3 min article

Selling products with a CE symbol into the EU

The European Union is enhancing enforcement of product compliance, which will impact US sellers selling to buyers in the EU starting from 16 July 2021.  The EU regulations on market surveillance - opens in new window or tab together with the Guidelines for its practical implementation - opens in new window or tab established the legal framework for customs or regulators to verify and enforce requirements of EU product compliance including the CE symbol, which is a certification by manufacturers that the products meet EU legal and safety standards.

This means that any CE-marked products that are sold into the EU, will have to have an EU established economic operator listed on the product or packaging. Most larger brands of CE-marked products will have an economic operator already established in the EU. ​The economic operator can be a manufacturer, importer, authorized representative or fulfillment service provider based in the EU. If the products you ship to the EU don’t contain this information, your goods may be stopped at customs and/or be prevented from being delivered to your buyer. 

To ensure you're compliant with the new regulations, follow these steps:

  1. Check if you are selling CE marked products into the EU. You can see examples of products that carry the CE symbol in our FAQ.
  2. Verify the products are meant for the EU market and comply with the EU legislation. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer.
  3. If the products are compliant, check whether you see information of the EU manufacturer or EU importer on the products. If there is an EU manufacturer or importer, they are the economic operator in Europe.
  4. If there is no EU manufacturer or importer, check with the non-EU manufacturer to see if they have an authorized representative. If there is one, obtain the name and contact details (including shipping address) of the authorized representative and ensure that the information is indicated on the product or its packaging. 
    • If the non-EU manufacturer has not appointed an authorized representative in the EU, work with the manufacturer to appoint one. The authorized representative will need a mandate signed by the manufacturer as well as obtaining and keeping the certificate of conformity/performance and other technical documentation from the manufacturer
    • Alternatively, you can use a fullfilment service provider in the EU

If the products you ship to the EU don’t contain this information by 16 July 2021, your goods may be stopped at customs or be prevented from being delivered to your buyer.

Frequently Asked Questions

 
What is an economic operator?

Four types of economic operators are accepted under the new regulations:

  • Manufacturer in the EU
  • Importer in the EU
  • Authorized Representative in the EU
  • A fullfilment service provider in the EU
 
 
What does an economic operator do?

An economic operator has to be established in the EU. Their key tasks include:

  • Verifying that the declaration of conformity / performance for a product has been drawn up and kept pursuant to legal requirements
  • Verifying that the technical documentation of the product has been drawn up and provided to the market surveillance authorities on request
  • Cooperating with relevant authorities to provide any other information to demonstrate product conformity as required
    • Where an economic operator has reason to believe that a product is not compliant or poses a health and safety risk to the public, it has to inform the authorities and take corrective action, whether by itself or by asking the manufacturer to do so
 
 
Which products do the regulations and guidelines apply to?

They apply to a wide range of products which are required to bear CE marking.  Examples include: 

  • construction products
  • personal protective
  • equipment appliances
  • burning gaseous fuels
  • products subject to the Directive relating to noise emissions by equipment for use outdoors
  • machinery
  • toys
  • products subject to ecodesign requirements
  • products subject to restrictions on the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment
  • pyrotechnic articles
  • recreational craft and personal watercraft
  • simple pressure vessels
  • products subject to the Directive on electromagnetic compatibility
  • non-automatic weighing instruments
  • measuring instruments
  • equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
  • products subject to the Low Voltage Directive
  • radio equipment
  • pressure equipment

Products requiring CE marking are covered by the EU New Approach Directive.  Find more information on EU and UK Government websites:

 
 
What is an EU fulfillment service provider?

Fulfillment service providers in the EU are specialist companies or persons in the EU which provide at least two or more of the following services:

  • warehousing
  • packaging
  • addressing 
  • dispatching

It does not include carriers or logistics service providers which only handle shipment or movement of goods. 

If you want to use a fulfillment service provider in the EU, you can work with the manufacturer to provide relevant documents to them. If the fulfillment service provider accepts the documents and your goods, it will become an economic operator and you can then indicate their name or contact information (including shipping address) on the product or its packaging. However, some fulfillment service providers may ask for an authorized representative of your products instead. In which case, you would still need to work with the non-EU manufacturer to appoint an authorized representative in the EU. 

 

The economic operator listed on your product or packaging can be a manufacturer, importer, authorized representative or fulfillment service provider.

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