What requirements must countries fulfill to ensure that my product meets safety, health and environmental standards?
Product requirements refer to essential conditions that products must satisfy in order to enter one market.
Technical rules define specific characteristics that a product should have, for instance related to
- functionality or performance
There are specific rules in place to ensure that products are designed to protect human health, safety or the environment.
Product requirements can cover
- the product itself - for example, flammability, electrical properties or hygiene
- the product's manufacturing process
- the product's performance - for example, its energy efficiency
In most cases, regulations define the desired targets to be achieved, or the hazards to be dealt with, but it does not specify technical solutions.
Product requirements vary significantly from country to country and from trading bloc to trading bloc. It can be costly for traders to comply with different requirements in different markets.
Within EU trade agreements, technical rules and regulations are often harmonised and cooperation is established between standards-setting, testing, certification and accreditation bodies on both sides. This enables businesses to sell the same product, or the same product with fewer modifications, into both markets. It also empowers small companies, in particular micro-enterprises, to compete with larger companies and to participate in international supply chains and e-commerce.
In the EU market, the CE marking indicates that a product meets all the safety, health, and environmental protection requirements to be sold throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).
As such, you need to check product requirements for each region you export to.
Go to My Trade Assistant and launch a product search to find the details for a specific product.
You can also find an overview of EU product requirements in the EU Market section of this website.