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Product Safety
|General Product Safety | Unsafe Product Notification Procedures | Product Recall | Product LiabilityContacts |

This page gives information on general product safety, unsafe product notification procedures, recalls and product liability. Click here for information on products, or product areas, which are covered by specific safety regulations or considerations.

General Product Safety

General Product Safety (GPS) Regulations 2005

The General Product Safety (GPS) Regulations 2005 which implement Directive 2001/95/EC, came into force in the UK on 1st October 2005. On the same date the General Product Safety Regulations 1994 and s10 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 were repealed as they served no further purpose.

In principle, the 2005 Regulations apply to all products (new and second-hand) used by consumers, whether intended for them or not. The caveat to this is that product-specific legislation will continue to take precedence in areas where this has provisions with similar objectives to those of the GPS Regulations. There are also some exceptions to the cover for second-hand products.

The 2005 Regulations maintain the general duty placed on producers and distributors to place on the market (or supply) only products that are safe in normal or reasonable foreseeable use. The principal responsibility for day-to-day enforcement of the Regulations lies with local authorities.

GPS Regulations 2005 Guidance.
GPS Regulations 2005 RIA.
DTI Press Notice on new Regulations.

Click the button to read our fact sheet on Product Safety.


Unsafe Product Notification Procedures

The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 introduce three different duties for notifying unsafe products.

Two of these (for products presenting a serious risk in need of urgent intervention, and non-serious risk requiring some intervention) are duties placed on local authorities to notify the DTI.

The third is a general duty placed on producers and distributors to notify the local authorities when they become aware they have placed on the market, or distributed, an unsafe product.

The DTI has prepared the following guidance (and electronic forms) to support local authorities and producers/distributors in the notification process.

Notification Guidance for local authorities (revised October 2005).
Safeguards clause contacts (for local authority use).
Notification Guidance for producers and distributors.
Notification Form.
Reaction Form (for local authority use).
Producer and Distributor Notification Form.

It is known that the European Commission is currently reviewing the producer/distributor notification form and guidance. The DTI's guidance may need to be revised towards the end of 2005. It will be made clear here if and when the guidance is revised.

Product Recall

The European Commission (with DTI support) has issued a good practice guide "Product Safety in Europe" on corrective actions including recall. The guide is aimed at improving the effectiveness of recalls of unsafe products from the community market.

49 pages.

The Trading Standards Central web site contains a list of product safety notices/recalls.

Product Liability


Directive 85/374/EEC, which was transposed into UK law in Part 1 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA), imposes strict liability on producers for harm caused by defective products. This means that people who are injured by defective products can sue for compensation without having to prove the producer negligent, provided that they can prove that the product was defective and the defect in the product caused the injury.

The Directive applies to consumer products and products used at a place of work.

An amendment (Directive 1999/34EC) was adopted in 1999 extending product liability for defective products to include primary agricultural products and games with effect from 4 December 2000, which was matched by a corresponding amendment to the CPA. This means that all products are now covered.

The Department has produced a Guide to the Consumer Protection Act 1987 which included a summary of the product liability provisions. 

Printed copy

Click the button to read our fact sheet on Product Liability.


DTI Enquiry Unit dti.enquiries@dti.gsi.gov.uk 020 7215 5000

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Last updated 11 October 2005

Department of Trade and Industry

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