What you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the Northern Ireland market.
Applies to Northern Ireland
The government intends to legislate to continue recognition of EU requirements, including the CE marking, indefinitely for a range of product regulations this spring. This will mean businesses have the flexibility to use either the UKCA or CE marking to sell products in Great Britain.
The government is introducing a new Fast-Track provision which will allow manufacturers to place products on the GB market where they meet the EU essential requirements and where required have been conformity assessed by an EU recognised conformity assessment body.
To benefit from this provision manufacturers will need to affix the UKCA marking (in a way that is allowed) and draw up the UK declaration of conformity, listing compliance with the relevant EU legislation. This also means that where products fall within multiple regulations, a mixture of both UKCA and CE conformity assessment procedures can be used.
This is designed to provide longer-term certainty and flexibility for businesses should the UK mandate UKCA for certain regulations in the future. Find out more about placing products on the market in Great Britain using UK or EU product markings.
Continued recognition of current EU requirements, including the CE and reversed epsilon markings, will apply to 21 product regulations, including the 18 product regulations owned by the Department of Business and Trade, previously announced on 1 August 2023. Following feedback from industry, we are also continuing recognition for a further 3 regulations covering: ecodesign, civil explosives, and in most circumstances restriction of hazardous substances (in electrical equipment).
This announcement does not apply to regulations for medical devices, construction products, marine equipment, rail products, cableways, transportable pressure equipment and unmanned aircraft systems regulations. There are specific arrangements in place for these sectors.
Separately, following feedback from businesses, the Government also intends to bring forward an additional statutory instrument to legislate for further measures in Spring 2024.
This will provide permanent labelling flexibility, allowing:
- The UKCA marking to be placed on a sticky label or accompanying document.
- Importers of goods from any country outside the UK to provide their details either on the product itself, on an accompanying document, the packaging or on an adhesive label. This means all businesses placing products on the GB market will benefit from this measure and have the option to provide their details either indelibly on the product itself, on an accompanying document, the packaging or on an adhesive label.
- The voluntary option to use digital labelling. Businesses will be able to apply the UKCA marking, manufacturer details and importer details digitally.
Additional details for these measures will be provided in due course, including which regulations the measures will apply to.
The DBT regulations in scope of this announcement are:
- Equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres Regulations 2016/1107
- Electromagnetic compatibility Regulations 2016/1091
- Lifts Regulations 2016/1093
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016/1101
- Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016/1105
- Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015/1553
- Recreational Craft Regulations 2017/737
- Radio Equipment Regulations 2017/1206
- Simple Pressure Vessels (Safety) Regulations 2016/1092
- Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011/1881
- Aerosol Dispensers Regulations 2009/ 2824
- Gas Appliances (EU Regulation) 2016/426
- Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008/1597
- Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001/1701
- Personal Protective Equipment (EU Regulation) 2016/425
- Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016/1153
- Non-automatic weighing instruments Regulations 2016/1152
- Measuring Container Bottles (EEC Requirements) Regulations 1977
For Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA):
- Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 (‘The RoHS Regulations’)
For Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ):
- Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010
For Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) [HSE]:
- Explosives Regulations 2014
This page will be updated to reflect the changes in due course.
This guidance is about placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland.
There’s different guidance if you’re:
If you have already placed an individual product on the EU, EEA or the UK market (either in Northern Ireland or Great Britain) before 1 January 2021, you do not need to do anything.
EEA states include any country in the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The relevant economic operator (whether manufacturer, importer or distributor) bears the burden of proof for demonstrating that the good was placed on the market before 1 January 2021.
These individual goods can continue to circulate on either market until they reach their end user and do not need to comply with the changes that took effect from 1 January 2021. This guidance explains what you need to do for any goods you’re placing on the Northern Ireland market on or after 1 January 2021.
A fully manufactured (individual) good is ‘placed on the market’ when a written or verbal agreement (or offer of an agreement) to transfer ownership or possession or other property rights in the product. This does not require physical transfer of the good.
You can usually provide proof of placing on the market on the basis of any relevant document ordinarily used in business transactions, including:
- contracts of sale concerning goods which have already been manufactured and meet the legal requirements
- documents concerning the shipping of goods for distribution
Check which rules apply
The Windsor Framework agreement was formally adopted by the UK on 24 March 2023. For as long as it is in force, Northern Ireland will align with relevant EU rules relating to the placing on the market of manufactured goods.
What you need to do depends on the type of goods you are placing on the market. The European Commission’s guidance on new approach goods covers a range of consumer and commercial products that often require the use of the CE marking to demonstrate conformity with the relevant technical requirements.
There are different rules for:
- goods regulated under the “old approach”
- goods covered by national rules (non-harmonised)
- certain other goods, for example, medical devices and civil explosives
Speak to your solicitor or trade association if you are unsure which regulatory framework applies to your goods.
Old approach goods
EU rules continue to apply to most “old approach” goods in Northern Ireland, except for aerospace goods where UK rules apply. These old approach goods are subject to specific arrangements which are covered separately:
- medicines (where the Windsor Framework has established special arrangements for the supply of human medicines)
- veterinary medicines
Goods covered by national rules (non-harmonised)
You must make sure that your goods meet UK rules, including any specific rules that apply in Northern Ireland.
You can place your goods on the market in Northern Ireland if:
- your good is not subject to specific UK rules that prevent you from placing it on the Northern Ireland market
- your product has been legally marketed in the EU
Check the UK product safety rules to find out what you need to do.
EU rules will continue to apply in Northern Ireland for the other goods listed below. These goods are subject to specific rules:
- medical devices
- rail interoperability constituents
- construction products
- civil explosives
- products requiring ecodesign and energy labelling
- tobacco products
Check if you need to change your conformity assessment or marking
You need to use a conformity marking if you are placing certain goods on the Northern Ireland market.
In Northern Ireland, EU conformity markings continue to be used to show that goods meet EU rules. For most manufactured goods, this is the CE marking, but there are some other markings for specific products (for example, the wheel marking, Pi mark or inverted epsilon “3”).
If you are using a UK body to carry out mandatory third-party conformity assessment, then you also need to apply a UKNI marking (sometimes referred to as the UK(NI) mark or the UK(NI) indication).
You never apply the UKNI marking on its own - it always accompanies an EU conformity marking, for example, the CE marking. Goods with both the CE and UKNI marking cannot be placed on the market in the EU.
You do not need to make any changes if both of the following apply:
- you are a manufacturer based in Northern Ireland (or are the manufacturer’s authorised representative)
- you currently mark your goods on the basis of a supplier’s declaration of conformity, sometimes known as ‘self-declaration’
The UKCA marking cannot be used for goods placed on the Northern Ireland market. For more information, check the guidance for:
When to use the CE marking
You must affix the CE marking to products where this is required by EU rules. The Windsor Framework does not change rules about which products requiring a CE marking are eligible for:
- self-declaration - if you affixed the CE marking on the basis of self-declaration prior to 2020, you can continue to affix it now, unless and until the EU changes its rules
- mandatory third-party conformity assessment - if you affixed the CE marking on the basis of assessment carried out by an EU-recognised notified body (including a body in a country with which the EU has a relevant mutual recognition agreement) you can continue to affix the CE marking
Different rules apply for mandatory third-party conformity assessment carried out by bodies based in the UK.
When to use the UKNI marking alongside the CE marking
You need to use the UKNI marking (alongside the CE marking) if all of the following apply:
- you are placing certain goods (mostly those goods subject to the CE marking) on the Northern Ireland market
- your goods require mandatory third-party conformity assessment
- you are planning to use a UK body to carry out those conformity assessments
You cannot use the UKNI marking if either of the following apply:
- you are placing goods on the market in the EU
- you are planning to use an EU body to carry out mandatory third-party conformity assessments
The UK Market Conformity Assessment Bodies (UKMCAB) database lists all bodies which can provide conformity assessment for the UK market.
Northern Ireland’s unfettered access to the rest of the UK and placing goods on the GB market
The UK government will guarantee unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the UK market, without the need for additional approvals before placing goods on the market in the rest of the UK. You will be able to place qualifying Northern Ireland goods on the market in Great Britain based on the conformity markings you use in Northern Ireland.
For example, as the CE and UKNI markings will be valid in Northern Ireland, products with these markings can be placed on the market in Great Britain if they are a qualifying Northern Ireland good.
If you are a Northern Ireland business and place qualifying NI goods on the GB market, before you place the product on the GB market, you must:
- check that the product complies with the rules in Northern Ireland
- place your contact details on the product or, where permitted, on a document accompanying the product
Appoint an authorised person
Authorised representatives can be based in Northern Ireland or the EEA for placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland and the EU/EEA.
Some businesses may need to appoint an authorised representative in the EU or Northern Ireland to carry out compliance functions if there is no-one in the supply chain in those areas who can carry out the functions.
Check your legal responsibilities
You are responsible for ensuring your product complies with the relevant EU rules and for drawing up documentation such as the EU declaration of conformity. You can delegate some of the duties to an authorised representative – you will need to check the specific regulations that apply to confirm what can and cannot be delegated.
Northern Ireland-based importers, distributors and suppliers
You’ll become an ‘importer’ if you’re the one bringing goods for the first time into Northern Ireland from either Great Britain or another non-EU country and placing them on the Northern Ireland market. Only businesses established in NI or an EEA state can be “importers” for the NI market.
If you are an ‘importer’, you will need to make sure:
- goods meet the relevant rules
- goods are labelled with your details. These include the company’s name, or registered trademark, and a contact address
- the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that goods have the correct conformity markings
- the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with the labelling requirements
- you maintain a copy of the EU declaration of conformity for a specified period, usually 10 years
- the product is accompanied by instructions for use in a language easily understood by the end-users, which in Northern Ireland is English
- you respond to requests for information from Market Surveillance Authorities, and ensuring technical documentation is available on request
- you monitor goods you have placed on the market and carry out sample testing, when appropriate
Fulfilment service providers
If you are a fulfilment service provider, you may need to fulfil certain European Union compliance responsibilities.
If you are a Northern Ireland business placing goods from outside the UK on the market in Great Britain, you will become an importer under GB rules. This includes goods that have been supplied to you (as a distributor) from the EU market that you are now selling in Great Britain.
You, your authorised representative (where allowed for in the relevant legislation) and importer, must keep documentation to demonstrate that your product conforms with the regulatory requirements. This must be kept for a specified period which is usually up to 10 years after the product is placed on the market.
This information can be requested at any time by enforcement authorities to check that your product conforms with the regulatory requirements.
The information you must keep will vary depending on the specific legislation relevant to your product. If requested you must provide enforcement authorities with all information and documentation necessary to demonstrate that a product meets the rules.
This could include, but is not necessarily limited to:
- how the product is designed and manufactured
- how the product has been shown to conform to the relevant requirements
- the addresses of the manufacturer and any storage facilities
You should keep the information in the form of a technical file which can be supplied if requested by an enforcement authority.
The same record keeping duties apply when placing a product on the market in Great Britain. Enforcement authorities have the same right to request the information kept as part of general records.
EU Declaration of Conformity
The EU Declaration of Conformity is a document which must be drawn up for most products lawfully bearing a CE marking, whether it is accompanied by a UKNI marking or not.
In this document you as the manufacturer, or your authorised representative (where allowed for in the relevant legislation), should:
- declare that the product is in conformity with the relevant regulatory requirements applicable to the specific product
- make sure the document has the name and address of the manufacturer (or your authorised representative) together with information about the product and the conformity assessment body (where relevant)
The EU Declaration of Conformity should be available to enforcement authorities on request. The information required on the EU Declaration of Conformity is the same as what was required before 1 January 2021.
More information on regulations and legislation
For more information and a list of guides on specific product safety regulations, read Product safety for businesses: A to Z of industry guidance .
Relevant EU legislation
The table below lists the current EU legislation for specific goods in scope of this guidance.
|Toy Safety - Directive 2009/48/EC
|Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011
|Recreational craft and personal watercraft - Directive 2013/53/EU
|Recreational Craft Regulations 2017
|Simple Pressure Vessels - Directive 2014/29/EU
|Simple Pressure Vessels (Safety) Regulations 2016
|Electromagnetic Compatibility - Directive 2014/30/EU
|Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016
|Low Voltage Directive 2014/35
|Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
|Non-automatic Weighing Instruments - Directive 2014/31/EU
|Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016
|Measuring Instruments - Directive 2014/32/EU
|Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016
|Lifts - Directive 2014/33/EU
|Lifts Regulations 2016
|ATEX - Directive 2014/34/EU
|Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2017
|Radio equipment - Directive 2014/53/EU
|Radio Equipment Regulations 2017
|Pressure equipment - Directive 2014/68/EU
|Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
|Personal protective equipment - Regulation (EU) 2016/425
|Regulation (EU) 2016/425 + Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018
|Gas appliances - Regulation (EU) 2016/426
|Regulation (EU) 2016/426 + Gas Appliances (Enforcement) and Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2018
|Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
|Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
|Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC
|Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001
|Directive 92/42/EEC hot-water boilers and Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC
|Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010
|Energy Labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369
|Energy Labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 (as retained in UK law and amended)
|Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) - Directive 2011/65/EU
|The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012
|Directive 2013/29/EU - Pyrotechnic Articles
|The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015