Jewelry Requirements and Tests for the UK and EU Markets

There are many requirements that have to be considered when importing and selling jewelry in the UK and European markets. These requirements are divided into three categories:

  • Legal Requirements - These are laws surrounding the import and sale of jewelry in markets such as the EU. These requirements are mandatory.
  • Common Requirements - These are the requirements observed by competing companies in the same marketplace. While they are not mandatory, adhering to them will help you stay competitive.
  • Niche Requirements - These are market requirements that only apply to a specific market segment, e.g. jewelry.

We will examine each of these categories of requirements and investigate how they apply to the import and sale of jewelry in the European Market, including the UK, which is subject to EU regulations.

Legal Requirements

These requirements are laid out in European laws, and your product must meet them in order to be sold in the European market.

Chemicals - Restricted Substances

Jewelry is generally worn against the skin and is therefore subject to chemical regulations, which aim to eliminate toxic chemicals or chemicals known to cause allergic reactions.

The following restricted chemicals are most likely to be found in jewelry are:

  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Cadmium

The regulations for restricted chemicals is known as the REACH Regulation. Your Jewelry should be tested for REACH compliance before being shipped to the EU.

General Product Safety

Any product that is sold in the EU must be safe for the consumer to use. Many products have specific regulations to which they must adhere. If no specific regulations apply to your product, then it must comply with the General Product Safety Directive.

Also bear in mind that product safety regulations will vary depending on the exporting and importing country. You can check if there are any specific regulations that apply to your product by visiting this page: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tradehelp/

Make sure you select the correct import and export countries and use the product code for jewelry: 7113000000.

Hallmarks (for gold and silver jewelry)

Unfortunately, the regulations for hallmarks are not standardized amongst the EU member states. To find out what your market’s requirements are, you will need to check with the country you are exporting to.

Packaging

There is non-product-specific legislation on packaging and liability that applies to all goods marketed in the EU. These regulations generally focus on minimizing waste, ensuring recyclability, and eliminating toxic substances. Information on EU packaging regulations can be found here.

Common Requirements

These are requirements generally observed by other companies which sell products in the same marketplace. While you have no legal obligation to follow these requirements, ignoring them may make your product less desirable for potential buyers.

Sustainability - Environmental impact

These requirements assess the impact of your product on the environment. Environmental considerations cover such things as:

  • Energy and water consumption
  • Waste management
  • Recycling
  • Packaging
Social Responsibility and Compliance - Hygiene, Health, and Safety

These requirements are all about how you treat your workers. They should have a safe, clean working environment and be adequately paid for their labor.

Niche Requirements

Precious Metals and Stones - Traceability

Increasingly, buyers of jewelry are demanding a guarantee that the metal and precious stones in their purchases were ethically sourced.

A buyer does not want to discover that they have purchased “blood diamonds” or that slave labor was used to mine the gold.

How to Meet These Requirements - Testing and Inspection

The best way to ensure that your products meet all of these requirements is to engage professionals who have the knowledge, procedures, and equipment to analyze your products and production processes, identify any problems, and advise you on any corrective action you may need.

Your Supply Chain

Even if your direct supplier complies to all common and niche requirements, you should ensure that their own suppliers and subcontractors (raw materials, components, outsourced work) satisfy the same standards. Buyers are increasingly demanding that the entire manufacturing chain from raw materials to finished product is ethically and environmentally responsible.

QIMA

QIMA is an end-to-end quality and compliance service. We provide laboratory testing, complete production and supply chain inspection, and factory audits.

Laboratory Jewelry Testing

QIMA has 3 in-house laboratories along with certified partners in over 120 countries. These laboratories can test jewelry to see if it meets the REACH chemical standards, as well as any workmanship and physical standards dictated by product safety requirements.

Inspection Services

QIMA can conduct an inspection at your production facility anywhere in the world, within 48 hours of your order. You can also schedule regular inspections to ensure your production process maintains the standards you expect.

Furthermore, QIMA can audit your suppliers to ensure that they conform to your and your buyers’ ethical, social and environmental expectations.

Get in touch with an QIMA specialist and begin exporting to the UK and the EU with confidence.