Product safety and metrology from 1 January 2021: Northern Ireland
Guides on specific product safety and metrology regulations for businesses placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.
These guides for businesses apply from 1 January 2021 and are provided for reference in advance. They clarify how the regulatory framework will be revised at the end of the Transition Period.
Read guides on specific product safety and metrology regulations for businesses placing goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2021.
General product safety law
Electrical and electronic
Metrology (weights and measures)
Personal protective equipment
Last updated 18 December 2020 + show all updates
Oct 2020 GuidancePlacing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021
What you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the Northern Ireland market from 1 January 2021.
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.
For current information, read: CE marking
You can also read about the transition period.
This guidance is about placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.
There’s different guidance if you’re:
If you have already placed an individual product on the EU or the UK market (either in Northern Ireland or Great Britain) before 1 January 2021, you do not need to do anything new. These individual goods can continue to circulate on either market until they reach their end user and do not need to comply with the changes that take effect from 1 January 2021.
A good is ‘placed on the market’ when a written or verbal agreement (or offer of an agreement) to transfer ownership or possession or other rights in the product. This does not require physical transfer of the good.
You can usually provide proof of placing on the market on the basis of any relevant document ordinarily used in business transactions, including:
- contracts of sale concerning goods which have already been manufactured and meet the legal requirements
- documents concerning the shipping of goods for distribution
The relevant economic operator (whether manufacturer, importer or distributor) bears the burden of proof for demonstrating that the good was placed on the market before 1 January 2021.
Check which rules apply
The Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force from 1 January 2021. For as long as it is in force, Northern Ireland will align with relevant EU rules relating to the placing on the market of manufactured goods.
What you will need to do from 1 January 2021 depends on the type of goods you are placing on the market. This page covers goods often known as new approach goods, which are a range of consumer and commercial products that often require the use of the CE marking to demonstrate conformity with the relevant technical requirements.
There are different rules for:
- goods regulated under the old approach
- goods covered by national rules (non-harmonised)
- certain other goods, such as medical devices and civil explosives
Speak to your solicitor or trade association if you’re unsure which regulatory framework applies to your goods.
Old approach goods
EU rules will continue to apply to most old approach goods in Northern Ireland, except for aerospace goods where UK rules apply. These old approach goods are subject to specific arrangements which are covered separately:
Goods covered by national rules (non-harmonised)
You must make sure that your goods meet UK rules, including any specific rules that apply in Northern Ireland.
You can place your goods on the market in Northern Ireland if:
- your good is not subject to specific UK rules that prevent you from placing it on the Northern Ireland market
- your product has been legally marketed in the EU (including EEA member states)
Check the UK product safety rules to find out what you need to do.
EU rules will continue to apply in Northern Ireland for the other goods listed below. These goods are subject to specific rules:
- medical devices
- rail interoperability constituents
- construction products
- civil explosives
- products requiring ecodesign and energy labelling
- cosmetics (guidance available shortly)
Check if you need to change your conformity assessment or marking
You need to use a conformity marking if you are placing certain goods on the Northern Ireland market.
In Northern Ireland, EU conformity markings will continue to be used to show that goods meet EU rules after 1 January 2021. For most manufactured goods, this is the CE marking, but there are some other markings for specific products (such as the wheel marking or Pi mark).
If you are using a UK body to carry out mandatory third-party conformity assessment, then you will also need to apply a UKNI marking (sometimes referred to as the UK(NI) mark or the UK(NI) indication) from 1 January 2021.
You never apply the UKNI marking on its own – it always accompanies an EU conformity marking, such as the CE marking. Goods with the CE and UKNI marking can’t be placed on the market in the EU.
You do not need to make any changes if both of the following apply:
- you are a manufacturer based in Northern Ireland (or are the manufacturer’s authorised representative)
- you currently mark your goods on the basis of a supplier’s declaration of conformity, sometimes known as ‘self-certifying’
The UKCA marking cannot be used for goods placed on the Northern Ireland market. For more information, check the guidance for:
When to use the CE marking
You can continue to apply the CE marking to your good from 1 January 2021 if any of the following apply:
- you currently apply the CE marking to your good on the basis of self-declaration, as required by the relevant product legislation
- any mandatory third-party conformity assessment was carried out by an EU-recognised notified body (including a body in a country with which the EU has a relevant mutual recognition agreement)
- the certificate of conformity previously held by a UK body has been transferred to an EU-recognised notified body
In these circumstances, goods with the CE marking can be placed on the market in NI and the EU.
Find out how to use the CE marking.
When to use the UKNI marking alongside the CE marking
You need to use the UKNI marking (alongside the CE marking) if all of the following apply:
- you are placing certain goods (mostly those goods subject to the CE marking) on the Northern Ireland market from 1 January 2021
- your goods require mandatory third-party conformity assessment
- you are planning to use a UK body to carry out those conformity assessments from 1 January 2021
You will not be able to use the UKNI marking if either of the following apply:
- you are placing goods on the market in the EU
- you are planning to use an EU body to carry out conformity assessments
Find out how to use the UKNI marking.
Northern Ireland’s unfettered access to the rest of the UK
The UK government will guarantee unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the UK market, without the need for additional approvals before placing goods on the market in the rest of the UK. You will be able to place qualifying Northern Ireland goods on the market in Great Britain based on the conformity markings you use in Northern Ireland.
For example, as the CE and CE & UKNI markings will be valid in Northern Ireland, products with these markings can be placed on the market in Great Britain if they are a qualifying Northern Ireland good. Further guidance on the definition of qualifying Northern Ireland goods will be available shortly.
Further information on placing goods on the GB market is available.
Appoint an authorised person
Authorised representatives can continue to be based in Northern Ireland or the EU for placing goods on the Northern Ireland market.
From 16 July 2021, new rules come into force and some businesses may need to appoint an authorised representative in the EU or Northern Ireland to carry out compliance functions if there is no-one in the supply chain in those areas who can carry out the functions.
Further guidance on the new rules will be made available.
Check whether your legal responsibilities are changing
Your legal obligations will remain unchanged, although if you appoint an authorised or responsible person you should check the rules for this.
Goods must continue to be manufactured to relevant EU rules in order to be placed on the Northern Ireland market.
Northern Ireland-based importers, distributors and suppliers
You’ll become an ‘importer’ if you’re the one bringing goods for the first time into Northern Ireland from either Great Britain or another non-EU country and placing them on the Northern Ireland market. You will need to agree whether you or your supplier will take on the role of ‘importer’ from 1 January 2021 (for the purposes of relevant EU rules).
If you are an ‘importer’, you will need to make sure:
- goods meet the relevant rules
- goods are labelled with your importer’s details. These include the company’s name, or registered trade mark, and a contact address
- the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that goods have the correct conformity markings
- the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with the labelling requirements
- you maintain a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years
- the product is accompanied by instructions for use in a language easily understood by the end-users
Fulfilment service providers
If you are a fulfilment service provider, you may need to fulfil new compliance responsibilities from 16 July 2021. Further guidance on the new rules will be made available.
If you are a Northern Ireland business placing goods from outside the UK on the market in Great Britain, you will become an importer under GB rules. This includes where they have come via Northern Ireland from EU market. See Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2021.
Relevant EU legislation
The table below lists the current EU legislation for specific goods in scope of this guidance.
|EU legislation||NI legislation|
|Toy Safety – Directive 2009/48/EC||Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011|
|Recreational craft and personal watercraft – Directive 2013/53/EU||Recreational Craft Regulations 2017|
|Simple Pressure Vessels – Directive 2014/29/EU||Simple Pressure Vessels (Safety) Regulations 2016|
|Electromagnetic Compatibility – Directive 2014/30/EU||Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016|
|Low Voltage Directive 2014/35||Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016|
|Non-automatic Weighing Instruments – Directive 2014/31/EU||Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Regulations 2016|
|Measuring Instruments – Directive 2014/32/EU||Measuring Instruments Regulations 2016|
|Lifts – Directive 2014/33/EU||Lifts Regulations 2016|
|ATEX – Directive 2014/34/EU||Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2017|
|Radio equipment – Directive 2014/53/EU||Radio Equipment Regulations 2017|
|Pressure equipment – Directive 2014/68/EU||Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016|
|Personal protective equipment – Regulation (EU) 2016/425||Regulation (EU) 2016/425 + Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018|
|Gas appliances – Regulation (EU) 2016/426||Regulation (EU) 2016/426 + Gas Appliances (Enforcement) and Miscellaneous Amendments Regualtions 2018|
|Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC||Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008|
|Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC||Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001|
|Directive 92/42/EEC hot-water boilers AND Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC||The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019|
|Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) – Directive 2002/95/EC||The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012|
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have goods regulation questions.