1 Nov 2020

Placing goods on the Great British and EU markets from January 2021


This guidance does not apply to placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland or to goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. There is information on this below.

Businesses must take steps to ensure compliance with EU requirements for certification and labelling of products and materials by 1 January 2021.

Manufactured goods are regulated in different ways and are covered by different UK and EU rules. To ensure you are following the right guidance for your business, check which regulations apply to your products.

For new approach goods, for example toys, PPE and machinery, most of which can be identified by the CE marking, these can still be placed on the UK market until the 1st of January 2022. This may be longer for some goods so consult your sector specific guidance. If a business has already placed CE marked goods on the GB or EU market before the 1 January 2021, they don’t need to take any action for these goods.

From January 2022, most new approach goods businesses will need to use the UK’s new product marking, the UKCA mark and businesses are encouraged to start using the UKCA mark as soon as possible after the 1 of January 2021. However, CE marked goods that meet EU requirements can continue to be placed on the GB market until 1 January 2022 in most cases – longer for some sectors such as medical devices and transportable pressure equipment. This is true even where an EU Notified Body has been used. Until the 1 of January 2023, most new approach goods businesses will have the option to affix the UKCA marking on a label affixed to the product or on an accompanying document.

Old approach goods which are covered by standalone regulations for example cars, chemicals and medicines. Any changes for these goods will be specific to what a business is selling.

For non-harmonised goods such as furniture and foodstuffs there will no longer be mutual recognition for goods between GB and the EU. Please check the online guidance for these products.

Other goods - There are special rules for some goods including medical devices, construction products, civil explosives and products requiring eco-design and energy labelling.

Trading with Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Protocol comes into effect on 1st January 2021. The Protocol is a practical solution to avoid a hard border with Ireland whilst ensuring the UK, including Northern Ireland, leaves the EU, enabling the entire UK to benefit from future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

The Protocol will result in some new administrative processes for traders. Notably, there will be new digital import declaration requirements, and digital safety and security information, for goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

You will need to make sure you have an Economic Operators Registration and Identification, otherwise known as EORI number. This number is required to move goods between the UK, including Northern Ireland and non-EU countries. The EORI number should start with GB. If you have an existing number without the GB prefix, we recommend you apply for a new one. If you do not have one, this may lead to increased costs and delays if HMRC are unable to clear your goods which may result in storage fees.

The UK Government has established a new, free service, the Trader Support Service, otherwise known as TSS. We recommend you sign up for TSS which will guide you through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It can also be used to complete digital declarations, at no additional cost. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trader-support-service

Further information is available on the Northern Ireland Protocol by visiting the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/moving-goods-into-out-of-or-through-northern-ireland-from-1-january-2021

To discuss this further, please contact Alison Bradshaw.