Every Company that sells products worldwide, and with the Holidays approaching, MUST be ready and know the risks involved.
Consider yourselves warned. Been there seen the terrible mistakes that have cost companies millions of dollars in returns simply because Europe did not allow entrance due to wrong CE markings on products, or due to unnecessary shipping delays.
Don’t be one of the companies that have to fail miserably in order to learn the right way to do things!
1. IF you sell to Europe, there is the CE certification issue:
Even if your product is manufactured outside the EEA , you must ensure the product bears CE marking if your product comes under the scope of a directive requiring CE Marking. CE marking applies to products, ranging from electrical equipment to toys and to medical devices.
CE marking is mandatory for certain product groups within the European Economic Area (EEA; the 28-member states of the EU plus EFTA countries Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) plus Switzerland and Turkey. The manufacturer of products made within the EEA and the importer of goods made in other countries must ensure that CE-marked goods conform to standards.
The directives requiring CE marking affect the following product groups:
- Active implantable medical devices (excludes surgical instruments)
- Appliances burning gaseous fuels
- Cableway installations designed to carry persons
- Construction products according to Regulation (EU) No. 305/2011under specific rules
- Eco-design of energy related products
- Electromagnetic compatibility – Electronic devices
- Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
- Explosives for civil uses
- Hot-water boilers
- In vitro diagnostic medical devices
- Low voltage
- Measuring Instruments
- Medical devices
- Noise emission in the environment
- Non-automatic weighing instruments
- Personal protective equipment
- Pressure equipment
- Radio and telecommunications terminal equipment
- Recreational craft
- Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment RoHS 2
- Safety of toys
- Simple pressure vessels
2. INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING
Be VERY clear on your website about shipping times, and choose your carrier wisely.
There are Shipping companies that have hubs in Europe, which will create problems during the holiday rush. An example: Let’s say your company is located in California and you ship something to South America. Your product will be picked up, sent to their hub in Europe for sorting and then be shipped to South America. This is a huge waste of time, and will create returns, cancellations, and of course delays which buyers hate especially during peak season.
To be ahead of the game, offer different options for different countries.
Also BE VERY CLEAR ON YOUR WEBSITE about return policies, delivery delays, and NOT on the purchase receipt!!! People never read this after a purchase and always win chargebacks and claims after the fact.
Create a special page on your site, “Shipping and Return Policy” and make it simple, to the point, and easy to read.
Good Luck and Happy Sales!!!