Designated standards

Information for businesses.

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

This page tells you what you’ll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

Many businesses currently use European harmonised standards to provide a presumption of conformity with the relevant EU laws. Immediately after the end of the transition period, the essential legal requirements that businesses must meet will be the same as they are now. All harmonised standards that give a presumption of conformity to EU law at the end of the transition period will become ‘designated standards’ by the references being published on GOV.UK. Businesses will be able to use designated standards to provide presumption of conformity with GB law.

Harmonised standards will remain the relevant standards for placing goods on the Northern Ireland market where EU rules will continue to apply.

Find out about placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021

A designated standard is a standard, developed by consensus, which may be recognised by government in part or in full by publishing the reference on GOV.UK. Depending on the product, it can be a standard published by any of the following recognised standardisation bodies:

  • British Standards Institution (BSI)
  • European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)
  • European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (Cenelec)
  • European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

The content of the standard is the responsibility of the recognised standardisation bodies, with BSI as the UK’s National Standards Body representing the interests of UK stakeholders. From 1 January 2021, when deciding if a standard is appropriate for designation, the government will check how far the standard covers the various essential requirements set out in the relevant legislation. The government may decide not to designate or to designate with restriction. Any such restrictions will be described on the GOV.UK pages, and businesses should check frequently.

In the interests of transparency, the government will, for 28 days, make publicly available a notice of proposal to publish references to standards. Interested parties may object to the publication within the 28-day timeframe. The references to the standards will be published for the purposes of designation of the standards on the 29th day unless the notice is withdrawn or amended before that date.

References of designated standards

Designated standards are prefixed “BS”, “EN”, “EN ISO” or “EN IEC”, for example: EN 71-1:2014+A1:2018.


Conformity assessment and management systems

  • New Legislative Framework (NLF) and Audit Scheme (EMAS)


  • Construction products (CPR) – list owned by MHCLG

Consumers and workers protection

Energy efficiency

Ecodesign and energy labelling

  • Air conditioners and comfort fans
  • Air heating and cooling
  • Circulators
  • Computers
  • Dishwashers
  • Domestic ovens
  • Electric motors
  • Fans
  • Hot water boilers
  • Lamps – directional and LED
  • Lamps – non-directional
  • Lamps – fluorescent and professional
  • Fridges – storage cabinets
  • Fridges – appliances
  • Power supplies
  • Set-top boxes
  • Solid fuel boilers
  • Space heaters
  • Space heaters – local
  • Standby and off mode
  • Televisions
  • Transformers
  • Tumble dryers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Ventilation
  • Washer-dryers
  • Washing machines
  • Water heaters and tanks
  • Water pumps

Electric and electronic engineering

Healthcare engineering

  • Medical devices (MD) – list owned by MHRA
  • In vitro diagnostic medical devices – list owned by MHRA
  • Active implantable medical devices – list owned by MHRA

Measuring technology

Mechanical engineering and means of transport

Published 3 December 2020
Last updated 9 December 2020 
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