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 an Approved 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.

Appropriate conformity marking:

Visible, legible  UKCA marking or CE marking (until 31st December 2024) as required for the UK or European single market by the relevant product legislation, accompanied with other details, eg manufacturer, and where required importer, address details and other information required by the relevant product legislation.

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

A UK body that performs conformity assessment activities including calibration, testing, certification and inspection, which is approved according to the relevant product legislation.


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 the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (for worker protection) and the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016 (for product safety).

Authorised representative:

Any natural or legal person as defined in product legislation who has received a written mandate to act on a manufacturer's behalf in relation to their obligations under the relevant product legislation.



CE marking:

Marking made by manufacturers, indicating that a product conforms with the requirements set out in European Community harmonisation legislation. It must be visible, legible and indelible.


The member states of the European Union.

Community harmonisation legislation:

Any Community legislation (eg Directives and Regulations) harmonising the conditions for the marketing of products. In addition to the 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 particular product legislation, declaring in what way conformity with the provisions of that legislation have been fulfilled.

Designated Standard:

Designated standards (


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


Economic operator:

Legal entity with duties under product safety legislation such as the manufacturer, the authorised representative, the importer and the distributor.


The European Economic Area, which includes the 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.

Energy Security and Net Zero:

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

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

Mandatory requirements for health and/or safety imposed by product safety legislation.

Explosion protection mark:

The 'Ex' mark within a hexagon symbol required by Essential Health and Safety Requirement 1.0.5 of the legislation concerned with ATEX compliant products.


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UK Government office website with authoritative information on wide range of issues including product supply issues.


Harmonised standard:

A standard, prepared under mandate from CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation) to support one or more European Directives or Regulations concerning products, 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 of product legislation.



Any natural or legal person established within the United Kingdom (GB) who places a product on the GB market from a country outside the GB 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 product legislation applying to that product can be met when undertaking those activities.


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.



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 product supply legislation and do not endanger health, safety or any other aspect of public interest.

Market surveillance authority:

An authority responsible for carrying out market surveillance in its territory.


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

A body that performs conformity assessment activities including calibration, testing, certification and inspection which is approved according to the relevant single market product legislation.


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 product legislation concerning machinery applies.

Placing on the market:

Making a product available on the 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.

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.



A European database for market surveillance authorities to rapidly share and exchange information about products presenting serious risk.


A 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 product legislation concerning machinery.

Responsible person:

Usually the manufacturer or their authorised representative, but can include others who place products on the market, or in the case of machinery and where not placed on the market, puts it into service for the first time.


Safeguard action:

The procedure by which a European 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 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.


Are an 'an agreed, repeatable way of doing 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.


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 product legislation.

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.


UKCA marking

The UKCA marking is the product marking used for products being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales).

The UKCA marking applies to most products for which the CE marking could be used. The technical requirements (sometimes referred to as ‘essential requirements’) you must meet for the UKCA marking will depend on the product specific legislation for your product.

The links below will take you to further guidance on using the UKCA marking.



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: 2024-06-05