General Product Safety Regulations

The General Product Safety Regulations (GPS) 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On the same date the General Product Safety Regulations 1994 and s10 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 were repealed as they served no further purpose.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.

For the first time, the Regulations recognise certain technical standards as carrying a presumption of conformity with the general safety requirement, meaning that products that comply with them are deemed to be safe. Such standards are referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union, and a link (provided on the right) will take you to the latest list of these European Standards on the European Commission website.