United Kingdom - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade

Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.

Last published date: 2022-09-12


The British Standards Institute (BSI) is appointed by the UK government as the national standards body, holds the Royal Charter, and represents UK interests at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the European Standards Organizations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI). Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first national standards body.

As the UK National Standards Body, BSI helps improve the quality and safety of products, services, and systems by enabling the creation of standards and encouraging their use. BSI represents UK economic and social interests across all European and international standards organizations and in the development of business information solutions for British organizations of all sizes and sectors.

BSI publishes over 3,100 standards each year, underpinned by a collaborative approach that engages industry experts, government bodies, trade associations, businesses of all sizes and consumers to develop standards that reflect good business practice, protect consumers, and facilitate international trade.


The global business landscape is constantly evolving, and staying on top of geopolitical, technological, and cultural change is a challenge for every business with international interests. A strategic approach using international standards enables businesses to capitalize on the benefits of international trade while strengthening business operations, protecting brand reputation, and managing change.

International standards from ISO and IEC are a cornerstone of the WTO rules-based trading system. They are adopted through BSI as British Standards to create a common language for trading partners. They deliver simpler market access globally. The majority of British standards are international, and are actively worked on by UK stakeholders, helping to equip all businesses, including SMEs, for international trade.

Testing, Inspection, and Certification

BSI offers a range of testing and certification services including new product development, pre-assessment, gap analysis, batch testing and full compliance testing. BSI – a Notified Body for CE marking, an Approved Body for UKCA marking, and owner of BSI Kitemark certification – has one of the widest testing and certification capabilities in the world, providing confidence in products that  enables them to gain access to global markets.

Publication of Technical Regulation

The UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking is a new UK product marking used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland). It covers most goods that previously required the CE marking, known as ‘new approach’ goods. The UKCA marking came into effect on January 1, 2021. However, to allow businesses time to adjust to the new requirements, the CE marking may be used until January 1, 2023, in most cases.

The UKCA marking alone cannot be used for goods placed on the Northern Ireland market. See the guidance on placing goods on the Northern Ireland market.

For guidance and information on placing goods on the market in the UK, see the guidance on placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain. There is also separate guidance for medical devices, rail interoperability, construction products and civil explosives.

Resources available on the BSI Group website will help you with UKCA marking issues concerning product certification.

From the beginning of 2023, only products with the UKCA marking will be accepted in Great Britain. This does not apply to existing stock; for example, if a good was fully manufactured, CE marked and ready to place on the market before January 1, 2021. In this case, the good can still be sold in Great Britain with a CE marking even if covered by a certificate of conformity issued by a UK body before January 1, 2021. Such goods will need to be placed on the market before 31 December 2022.

Contact Information

For questions linked to certification issues (i.e., CE or UKCA marking) please visit BSI Group.

Phone number: +011 44 345 080 9000


BSI Group

389 Chiswick High Road

London W4 4AL

For Specific enquiries

Use ePing to review proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures 

The ePing SPS&TBT platform (https://epingalert.org/), or “ePing”, provides access to notifications made by WTO Members under the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), distributed by the WTO from January 16, 1995 to present.  ePing is available to all stakeholders free of charge and does not require registration unless the user wishes to receive customized e-mail alerts.  Use it to browse notifications on past as well as new draft and updated product regulations, food safety and animal and plant health standards and regulations, find information on trade concerns discussed in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees, locate information on SPS/TBT Enquiry Points and notification authorities, and to follow and review current and past notifications concerning regulatory actions on products, packaging, labeling, food safety and animal and plant health measures in markets of interest. 

Notify U.S., operated and maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 2003 to distribute and provide access to notifications (and associated draft texts) made under the WTO TBT Agreement for US stakeholders, has reached its end of life.  Per obligation under the TBT Agreement, each WTO Member operates a national TBT (and an SPS) Enquiry Point.   National TBT Enquiry Points are authorized to accept comments and official communications from other national TBT Enquiry Points, which are NOT part of the WTO or the WTO Secretariat.  All comment submissions from U.S. stakeholders, including businesses, trade associations, U.S domiciled standards development organizations and conformity assessment bodies, consumers, or U.S. government agencies on notifications to the WTO TBT Committee should be sent directly to the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point.  Refer to the comment guidance at https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/guidance/guidance.cfm for further information.