Supply chain · 23 January 2018

Product safety agency launched to protect consumers from dangerous goods

Ministers were warned that product safety procedures needed immediate reform
The government has announced the creation of a new product safety agency tasked with identifying risks to consumers and guaranteeing fair competition among businesses.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), based in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will provide support and advice to local authority trading standards teams, and will ensure imports to the UK are effectively checked once Britain leaves the EU.

The body’s creation followed recommendations made by a parliamentary committee which detailed concerns that safety compliance and enforcement were currently being overlooked.

The report shone a light onto the risks facing consumers from unsafe goods, but also highlighted the need to protect small businesses from unfair competition, i.e. imported goods failing to meet compliance measures.

Pressure to act on the report’s findings came from consumer watchdog Which, which called for urgent reform to product safety procedures.

despite hundreds of reported fires and numerous reviews, the UK’s product safety system is still broken and potentially threatening the lives of millions of consumers, warned Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services.

we have already seen the tragic consequences of companies behaving badly and delays to improving the system. The government must no longer allow these dangerous products to remain in people’s homes and must bring in immediate reforms.

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Rushed to market product recall disasters slow and steady wins the race

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According to BEIS, the office will support manufacturers, retailers and importers in meeting regulatory requirements for goods.



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