On 29 June, the European Commission finally adopted the long-awaited update to the EU Blue Guide, the most authoritative piece of guidance on interpreting the myriad of EU product compliance legislation, including the requirements for conformity assessment and CE marking.

The update is not a substantial overhaul of the existing Blue Guide; it does not fundamentally change any of the core structure or key concepts that underpin EU product compliance laws. However, it does include some important new guidance on the application of EU product legislation to e-commerce, fulfilment service providers (FSPs) and software, amongst other changes. It also includes guidance on the new market surveillance rules brought in my the Market Surveillance Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/1020), including the new dutyholder role of the responsible economic operator.

The updated Blue Guide will be an important tool for those who are subject to EU product compliance laws, as it always has been. Although it technically has no legal weight in the UK post-Brexit (save for in Northern Ireland), in areas of UK product legislation that continue to be aligned with the EU, it will also remain a very important reference guide.

This new version of the Guide builds on the past editions, but also reflects recent changes in the legislation and in particular the adoption of a new Regulation on Market Surveillance