Exporting: applying for product approval

Last updated: 27 September 2017

If you're planning on exporting your product, it needs to meet international standards. For example, it must be considered safe in the country of destination.

The standards will differ depending on the type of product you sell and the market you want to export to. Your product may need to be tested by a government approved (accredited) body.

If you don't meet international standards you could face legal action, fines or imprisonment.

Get product liability insurance for the markets you're selling into to make sure you're protected.

Testing facilities

There are a number of testing facilities in the UK that will test samples of products to see if they meet international standards.

Accreditation bodies

Accreditation bodies are established in many countries to make sure testing laboratories are subject to oversight by an authoritative body.

Accreditation bodies (which have been evaluated by peers as competent) sign arrangements that enhance the acceptance of products and services across national borders. This supports international trade by removing technical barriers.

Use the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to search for accredited testing facilities in the UK.

Suitable for the market

Even if goods meet a country's legal requirements, they may still not be suitable. For example, a component manufactured in the UK using metric measurements might not fit in America with the imperial parts Americans normally use.

The way a product looks or performs might not match international customer demand and you may need to adapt it.

UK policy

Visit GOV.UK for more information on the conformity assessment and accreditation policy. Conformity assessments ensure that any goods or services supplied actually meet the requirements specified or claimed.