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 (GPS) Regulations 2005
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of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 were repealed as they served no
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.
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
The DTI has prepared the following
guidance (and electronic forms) to support local authorities and
producers/distributors in the
Guidance for local authorities (revised October 2005).
clause contacts (for local authority use).
Guidance for producers and distributors.
Reaction Form (for local authority
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.
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
The Trading Standards Central web
site contains a list of product
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
Directive applies to consumer products and products used at a place
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.
Department has produced a Guide to the Consumer Protection Act 1987 which
included a summary of the product liability provisions.
the button to read our fact sheet on
Safety of Services
Awareness and Research