It’s fast approaching Christmas and with that comes high demand for the seasonal best sellers.  However, the news that more than 15,000 hoverboards have been seized over safety concerns serves as a sage reminder of the importance of ensuring that you meet the requisite product safety standards.

Here are our five top tips for retailers to avoid falling foul of their legal requirements and selling unsafe goods this Christmas:

  1. Know your supplier: ensure you have conducted due diligence and are confident that they will deliver safe, good-quality items. For instance, check whether any products they have supplied have been subject to a recall.
  2. Check for a CE mark: this mark acts as a manufacturer’s declaration that an item meets EU safety standards.  But don’t rely solely on the presence of a CE mark, you must undertake your own checks and sometimes sample tests to ensure that the supporting documentation is in place and that the product is safe.
  3. Test your products: as CE marks are not required for all items, consider the risks presented by the product and what checks you would expect to have been undertaken. Always ask your supplier for evidence that testing and checks have been undertaken.
  4. Understand your duties: your obligations in this area will vary depending on whether you are a producer or a distributor. Certain products have specific legislation which relates to them. While this can seem overwhelming, it is important that everyone in the business, particularly those in buying teams, understand the extent of your duties.
  5. Keep a papertrail: while Christmas is a busy time, ensure that you have kept the documents (including emails) that demonstrate the checks you have made on suppliers and products.  Should any questions be raised at a later date, having the necessary documentation in place will help to demonstrate that you have satisfied your obligations.