An economic operator is a business that supplies goods or services within the context of market operations. 

The following types of economic operators can be distinguished:

  • manufacturer - a natural or legal person who produces a product and markets that product under their name or trademark;
  • authorised representative - a natural or legal person who is located within the European Union and has received a mandate from a non-EU manufacturer to act on their behalf in relation to specific tasks;
  • importer - a natural or legal person based within the European Union who places a product from a non-EU country on the Union's market;
  • distributor - a natural or legal person in the supply chain, who is not a manufacturer or importer and makes a product available on the EU market; 

Note that a 'natural person' is an identifiable individual, while a 'legal person' is a corporate body such as a limited company.