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Brexit: Transition period

The UK has now left the EU. Your health and safety responsibilities have not changed in the transition period.

Find the latest information on our Brexit pages

Use the A - Z to get straight to the glossary term you are interested in. Here you will find a glossary of common terms relating to equipment product safety.



the formal process by which a notified body or laboratory / test-house is judged (by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for UK bodies), in how it meets the requirements for undertaking conformity assessment or statutory testing.


the name commonly given to the framework for controlling explosive atmospheres, and the standards of equipment and protective systems used in them. It is based on the requirements of two European Directives; 99/92/EC (for worker protection) and 94/9/EC (for product safety).

Authorised representative:

any natural or legal person established within the Community who has received a written mandate to act on a manufacturer's behalf in relation to their obligations under the relevant Community legislation.



Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which has the policy lead for much product safety legislation.


CE marking:

a mark made by manufacturers, indicating that a product conforms with the requirements set out in Community harmonisation legislation.


the 28 member states of the European Union.

Community harmonisation legislation:

any Community legislation (eg Directives) harmonising the conditions for the marketing of products. In addition to the 28 EU member states, four others (three EEA states and Switzerland, which has bilateral agreements) have adopted Community harmonisation legislation.

Conformity assessment:

the process demonstrating whether specified requirements relating to a product, process, service, system, person or body have been fulfilled.


Declaration of Conformity:

a document containing information specified by a particular Directive, declaring in what way conformity with the provisions of that Directive have been fulfilled.

Declaration of Incorporation:

a document containing information specified by the Machinery Directive, declaring that partly completed machinery is intended for incorporation into other machinery or equipment.


any natural or legal person in the supply chain, other than the manufacturer or the importer, who makes a product available on the marketĀ .


Economic operator:

the manufacturer, the authorised representative, the importer and the distributor.


the European Economic Area, which includes the 28 EU member states, and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - which are allowed to participate in the EU's single market without conventional EU membership. Although Switzerland has not joined the EEA, it has agreed to adopt and be bound by most Product Supply Directives.

Essential health and safety requirements, also known as essential requirements:

mandatory requirements for health and / or safety imposed by a particular Directive for products within scope of that Directive.

Explosion protection mark:

the 'Ex' mark within a hexagon symbol required by Essential Health and Safety Requirement 1.0.5 of Directive 94/9/EC for ATEX compliant products.


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New Approach Directives and the free movement of goods in the European Community


Harmonised standard:

a standard, prepared under mandate from CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation) to support one or more Directives, which has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Those products meeting the scope and application of such a standard are presumed to conform with one or more essential health and safety requirements.



a European Database for market surveillance authorities to share and exchange information about products:

  • the internet-supported information; and
  • communication system for the pan-European market surveillance of technical products .


any natural or legal person established within the Community who places a product from a third country on the Community market.


provide users with details of how to safely install, set, use, clean, maintain, dispose, etc of a product so that the health and safety objectives of any Directives applying to that product can be met when undertaking those activities. Further information on instructions is available.

Local authority:

a borough, district or unitary authority, which is empowered to deliver local services, usually - in the context of market surveillance - services of a consumer protection nature.


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any natural or legal person who manufactures a product or has a product designed or manufactured, and markets that product under their name or trademark.

Market surveillance:

the activities carried out and measures taken by public authorities to ensure that products comply with Community harmonisation legislation and do not endanger health, safety or any other aspect of public interest. Further information on market surveillance is available.

Market surveillance authority:

an authority of a member state responsible for carrying out market surveillance in its territory.



for the purposes of the Machinery Directive, this includes machinery which is new to the Community market even though previously placed on the market outside the Community or EEA - or machinery so substantially refurbished that they must be considered as new.

Notified body (also known as a conformity assessment body):

a body that performs conformity assessment activities including calibration, testing, certification and inspection.


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Partly completed machinery:

an assembly which is almost machinery but cannot in itself perform a specific application (eg a drive system). Partly completed machinery is only intended to be incorporated into or assembled with other machinery, or other partly completed machinery or equipment - thereby forming machinery to which the Machinery Directive applies.

Placing on the market:

making a product available on the Community market for the first time for distribution, consumption or use in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge.

Product safety:

the name traditionally used by HSE for the process of monitoring and enforcing health and safety requirements for the design, construction and supply of products.

Putting into service:

the first time a product is put to use, even if it has not been placed on, or made available to, the market.


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a European database for market surveillance authorities to rapidly share and exchange information about defective consumer products.


a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. More information on REACH is available.


any measure requesting the return of a product that has already been made available to the end user.


the repair, maintenance and / or modification of an existing product, the extent of which may be minor, substantial or involve complete dismantling and reassembly - while leaving the product essentially unchanged - but can involve significant or substantial modification with new features, function or control. Refurbishment of existing machinery may bring the product within scope of the Machinery Directive.

Responsible person:

usually the manufacturer or their authorised representative, but can include others who place products on the market.


Safeguard action:

the procedure by which a market surveillance authority informs the European Commission of formal action taken to prohibit or restrict a product from the free market, and by which the Commission investigates to see if the action was correct and if, if confirmed, informs other member states so they can take appropriate action.

Second-hand supply:

any supply of a product which is not being placed on the market for the first time. Further information on second-hand supply, including auctions.


are an 'an agreed, repeatable way of going something' (BSI). Normally they are published documents containing technical information to guide or define practice in a consistent way. Usually standards are prepared and published at national or international level and some are known as transposed harmonised standards.


includes anyone making a product available to an end user or others in the supply chain; which can include manufacturers, importers and distributors.


Technical file:

a collection of information demonstrating how a product meets the requirements of relevant Directive(s).

Technical specification:

a document that prescribes the technical requirements to be fulfilled by a product, process or service.

Third country product:

any product which was manufactured outside the EEA or Switzerland.


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any measure aimed at removing a product from the supply chain and so stopping it from being made available on the market.


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Updated: 2020-09-03