Export product requirements

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO

When you start to export goods, you will have to take into account product requirements. You may well have to adapt the product, and face product liability.

Find out the product requirements that apply to you

There are general and specific product requirements. All products must be safe and suitable to use before they go to market. And the origin must be clear. These are general product requirements. Specific product requirements concern the composition, physical properties, packaging, labelling, and registration of products. Think of foodstuffs, chemical products, machines and electrical equipment.

Check the legislation in the export country

Each country has its own product requirements, so always check the rules and regulations in your buyer’s country.

Product requirements and CE-marking in the EU

Will you be exporting to an EU country? Then check the EU product requirements. Some products might require CE-marking. CE-marking indicates that your product complies with European legislation and clears your product for legal trading in the EU marketplace. Use this checklist if you need to arrange CE marking.

Find out if you need to adapt your product

It is almost never possible to export your product without adaptations. Many countries require product information in their own language; that applies to packaging and labelling, but also to user manuals. Sometimes, technical adaptations are necessary, like different electric plugs. Countries outside Europe often want to test a product before allowing you to sell it.

Check product liability

Make sure you know who is liable for a faulty product. If it is you, you may face high financial claims, especially in the United States of America.

Diminish the risk of claims

  • Ensure that your product meets the legal requirements and standards of the destination country
  • Always provide user manuals and labels in the country’s language.
  • Take out proper product liability insurance.
  • Close an 'indemnity agreement', making a different party exclusively liable. For instance: the distributor.

Check Access2Markets

In the EU Access2Markets database you can find the product requirements and procedures for non-EU countries, per country. You search with the HS code of the product you want to export. For more information, view the manual and the English video about Access2Markets.

Contact a Product Contact Point

All EU countries have a Product Contact Point for information on product requirements and standards in the member states.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK