In our alert published on 1 February this year, we reported on the creation of a new national oversight body created to identify and manage consumer product risks and recall, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), click here.
The OPSS formed part of the Government’s response to recommendations made by the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety in 2017. It is based in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Earlier this month, the OPSS unveiled a Strategy Plan for Strengthening the National Capacity for Product Safety. The strategy has four key aims:
• analyse: make the best use of scientific evidence, incident data, risk and intelligence in decision making
• inform: help consumers make informed choices and give businesses the information they need to comply
• enforce: use the full range of tools and powers to maintain protection, fairness and confidence
• build: put in place robust systems and infrastructure to equip the UK for future challenges.
The strategy is intended to support manufacturers, retailers and importers in complying with their legal responsibilities and taking rapid action in the event of any safety issues related to their products. The OPSS’s objective is to develop a number of specialist services to support consistent national enforcement, to include aspects of product testing and technical expertise.
In addition to publication of the PAS on consumer product safety related recalls and other corrective actions, the Actions to Date completed by the OPSS include:
• training 250 Trading Standards Officers on the Code of Practice in relation to Product Recalls
• reviewing compliance systems at white goods manufacturers and suppliers
• giving Trading Standards Officers free access to all technical British Standards to equip them to identify issues and support compliance.
The Plans are intended to set out the strategy for the next two years to 2020. The link to the relevant page of the Government website which provides access to the documents relevant to the Strategy can be found here.