New Office for Product Safety and Standards

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced the creation of a new office tasked with identifying consumer risks and managing responses to large-scale product recalls and repairs.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards, part of the government’s response to the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety, will enable the UK to meet the evolving challenges of product safety amid the increasing rate of product innovation and online shopping.

The office will also co-ordinate work across local authorities where action is needed on a national scale and ensure that the UK continues to carry out appropriate border checks on imported products once the UK leaves the EU.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “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. I thank the working group for their efforts to help improve product safety and I look forward to working with them in this new phase.”

Simon Blackburn, chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “The LGA is pleased that its call for more support from government for local trading standards teams around product safety has been answered. The announcement is a positive step towards making sure that those teams are able to protect our residents from faulty electrical equipment, such as tumble dryers or fridge freezers, which can cause fires which can destroy life and devastate property. We look forward to seeing more detail on these proposals in due course, and are happy to work with the government where we can to help make sure all electrical products are as safe as possible.”