The government has launched a three-month consultation to ensure that regulation on product safety is “fit for the future”.
It aims to:
- Reduce compliance costs for lower risk products and make the conformity assessment process easier where possible;
- Create greater scope for innovation by shifting the balance between regulation and industry-led standards.
- Introduce voluntary e-labelling.
- Make online shopping as safe as high street shopping. [The EU has already regulated to control e-shops based abroad.]
- Strengthen the role of OPSS (the Office for Product Safety and Standards).
It is a lengthy consultation with 23 questions – here is a flavour of them:
- Are there specific products where action could be taken to reduce burdens to innovation?
- Do you agree that regulatory requirements should be related to safety risk?
- What role should standards and testing requirements play?
- What guidance is needed, including for pre-market risk assessment?
- Should there be due care requirements in relation to unsafe product listings?
- Do you agree there should be a new “legal data gateway”?
- Do you agree with the proposal to bring in “improvements notices, civil monetary penalties and enforcement undertakings”?
- Is the current civil product liability regime fit for purpose?
The consultation has been much delayed, due in part to frequent changes in responsible ministers but its publication will be widely welcomed. You can get more details at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/smarter-regulation-uk-product-safety-review.
We will be working with EAMA to respond to the consultation and would welcome your feedback – please send any comments to Jack Semple at EAMA (email: [email protected]) and Geoff Noon at MTA (email: [email protected]). You can, of course, make your own submission to the review.