If you are importing goods into the EU you will be responsible for ensuring that they comply with relevant legislation. You will be classed as an importer if you buy goods from a non-EU country and have them transported into the UK. If you are importing food you need to contact Port Health.

Do not assume that because the product is legal in one country it will be OK to sell in the EU; food, cosmetics and goods covered by safety regulations will often need new labels or may not be capable of complying. This occurs as some countries allow goods to contain chemicals, additives or food ingredients which are not permitted in the UK or EU.

Most safety standards are common across the EU but please check. Equally, goods that are required to be labelled will need an English language label.

Importing and selling goods bearing Trade Marks

The Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 provide substantial penalties for supplying or possessing for supply counterfeit or fake products.

It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that goods you sell are legitimate and can legally be marked with trade marks. Some products by their very design are protected. The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has information on trade marks and copyright.

Essential note: If you want advice after you have become aware that you have committed a criminal offence or are not complying with legislation for which a penalty might be imposed, we may be limited as to the help we can provide. If, during the course of providing advice to you, we become aware that you may have committed an offence or be liable for a penalty we will tell you.