Unsafe and dangerous products put UK citizens at risk
Failure to comply with regulations and standards could be a matter of life and death, according to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
CTSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore said: “Unsafe and dangerous products put UK citizens’ lives at risk. CE marking is a valuable tool in enabling trading standards to ensure that goods sold in the UK meet the highest standards.”
Manufacturers and distributors of many goods manufactured or important into the EU have a legal responsibility to ensure that their products conform to CE (Conformité Européenne) marking, a reassuring symbol which indicates that goods such as toys, electrical items and construction products have been tested to high standards and don't put the public's health and safety at risk.
Responsibility for using the CE mark also extends to those that are not the manufacturer yet import products into the EU, e.g. from China or the USA: essentially this is because a product must conform the first time a product is placed either on the single market or into the EEA (European Economic Area).
Trading standards experts have published a new video guide
for businesses on CE marking, to ensure consumers and businesses are protected. Look at the government-backed Business Companion website
, produced by CTSI, to watch.
A spokesman for Business Companion said that those who fail to comply with CE marking risk exposing consumers to serious harm and risk potential enforcement action from market surveillance authorities such as trading standards. Ultimately, products could be removed from the EU market and penalties such as fines or imprisonment could be imposed for non-compliance.
Natasha Crookes of the British Toy & Hobby Association said: “As the mark is linked to membership of the European Single Market, we would encourage government to be thinking about retaining or exploring alternatives to the CE marking as part of Brexit discussions, so that the UK does not become a dumping ground for unsafe toys if we can no longer rely on a CE marking.”