Make best use of standards

How to show your products meet EU legal requirements


Many types of products must satisfy European product safety directives before they can be sold on the European market. These directives aim to protect the health and safety of product users. They also remove technical barriers to trade.

CE marking

Products subject to the product safety directives normally have to carry CE marking when on sale in the European Economic Area (EEA). CE marking is the final stage of the conformity assessment process as specified in the relevant directive for the particular product. The directives harmonise European standards to provide the simplest way of demonstrating that your products comply.

Goods being placed on the market in Northern Ireland continue to align with the EU rules on product marking and should be marked with either the CE mark or both the CE mark and the new UK(NI) mark. The new UKCA mark (UK Conformity Assessed), where applicable, applies to goods being placed on the market in Great Britain.

Are EU standards relevant to my products?

Standards can help you comply with EU directives covering a wide range of products, including:

  • appliances burning gaseous fuels
  • construction products
  • electrical and electronic apparatus in terms of their electromagnetic compatibility
  • equipment and protective systems in potentially explosive atmospheres
  • gas appliances
  • household appliances in terms of the noise they emit
  • lifts
  • low voltage equipment
  • machinery, mechanical equipment and safety products
  • medical devices
  • new hot water boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fluids
  • non-automatic weighing instruments
  • outdoor construction and gardening equipment in terms of the noise they produce
  • personal protective equipment such as gloves, helmets and protective clothing
  • pressure equipment such as industrial pipework and pressurised storage containers
  • radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
  • recreational craft
  • toys

Find out more about products that need CE marking.

Testing and certification for products

Each individual directive generally specifies how you must show your product meets the relevant requirements. You may have to:

  • produce a self-declaration that your product complies - usually backed up by your own, or independent test results
  • get your product inspected or tested by an authorised independent testing body

Putting the CE marking on your product acts as your declaration that the item meets the relevant legal requirements. How you go about getting CE marking and putting it on your product depends on the product and EU directive in question.

Find out how to place CE marking on a product.

Using a standard helps ensure you comply with the law when manufacturing products for sale in the EU. But standards aren't obligatory - you can use a different way of meeting your legal requirements if you wish.