Tech doc requirements for European markets

Subject: Tech doc requirements for European markets
From: "Mike Sawyer" <mike -at- sawyerhome -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 16:11:30 -0600

A client's client (long story) will be expanding sales into several European
countries, and they'd like to know well ahead of time what requirements
there are for localized technical documentation. So this post isn't
regarding the translation, per se, but what are the "must-have" items for
European tech doc from a legal standpoint.

>From what I've been able to learn online of EU and CE materials, we'll need
basic things covered:

* Content translated into the official language of the country where
the product is sold

* Content must provide info on the design and operation of the product

* Warnings must be included to avoid harm to humans, equipment,

* Declaration of Conformity must accompany the tech doc (not sure how
firm this rule is)

* More specific requirements may be specified in a product type CE

I've looked in the Techwr-L archives, and found some items referring to
similar questions, but not all of my questions could be answered there. From
the archives, This is also what I gathered:

* There are no real standard warning formats/icons in Europe (except
maybe in Germany)

* CE isn't like UL, so product and doc isn't formally tested for
compliance before the product is allowed to be sold. Applying the CE mark is
the manufacturer's declaration that it has ensured the product meets CE
requirements. It's believed that products are spot-tested/audited for
compliance, but the audits aren't comprehensive.

Tried to learn something from the STC-International SIG page, but it looks

Does anyone out there have experience in developing content for a U.S.
manufacturer selling consumer electronics and computer supplies in Europe?
Here are the questions we're still scratching our heads over:

* Are there standard compliance statements that must or should be
included (like the FCC statements in the U.S.)?

* What is the particular CE directive that would apply to home
electronics/computer peripherals, and where can it be found? General
directives we saw mentioned include "Machinery" and "Audio, Video,
Multimedia Systems & Equipment," but we're also wondering if "Low voltage
equipment," "Electromagnetic compatibility," "Telecommunications terminal
equipment" and "Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment" would
apply. We'd read them on our own, but we couldn't find the directives
themselves, only references to them.

* Where in tarnation are the directives?

* Are we doomed to release insufficient documentation to their
European market, and will learn all this by trial & error?

Thank you,



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