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The different roles of economic operators



MDR and IVDR place many new requirements on all economic operators. To find out which requirements you must meet, it is important to determine what role you have according to the regulations.

Be advised that a business may have several of the roles depending on which activities they perform. For example, a manufacturer may have a manufacturer role for the device they manufacture themselves, and a distributor role for other medical devices they sell together with their own devices. 

Figure: Economic operators in the supply chain.

Overview of the different roles of economic operators: ​

Table showing the definition in MDR and IVDR of different roles of an economic operator
Economic operator

Definition in M​DR Article 2 and IVDR Article 2

Manufacturer ​A natural or legal person who manufactures or fully refurbishes a device or has a device designed, manufactured or fully refurbished, and markets that device under its name or trademark.
​Authorised representative ​Any natural or legal person established within the Union* who has received and accepted a written mandate from a manufacturer, located outside the Union*, to act on the manufacturer's behalf in relation to specified tasks with regard to the latter's obligations under this Regulation.
​Importer ​Any natural or legal person established within the Union* that places a device from a third country on the Union* market.
Distributor ​Any natural or legal person in the supply chain, other than the manufacturer or the importer, that makes a device available on the market, up until the point of putting into service.
Health institution​ ​An organisation the primary purpose of which is the care or treatment of patients or the promotion of public health.
*«Union» in this context means countries in the EU/EEA and​ Turkey.  

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