Placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland

What you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the Northern Ireland market.

Applies to Northern Ireland

Changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol

The government has agreed and formally adopted the Windsor Framework. This provides a fundamentally new set of arrangements to restore the smooth flow of trade within the UK internal market.

The government intends to extend recognition of the CE marking for placing most goods on the market in Great Britain, indefinitely, beyond 31 December 2024. These updates apply to the 18 regulations that fall under the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). These are:

  • toys
  • pyrotechnics
  • recreational craft and personal watercraft
  • simple pressure vessels
  • electromagnetic compatibility
  • non-automatic weighing instruments
  • measuring instruments
  • measuring container bottles
  • lifts
  • equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres (UKEX)
  • radio equipment
  • pressure equipment
  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • gas appliances
  • machinery
  • equipment for use outdoors
  • aerosol dispensers
  • low voltage electrical equipment

There are different rules for medical devicesconstruction productscablewaystransportable pressure equipment, unmanned aircraft systems, rail productsmarine equipment and ecodesign. The relevant departments covering these sectors either have communicated, or will communicate, plans in due course.

The CE marking is already recognised in Northern Ireland. Rules for placing goods on the Northern Ireland market have not changed.

This guidance is about placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland.

There’s different guidance if you’re:

If you have already placed an individual product on the EUEEA or the UK market (either in Northern Ireland or Great Britain) before 1 January 2021, you do not need to do anything.

EEA states include any country in the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

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.

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 took effect from 1 January 2021. This guidance explains what you need to do for any goods you’re placing on the Northern Ireland market on or after 1 January 2021.

A fully manufactured (individual) good is ‘placed on the market’ when a written or verbal agreement (or offer of an agreement) to transfer ownership or possession or other property 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
  • invoices
  • documents concerning the shipping of goods for distribution

Check which rules apply

The Windsor Framework agreement was formally adopted by the UK on 24 March 2023. 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 need to do depends on the type of goods you are placing on the market. The European Commission’s guidance on new approach goods covers 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, for example, medical devices and civil explosives

Speak to your solicitor or trade association if you are unsure which regulatory framework applies to your goods.

Old approach goods

EU rules 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

Check the UK product safety rules to find out what you need to do.

Other goods

EU rules will continue to apply in Northern Ireland for the other goods listed below. These goods are subject to specific rules:

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 continue to be used to show that goods meet EU rules. For most manufactured goods, this is the CE marking, but there are some other markings for specific products (for example, the wheel marking, Pi mark or inverted epsilon “3”).

If you are using a UK body to carry out mandatory third-party conformity assessment, then you also need to apply a UKNI marking (sometimes referred to as the UK(NI) mark or the UK(NI) indication).

You never apply the UKNI marking on its own – it always accompanies an EU conformity marking, for example, the CE marking. Goods with both the CE and UKNI marking cannot 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-declaration’

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 must affix the CE marking to products where this is required by EU rules. The Windsor Framework does not change rules about which products requiring a CE marking are eligible for:

  • self-declaration – if you affixed the CE marking on the basis of self-declaration prior to 2020, you can continue to affix it now, unless and until the EU changes its rules
  • mandatory third-party conformity assessment – if you affixed the CE marking on the basis of assessment carried out by an EU-recognised notified body (including a body in a country with which the EU has a relevant mutual recognition agreement) you can continue to affix the CE marking

Different rules apply for mandatory third-party conformity assessment carried out by bodies based in the UK.

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
  • your goods require mandatory third-party conformity assessment
  • you are planning to use a UK body to carry out those conformity assessments

You cannot 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 mandatory third-party conformity assessments

Find out how to use the UKNI marking.

The UK Market Conformity Assessment Bodies (UKMCAB) database lists all bodies which can provide conformity assessment for the UK market.

Northern Ireland’s unfettered access to the rest of the UK and placing goods on the GB market

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 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.

If you are a Northern Ireland business and place qualifying NI goods on the GB market, before you place the product on the GB market, you must:

  • check that the product complies with the rules in Northern Ireland
  • place your contact details on the product or, where permitted, on a document accompanying the product

Find out whether your goods qualify for unfettered access.

Further information on placing goods on the GB market is available.

Appoint an authorised person

Authorised representatives can be based in Northern Ireland or the EEA for placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland and the EU/EEA.

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.

Read guidance on the new rules and how they apply in Northern Ireland.


You are responsible for ensuring your product complies with the relevant EU rules and for drawing up documentation such as the EU declaration of conformity. You can delegate some of the duties to an authorised representative – you will need to check the specific regulations that apply to confirm what can and cannot be delegated.

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. Only businesses established in NI or an EEA state can be “importers” for the NI market.

If you are an ‘importer’, you will need to make sure:

  • goods meet the relevant rules
  • goods are labelled with your details. These include the company’s name, or registered trademark, 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 EU declaration of conformity for a specified period, usually 10 years
  • the product is accompanied by instructions for use in a language easily understood by the end-users, which in Northern Ireland is English
  • you respond to requests for information from Market Surveillance Authorities, and ensuring technical documentation is available on request
  • you monitor goods you have placed on the market and carry out sample testing, when appropriate

Fulfilment service providers

If you are a fulfilment service provider, you may need to fulfil certain European Union compliance responsibilities.

Read guidance on the new rules and how they apply in Northern Ireland.

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 goods that have been supplied to you (as a distributor) from the EU market that you are now selling in Great Britain.

Read about placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain.

Technical documentation

Record keeping

You, your authorised representative (where allowed for in the relevant legislation) and importer, must keep documentation to demonstrate that your product conforms with the regulatory requirements. This must be kept for a specified period which is usually up to 10 years after the product is placed on the market.

This information can be requested at any time by enforcement authorities to check that your product conforms with the regulatory requirements.

The information you must keep will vary depending on the specific legislation relevant to your product. If requested you must provide enforcement authorities with all information and documentation necessary to demonstrate that a product meets the rules.

This could include, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • how the product is designed and manufactured
  • how the product has been shown to conform to the relevant requirements
  • the addresses of the manufacturer and any storage facilities

You should keep the information in the form of a technical file which can be supplied if requested by an enforcement authority.

The same record keeping duties apply when placing a product on the market in Great Britain. Enforcement authorities have the same right to request the information kept as part of general records.

EU Declaration of Conformity

The EU Declaration of Conformity is a document which must be drawn up for most products lawfully bearing a CE marking, whether it is accompanied by a UKNI marking or not.

In this document you as the manufacturer, or your authorised representative (where allowed for in the relevant legislation), should:

  • declare that the product is in conformity with the relevant regulatory requirements applicable to the specific product
  • make sure the document has the name and address of the manufacturer (or your authorised representative) together with information about the product and the conformity assessment body (where relevant)

Read the European Union’s guidance on preparing the EU declaration of conformity.

The EU Declaration of Conformity should be available to enforcement authorities on request. The information required on the EU Declaration of Conformity is the same as what was required before 1 January 2021.

More information on regulations and legislation

For more information and a list of guides on specific product safety regulations, read Product safety for businesses: A to Z of industry guidance .

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 Regulations 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 Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010
Energy Labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 Energy Labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 (as retained in UK law and amended)
Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) – Directive 2011/65/EU The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012
Directive 2013/29/EU – Pyrotechnic Articles The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015
Published 31 December 2020
Last updated 3 October 2023 
Share this article