Anti-counterfeiting and product safety
The safety and labelling of consumer products, whether they are sold as new or second hand, is controlled by a range of product specific and general product safety regulations.
Many of these place legal duties on retailers as well as the manufacturers, importers and distributors.
Local trading standards are responsible for enforcement of the law overseen by the government's Office of Product Safety and Standards. We can visit businesses to inspect goods and to take samples for testing to ensure that items are safe and labelled correctly.
Examples of products controlled by specific regulations include;
- electrical goods
- tobacco / vaping products and e-cigarettes
- upholstered furniture.
There are also trade sector specific products that are covered by safety regulations such as;
- construction products
- personal protective equipment
In addition, trading standards have certain responsibilities under health & safety legislation covering the classfication and labelling of dangerous products and biocidal products. These regulations are overseen by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
Breaching safety regulations and selling unsafe products can lead to criminal prosecution as well as civil liability for any damages or injuries caused. Conviction fines and a term of imprisonment can be imposed.
Trading standards also have a range of powers to seize goods, order withdrawals or recalls or to require markings, and the issuing of warnings in certain circumstances.
For more information on tobacco and vaping see our pages on Illegal tobacco, e-cigarettes and shisha.
For business information on product safety visit the business companion website.
The OPSS publish an A-Z of industry guidance on their website.
The HSE also publish an A-Z of industry guidance on their website.
Page last updated: 02 February 2022