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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Building blocks of the single market

Legislation on the single market for goods aims to ensure that products placed on the EU market meet high health, safety and environmental requirements and that products allowed to be sold in the EU can circulate without barriers to trade, and with a minimum of administrative burden.

The following are key elements for the internal market for goods:

  • Safety - products marketed in the EU have to meet high safety and environment protection requirements.
  • Standards - standards define technical or quality requirements for products, production processes, services, or test-methods. Standardisation is a tool for industry to ensure performance, safety, and the interoperability of products. More about European standardisation.
  • Conformity assessment - the conformity assessment procedure is carried out before the product can be placed on the EU market. A manufacturer can only place a product on the EU market when it meets all the applicable requirements. More about the conformity assessment procedure.
  • Accreditation - accreditation is the last level of public control in the European conformity assessment system. It is designed to ensure that conformity assessment bodies have the technical capacity to perform their duties. More about accreditation.
  • Notified bodies - a notified body is an organisation designated by an EU country to assess the conformity of certain products before they are placed on the market. More about notified bodies.
  • Market surveillance - market surveillance checks that non-food products on the EU market do not endanger European consumers and workers, and whether other public interests, such as the environment, security and fairness in trade, are protected. More about market surveillance.
  • ICSMS - Information and Communication System on Market Surveillance (ICSMS) is an IT platform to facilitate communication between market surveillance bodies in the EU and EFTA countries. More about ICSMS.
  • CE marking - CE marking signifies that products sold in the EU have been assessed to meet all the applicable safety, health and environmental protection requirements. More about CE marking.
  • Legal metrology - the EU’s legislation on legal metrology is one of the pillars of the Single Market for products. EU requirements aim to promote technological innovation, the protection of health, public safety, the protection of the environment and fair trade. More about legal metrology.
  • External borders - EU countries check products that come from outside its external borders.

Guidance on EU product rules