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New Oversight Body to Improve Product Safety

The UK Government has announced the launch of a new national oversight body tasked with identifying consumer risks and managing responses to large-scale product recalls and repairs. 

It says that the new Office for Product Safety and Standards will enable the UK to meet the evolving challenges of product safety by responding to expanding international trade, the growth in online shopping and the increasing rate of product innovation.

In addition to providing support and advice for local authority Trading Standards teams, the office will co-ordinate work across local authorities where action is needed on a national scale and will ensure the UK continues to carry out appropriate border checks on imported products once the UK leaves the European Union.

The Government stresses that the creation of the new body will not lessen any of the legal responsibilities that sit with manufacturers, importers and retailers to present safe products to the market, and to take rapid effective action when safety issues arise with their products.

The announcement is apparently part of the Government’s response to the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety. This was established in October 2016 to build on the recommendations made by Lynn Faulds Wood in her independent review into consumer product recalls.

“The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will strengthen the UK’s already tough product safety regime and will allow consumers to continue to buy secure in the knowledge there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced,” explained Business Minister Andrew Griffiths.

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