Is your business prepared for the new EU regulation for the export of products?

2nd June 2021

Changes are coming – here’s what you need to know

New rules from July 16 will prohibit certain goods from being sold in the European Union (EU) and Northern Ireland (NI) unless an economic operator established in either the EU or NI is identified as being responsible for certain product compliance matters.

Do you export any of the products listed below from GB to the EU or Northern Ireland?

Construction products, machinery, toys, radio equipment, pressure equipment, electrical and electronic equipment, (‘ROHS, EMC, low voltage’ products), personal protective equipment, recreational crafts, energy-related products (‘Ecodesign’), gas appliances, outdoor equipment (‘outdoor noise’), equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (‘ATEX’), simple pressure vessels, pyrotechnic articles, measuring equipment, non-automatic weighing instruments.

What the new regulation means

A new EU regulation comes into effect on 16th July 2021, which requires that to sell these products into the EU market, you must have in place an economic operator established in the EU.

The economic operator will be responsible for ensuring that product conformity documentation is properly prepared and available at the EU border and cooperating with market surveillance authorities.

If your business is selling any of these products online to EU customers, you will be impacted the most. We can help you with the process.

Please note that the requirements set out in the regulation will not apply to products placed on the GB market as the EU regulation has not been brought into effect in GB.

Who might the economic operator be?

An economic operator may be:-

  • the manufacturer, if based in the EU or NI;
  • the importer, based in the EU or NI; or
  • the manufacturer’s representative based in the EU or NI; or
  • a “fulfilment service provider” based in the EU or NI. This means a business that provides at least two of the following services: warehousing, packaging, addressing and despatching. This does not include businesses that provide only postal/courier services and other freight transport services and cannot be the owner of the products.

What happens next?

If you are a GB business that sells these products to EU consumers online, it is likely that your economic operator is a fulfilment service provider based in the EU i.e. a business that you use to store, package and despatch the products, rather than an EU based importer or authorised representative.

If this is the case, and you are a manufacturer or distributor of the products affected by the regulation, to ensure your regulatory compliance, you must now make contractual arrangements with your “fulfilment service provider” to cover the obligations which they will have as your “economic operator”.

The regulation requires that you identify the responsible economic operator on the product, packaging, parcel, or Declaration of Conformity.

Compliance is key

Under the regulation, market surveillance authorities in the EU will have rights to:

  • conduct checks of products;
  • require economic operators to provide relevant documents (including information on their supply chain and information needed to ascertain ownership of websites);
  • enter premises;
  • require economic operators to take corrective action in the event of non-compliance (including product withdrawals, recalls or destruction);
  • issue penalties; and
  • order the removal of content from websites.

We can advise you on how to remain compliant, and on all other issues concerning the change in EU regulations. Get in touch.

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