Use design to improve your export potential

Comply with overseas products and packaging regulations


Individual countries have their own legal requirements for the design of products and packaging. They may also have product standards. These are not usually compulsory, but can help you:

  • show that your product meets legal requirements
  • give customers confidence in your product
  • ensure quality and safety

If you sell certain products in the European Union, you have to comply with the relevant EU directives. These set out the legal requirements for the design of specified products. See more on CE marking.

Some EU countries have their own additional regulations. Countries outside the EU have individual regulations and standards for products, packaging and labelling. Here are just two examples:

  • Algeria has more than 2,500 product standards, most of them equivalent to the international (ISO) standards. A small number of standards are compulsory but most are only recommended.
  • In Bangladesh, imported goods and their containers must not incorporate any words, pictures or inscriptions of a religious or obscene nature.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) can advise you on complying with overseas requirements through their Professional Services team.

Invest Northern Ireland's (NI) technical advisers can give you information on standards, compliance and other technical requirements for placing your product overseas. Read more about the support for Invest NI.

When you are designing a product or its packaging, you must take any standards or regulations into account or you may be unable to sell your product in your target overseas market.

Find out how to make best use of standards.