Last checked: 12/09/2022

Conformity assessment

As a manufacturer, you must carry out a risk analysis and ensure that your products comply with certain rules before placing them on the EU market.

This procedure is called a conformity assessment and it is carried out during both the design and production phase. Even if you subcontract the design or production of your products, it's still your responsibility to ensure that the conformity assessment is carried out.

The information obtained from the conformity assessment must be included in the technical documentation.

How to demonstrate compliance with EU rules

You should check if there are any EU rules applicable to your product, if there are, you must ensure your product complies with them before it can be traded freely in the EU.

Harmonised standards, where they exist, can help you demonstrate compliance with EU rules.

What are harmonised standards?

Harmonised standards are developed by recognised European Standards Organisations: CENOpen as an external link, CENELECOpen as an external link, or ETSIOpen as an external link. Following harmonised standards in the design and manufacture of your products will ensure your products are in line with corresponding EU rules; this is known as ‘presumption of conformity'.

Do you have to follow harmonised standards?

No, the use of harmonised standards remains voluntary. You are free to choose another technical solution to demonstrate compliance with the mandatory legal requirements.

If you choose not to follow harmonised standards in your assessment, you can prove compliance by referring to technical specifications such as national standards, non-harmonised European and international standards, or your own technical specifications. In these cases, you will have to provide more details in your technical documentation explaining how your products comply with legal requirements.

Assessing the conformity of your products

In some cases, you - as a manufacturer - can make a self-assessment of your product, in other cases, you will need to involve a conformity assessment organisation (also known as a notified body)Open as an external link to assist you.

You should check the relevant EU legislation related to the products you want to assess to see if you need to request assistance.

Conformity assessment organisations

These notified bodies are organisations designated by EU countries to assess the conformity of certain products before they can be placed on the market.

You can choose a notified body from the list on the NANDO websiteOpen as an external link (New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations).

Doing the conformity assessment yourself

If your product doesn't need to be verified by an independent body, it is up to you to perform the conformity assessment of your product. This includes estimating and documenting the possible risks when using your product.

Compiling the technical documentation

Your technical dossier should include all the documents that prove that your product complies with the technical requirements. Find out how to compile the technical documentation.

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border, for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

You can also use the assistance service finder to find the right help for you.

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