CE is an abbreviation for Conformité Européenne, which is French for European Conformity. A wire or cable product with the CE marking can be sold in the European market. The CE mark verifies that the product meets the safety regulations of the New Approach Directives of the European Union.
If a product is CSA Certified, it has received the Canadian Standards Association approval for public safety.
Wire and cable products with the HAR mark designates that they comply with the European Harmonization Standard. The HAR mark is designated by CENELEC.
A product that is QPL approved is listed on the appropriate Qualified Products List. The QPL is a product specification developed by the federal government. The QPL has the names of companies who produce standard products purchased occasionally by the federal government. In order to be listed, products are examined and tested for compliance with specification requirements.
RoHS refers to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances. The European Union instituted RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC, which banned six substances from being used in the manufacturing process. RoHS requires lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers no longer be used in manufacturing because their use in production is dangerous to human health.
If a wire or cable product is UL recognized or listed, the product meets public safety requirements as designated by the Underwriters Laboratories. Each UL spec is different.
The VDE mark signifies conformity with the VDE, European, or internationally harmonized standards. VDE is a West Germany Approval Agency. According to VDE, the VDE Mark "is a symbol for electrical, mechanical, thermal, toxic, radiological, and other hazards."