Placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021
This guidance is about placing certain manufactured goods, workplace equipment and machinery and civil explosives, on the market in Northern Ireland.
If you're manufacturing more common consumer goods (sometimes known as 'new approach' goods) there's different guidance on placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland on GOV.UK
The UK has left the EU, and the Northern Ireland Protocol came into force on 1 January 2021. For as long as it is in force, Northern Ireland will align with all relevant EU rules relating to the placing on the market of manufactured goods and civil explosives.
If you placed an individual product on the EU or the UK market (either in Northern Ireland or Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) 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.
Conformity assessments and marking
In Northern Ireland, EU conformity markings will continue to be used to show that goods meet EU rules after 1 January 2021. For most workplace equipment and machinery and civil explosives, this is the CE marking.
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.
The UKCA marking cannot be used for goods placed on the Northern Ireland market.
When to use the CE marking
You can continue to apply the CE marking to your goods from 1 January 2021 if any of the following apply:
- you currently apply the CE marking to your goods 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
This does not apply to existing stock. For example if your goods were fully manufactured and ready to place on the market before 1 January 2021, you do not need to use the UKCA marking even if the certification was carried out by a UK-based body. These goods will only be able to be placed on the GB market and only until 31 December 2021.
- From 1 January 2022, you will need to use the UKCA 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
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 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 qualifying Northern Ireland goods. In other words, if you're a Northern Ireland business, you'll still be able to place qualifying Northern Ireland goods on the GB market with an EU conformity assessment marking, such as the CE marking, after 31 December 2021. See GOV.UK for further information on moving qualifying goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.
The requirement for those transferring civil explosives within the UK to obtain a Recipient Competent Authority document (RCA) remains unchanged. See guidance on RCAs.
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.
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). More information on importer responsibilities can be found on the HSE website.