Drone certification in the EU: A brief guide to the new CE marking process


    Drones, UAS, UAV, RPAS… they go by many names. What is consistent though, is that from 1st January 2024 they will all need to be CE marked to be sold in the EU.


    How do you get your drone CE marked? Through meeting the requirements of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945, which we will talk you through in this publication.

    Before we get there though, it should be noted that until 2024 kicks off you do still have the choice to enter the EU market by fulfilling the previous legislation, but it is highly recommended to certify under the new Regulation as early as possible, rather than waiting for next year’s deadline. For that certification process, it can be obligatory to involve a Notified Body, like Applus+ Laboratories, in the evaluation of your drone’s conformity. This depends on the drone’s classification, which we’ll get into now.



    Categories, classes and market access

    The new European regulation is actually in two parts. Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 divides drones into three main categories, depending on the levels of risks associated with their flight operations: Open, Specific and Certified. Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945 classifies drones into 7 classes (CO-C6) and regulates their certification requirements for CE marking. Accessory kits for upgrades and add-ons for direct remote identification also fall within the scope of this regulation.



    The Open Category is regulated by 5 classes (C0-C4), depending on the drone’s characteristics and intended operations.

    The Specific Category, which considers higher risk operations than the Open Category, includes, but isn’t limited to Classes C5 and C6. These classes allow operations over populated environments or beyond the visual line of sight.

    The Certified Category, on the other hand, is focused on larger aircraft with the highest-risk operations, often including human passengers. The approval processes for these types of eVTOL aircraft are therefore based in the domain of (manned) civil aviation.

    Your market access partner

    We appreciate the new regulations can be tricky to get your head around, hence the publication of this guide. However, if you’d like a little more assistance, you can use as your one-stop-shop for the entire process. Our testing capacities cover every requirement for all three categories, including in-flight testing thanks to our partnership with ATLAS.

    For your CE marking, we have you covered too. In fact, at the time of writing this we are the only Certification Body in the world accredited to certify the complete scope of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/945.

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