As a notified body, SGS-TÜV SAAR is the right partner for you if you want to prove the safety of your products with the GS-Mark (GEPRÜFTE SICHERHEIT).
What is the GS mark and what does it stand for?
The GS mark stands for "Geprüfte Sicherheit", which means "tested safety". The GS Mark is a voluntary test mark which is regulated pursuant to the German Product Safety Act (Produktsicherheitsgesetz, ProdSG), Chapter 5; Sections 20-23.
In particular, it informs the consumer that the appropriately marked, ready-to-use product can be used safely and without danger as long as it is used as intended. As the GS mark can be awarded to both consumer products in terms of Section 2 no. 26 of the ProdSG, but also to products used as work equipment, it also provides employers with a good orientation regarding their obligation to only provide work equipment to employees which is safe (Section 5 of the Industrial Safety Ordinance (Betriebssicherheitsverordnung)). The GS mark is not to be confused with the European "CE” conformity mark. The GS mark does not constitute a comprehensive quality seal for a product; it shows that it has been subjected to a prototype examination in terms of its safety and that the manufacturing process has been checked by a GS body. This does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about either the performance or the shelf life of a marked product. The GS mark is not intended only for products that are manufactured in Germany. The safety level is defined in the Product Safety Act itself. Throughout its service life, the marked product must not pose a risk to the safety or health of individuals or other possible legal interests when used under reasonably foreseeable conditions.
The certification is valid up to five years. The prerequisite for the five-year validity is that your manufacturing facilities meet the requirements for our annual inspection and that there have been no legal or normative changes in the interim that impose higher standards on your product.
What does the GS mark look like?
Which products can be given a GS mark?
All products that fall within the scope of the Product Safety Act can be given the GS mark.
The products must belong to a product group which is suitable for the awarding of the GS mark. One of the tasks of the Product Safety Committee is to make such recommendations (Section 33 (2) no. 4 of the Product Safety Act). Products for which the "GS" test mark may suggest an "inaccurate" level of security will not generally be awarded a GS mark, for example, bicycle locks. Firearms, for example, are not classified as compatible for the GS mark either. Ethical factors are also taken into account; the GS mark is not awarded for toys or games that might glorify warfare, for example. Likewise, products with a simple product configuration and which pose low potential hazard or risk to the consumer are also excluded from the awarding of the GS mark. This relates, for instance to trivial products such as clothes pegs.
Pursuant to Section 20 (2) of the ProdSG, a ready-to-use product which bears the CE mark cannot additionally be awarded a GS mark if the requirements for such a CE mark are at least equivalent to the requirements for the awarding of a GS mark pursuant to Section 21 (1) of the ProdSG. This equivalence can be assumed if the CE mark stands for comprehensive safety and if a conformity assessment procedure has been applied which is at least equivalent to that for the awarding of the GS mark (type examination plus checks on the manufacture of machinery ). In accordance with the modular approach of the CE directives, this is the case for the modules and/or module combinations B+D, B+E, B+F, G and H 1 (modules according to Annex II of Decision no. 768/2008/EC).
Accordingly, a GS mark may not be awarded for the following products:
- Lift systems and their safety components which fall within the scope of the Twelfth Ordinance on the Product Safety Act (12th ProdSV)
- Gas appliances which fall within the scope of the Gas Appliances Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/426)
- Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres which fall within the scope of the Eleventh Ordinance on the Product Safety Act (11th ProdSV)
- Category III personal protective equipment which falls within the scope of the PPE Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/425)
Pursuant to Section 1 (4) of the Product Safety Act, the GS mark cannot be awarded to, among others, the following products:
- Medical devices that fall within the scope of the Medical Devices Act (Medizinproduktegesetz or MPG for short)
What added value do products with the GS mark offer in terms of their safety?
Products must be safely made in accordance with the requirements of the relevant regulations and the state of the art. Such products also pose a residual risk as there is no such thing as an absolutely (technically) safe product.
Although compliance with such safety requirements is required of products by law, it is not necessarily guaranteed in every case, especially if compliance with the safety requirements is certified by a manufacturer without any third-party testing.
GS products are tested, certified and regularly monitored by a GS body, i.e. a governmentally-approved, competent, neutral third party. This neutral test demonstrates compliance with the state of the art and the required degree of technical safety.
This results in a more reliable degree of compliance with the legal requirements.
In addition, the requirements will be specified and documented in the form of GS specifications for the relevant product groups where necessary in individual cases. In this case a higher level of safety may result.
Requirements for the award of the GS mark
The GS mark is recognized by a GS body. The prerequisite for this is e.g. that:
- the manufacturer or his authorised representative has submitted an application to a GS body,
- has been demonstrated by the GS body in the context of a type-examination that the type tested complies with the requirements of the ProdSG and, where appropriate, other legislation relating to the safety and health of persons.
- the specifications identified by the Product Safety Committee for the award of the GS mark have been applied when examining the type,
- the GS body has evidence that the conditions to be met in the manufacture of the ready-to-use products are met in order to ensure compliance with the tested type,
- the GS Unit shall carry out control measures to monitor the production of ready-to-use products and lawful use of the GS mark;
- the manufacturer shall ensure that the ready-to-use products produced comply with the tested type.
What is a GS body?
Pursuant to Section 23 of the Product Safety Act, conformity assessment offices may only carry out a specific remit as a GS body if the authority which issues the permission has provided the required permission. For this purpose, the applying conformity assessment offices must fulfil the following requirements as well as others:
- It must be an independent legal entity domiciled in the European Union or the European Free Trade Area (cf. Section 23 (5) of the Product Safety Act) and free of conflicts of interest.
- It must have demonstrated the competence to be able to carry out the conformity assessment activities for the specific task.
- It must have at its disposal the means necessary for the proper performance of the technical and administrative tasks.