Specific product requirements in the EU

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO

When you import or trade goods within the European Union (EU), you can encounter legal requirements for specific products, such as clothing, cosmetics, and food. These product requirements apply in all EU member states, and usually apply in Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein too (the European Economic Area, EEA).

What are specific product requirements?

Specific product requirements are legal requirements for certain product groups. These requirements serve to protect safety, health, and the environment. They complement the statutory general product requirements. There are specific product requirements for, among other things:

Your product has to be safe

If you market a consumer product inside the EEA, it has to be safe for your customers. Check the safety requirements for your product. You may be liable for damages. Read about the European product safety requirements for manufacturers, importers, distributors, and fulfilment centres.

Does your product require CE marking?

Various product groups are subject to the rules for CE marking. With the CE mark, manufacturers indicate that their products comply with EU safety, health, and environmental requirements. CE marking is mandatory for toys, medical devices, and construction products, for example. Visit RVO.nl for a list of product groups subject to CE marking (in Dutch).

Government organisations check product safety

Every EU member state has government organisations that monitor whether products meet specific product requirements. In the Netherlands, these include the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoritieit, NVWA) and the Health Care and Youth Inspectorate (Inspectie Gezondheidszorg en Jeugd, IGJ). The NVWA inspects cosmetics, food, consumer products, and veterinary medicines, for example. The IGJ is responsible for human medicines.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO