Until July 2021, most businesses from outside the European Union did not have to have an economic operator inside the EU. Instead, they could sell their goods directly to the end-user or via fulfilment service providers such Wish, Amazon or Alibaba. As a result, there was no control over product quality, and it was not clear who was responsible for the product's compliance status.
However, the market situation changed with the introduction of the new Market Surveillance Regulation (EU) 2019/1020. The Regulation came into force, placing more requirements on all products sold in the EU and obligating non-EU manufacturers to appoint an authorised representative.
Therefore, you need to have an EU authorised representative if your business:
- does not have any actual presence or an address anywhere in the European Union,
- and is offering goods to EU consumers.
Furthermore, due to Brexit, you also need an EU authorised representative if you're based in the UK. Otherwise, you need to suspend all your business activities within the EU.