Confirmed safety: the GS mark
If a manufacturer wishes to obtain a GS mark for its product, it must comply with the requirements laid out in the German Product Safety Act (Produktsicherheitsgesetz, ProdSG). An independent certification body checks whether the required criteria for electrical and mechanical safety as well as ergonomics are met. Chemical analyses may be necessary (on toys, for instance) to rule out any exposure to harmful substances. The assessment organisations also conduct regular checks at the manufacturer – they inspect production or quality management, for example. Meaning that consumers can be sure that products bearing the GS mark have been put through their paces by an independent body.
In contrast, the CE marking on products is merely a confirmation by the manufacturer that they have complied with the relevant European product legislation (self-declaration). In contrast, the GS mark is a “real” conformity mark that a manufacturer or importer voluntarily seeks to obtain. It provides consumers with additional guidance when making purchases and reassurance that the products they are buying are safe.