Part 2 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 established the general safety requirements when concerned with products. This part of the Consumer Protection Act has now however been developed further by the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
General Product Safety Regulations 2005
Definition of Product
Under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 a product is defined as something which is intended for consumers or is reasonably foreseeable to be used by consumers even if it is not intended for them.
This is a wide definition of product and effectively covers all consumer goods such as food and goods used in the work place.
It does not cover equipment used by service providers to provide a service for specific consumers, for example equipment on which consumers ride or travel on which is operated by a service provider.
Definition of Producer
When established in a European Union Member State
Under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 a producer is defined as the following:
The manufacturer of a product,
any other person presenting himself as the manufacturer by affixing to the product his name, trade mark or other distinctive mark, or the person who reconditions the product;
When the manufacturer is not established in a European Union Member State
Under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 a producer who is not established in a European Union Member State will be considered a producer:
if he has a representative established in a Member State or
if he imports the product into a Member State
Individuals who have not produced the Product but who are involved in the supply chain
Other professionals in the supply chain, insofar as their activities may affect the safety properties of a product will be considered a producer under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
Other professionals within the supply whose activities are not involved in the safety properties of the product will be considered distributors under the regulations. This is a key distinction in relation to the obligations set out in the Regulations.
The General Product Safety Regulations specify obligations by which the producers and distributors of the products must adhere to. The obligations are as follows:
General Safety requirement – Producers
Requirements in relation to information – Producers
Requirements in relation to monitoring – Producers
Compliance with safety requirements – Distributors
Obligations in relation to enforcement authorities – Producers and Distributors
Breach of any of these obligations by producers or distributors will result in a criminal offence.
Regulation 5 specifies the general safety requirement that products should not be placed on the market unless they are safe products. Furthermore no producer may agree to supply, supply or agree to place a product on the market.
In this case even if the producer has not placed the product on the market or supplied the product but they have agreed to while knowing it is unsafe they will still be liable for criminal sanctions.
For more information on:
- Compliance with safety requirements
- Enforcement Authorities
- Are there any available defences?
- Price Indications
- Consumer Protection Act 1987
- Misleading Price Indications
- Criminal Convictions