EMC tests, and whatever BIS comes back to us with – before RS and element 14/Premier Farnell can give you any firm delivery dates. We’ll let you know as soon as we do.

Finally, here, as promised, are some pictures from the factory (taken by one of the observers RS sent in – both RS and element14 have people onsite to oversee production) of the boards that the Foundation now has.

Raspberry pis in the factory

Raspberry pis in the factory

 

At the test bench

Each board spends a short while at the test bench. These are functionality tests which are performed in China, not the compliance tests we're doing later this week in the UK.

 

Passed

Once a board has passed, it's ready to be put in an anti-static bag and sent out.