If you are selling internationally on Amazon, you already know more obstacles from outside the U.S. marketplace to overcome to start selling. You should make sure you are 100% in compliance with Amazon policies and the local laws. For example, sales tax is applied to the final sale of a product in the US. Unlike the US Sales Tax, EU sellers have to add VAT to the selling price in the supply chain. VAT obligations make US sellers pricing products more complicated and less competitive in the EU.
On July 16, 2021, a new EU Regulation on product safety (called the “Market Surveillance Regulation (EU) 2019/1020”) is coming into effect. If you sell CE marked products in the EU but the products manufactured outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you are required to provide a Responsible Person as the point of contact for acting in product compliance with a new EU Regulation on product safety.
You will need to ensure your CE-marked products are labeled with the contact information of the Responsible Person before July 16, 2021. This labeling can be done on the product, its packaging, the parcel, or an accompanying document.
What is CE Marking? Do I need an EU Responsible Person?
To know if you need an EU Responsible Person, the first thing is to confirm that your products are subject to CE-marking legislation.
CE marking is a certification mark applied to a product by the manufacturer that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). However, not all products are required to be CE marked. Usually the required products are toys, electronics, personal protective equipment, machinery, construction products, gas appliances, recreational and personal watercraft, pressure vessels, and measuring equipment. You can find the full list here.
In addition, EU legislation requires that the manufacturer of a CE marked product issues an EU Declaration of Conformity (DoC) to declare that the product conforms to the requirements. A DoC must include the following information:
- The product: a product name, product code or other decided reference that matches the product attributes on Amazon
- The EU legislation applicable to the DoC (and, where appropriate, a reference to harmonized standards or other technical specifications)
- The manufacturer or authorized representative (and notified body if applicable for your product)
Below is an example template of DoC. (source)
Who can be an EU Responsible Person?
An EU Responsible Person can be one of the following:
- The manufacturer or brand, if established in the EU.
- An importer established in the EU.
- An authorized representative established in the EU, who is appointed in writing as the Responsible Person by the manufacturer or brand.
- A fulfillment service provider established in the EU.
What does the Responsible Person have to do?
For products impacted by the new regulation, the Responsible Person is required to do the following:
- Collect the product’s EU Declaration of Conformity (or Declaration of Performance) and ensure that additional documents demonstrating EU conformity of the product can be made available from the brand owner upon request in a language understood by an authority.
- Inform authorities of any risk posed by the product.
- Cooperate with market surveillance authorities, including ensuring that the brand owner takes necessary corrective actions to remedy any non-compliance of the product.
In addition, the contact information of the Responsible Person is required to be displayed on the product or on its packaging, the parcel, or an accompanying document.
What should you do next?
Here are what you can do for the next step according to Amazon’s recommendation:
If you are the brand owner of CE-marked products
- Verify compliance of your products: Ensure that your products satisfy all the relevant CE marking requirements and that the corresponding documents (Test reports and Declaration of Conformity) have been drawn up. The Responsible Person of your product is required to have access to the documents.
- Enroll in Amazon Brand Registry: Brand owners can take advantage of the tools offered by Amazon through this program. For more information about Amazon Brand Registry, visit this page.
- Appoint an EU Responsible Person for your products: A brand owner has more freedom in who they can appoint as the Responsible Person. Here are some options you should consider:
- If you have a subsidiary in the EU or already have an EU importer, it may be possible to appoint them as the Responsible Person for your products.
- The testing laboratory or the certification company that you use for your products may be offering Responsible Person services.
- If you do not sell exclusively on Amazon, you may want to take advantage of the providers offered in Amazon’s Service Provider Network.
- If you sell exclusively on Amazon, we will contact you again in the future with more information about additional Responsible Person services.
If you already have a Responsible Person for your brand/ASINs
You have to let Amazon know. Amazon needs to collect the contact information of the Responsible Person for non-EU brands/ASINs, and they will communicate shortly on how to notify Amazon of your Responsible Person.
If you are a reseller of CE-marked products
If you don’t own a brand, Amazon recommends talking with your upstream suppliers to confirm they are aware of the upcoming changes and to ensure
- They are taking appropriate actions to appoint a Responsible Person.
- You can also confirm with your manufacturer/supplier if they have a subsidiary in the EU or already have an EU importer that could be your Responsible person.
- Or the testing laboratory or the certification company that your manufacturer/supplier uses for your products may be offering Responsible Person services.
How to send your Responsible Person information to Amazon?
When you select your brands/ASINs, you will be directed to the process of uploading your Responsible Person information outlining the required fields for completion. Note that due to the requirements of the regulation, the Responsible Person form will only allow you to upload an EU address as your Responsible Person is required to be based in the EU.
The dashboard allows you to provide the contact details of your Responsible Person. The brand and ASIN workflow will request you to specify if your Responsible Person covers all distribution channels (Universal) or just a specific distribution channel (Specific).
For more information about the Responsible Person Dashboard, you can refer to this page.