Product compliance when placing certain goods on the Northern Ireland market

When you need an economic operator for product compliance


To place certain goods on the Northern Ireland market, you must follow EU product compliance rules.

This means that for those specific products, you can only place them on the NI market if there is an authorised representative in the EU or Northern Ireland, to carry out compliance functions.

Authorised representatives, economic operators, can be based in Northern Ireland or the EU for placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland and the EU.

From 16 July 2021, businesses must appoint an authorised representative if there is no one in the supply chain in those areas who can carry out the compliance functions.

Products that require an economic operator

The following products can only be placed on the NI market if there is responsible economic operator established in NI (or the EU) to fulfil certain compliance tasks.

  • ATEX
  • construction products
  • eco-design
  • electromagnetic capability
  • gas appliances
  • low voltage electrical equipment
  • machinery
  • measuring instruments
  • non-automatic weighing instruments
  • outdoor machinery (‘outdoor noise’)
  • personal protective equipment
  • pressure equipment
  • pyrotechnics
  • radio equipment
  • recreational craft
  • restricting hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (‘RoHS’)
  • simple pressure vessels
  • toys

The rules apply to products first placed on the market after 16 July 2021. It does not apply to products already in circulation before that date.

Definition of ‘placing a good on the market’

A product is ‘placed on the market’ when it is made available on the Northern Ireland or EU market for the first time. In practice, this means a written or verbal agreement (or offer of an agreement) to transfer ownership or possession or other rights to the product is made.  This refers to each individual product, not to a model or type of product. It does not require physical transfer of the good. This transfer could be for payment or free of charge.

Where a product is sold online, it is considered placed on the Northern Ireland (or EU) market if it is targeted at Northern Ireland (or EU) consumers.

Movement of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain 

The EU Regulation on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products, which requires you to have an authorised representative, does not apply in Great Britain. See placing goods on the market in Great Britain.

There is also industry guidance that outlines requirements for placing certain products on the Great Britain and Northern Ireland markets. Find out which regulations apply to your products and where to go for further information on how to comply with them.

Northern Ireland businesses have access to the Great Britain market, in line with the rules for qualifying Northern Ireland goods. For more information, see the guidance on moving qualifying goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.