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Products: Internet

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 164627, tabled on 8 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what requirements there are for online marketplaces to check the safety of the products that are sold via their platforms.

Answered on

16 March 2021

The Government is committed to ensuring that only safe consumer products can be sold in the UK. Product safety legislation places obligations on distributors to act with due care to ensure products they are selling are safe. This includes online retailers selling goods via marketplaces. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has recently taken action to ensure that a number of non-compliant products being sold by overseas third-party sellers have been removed from sale and are recalled, including toys.

The OPSS is also engaging proactively with major online marketplaces to ensure that they are playing their part in protecting UK consumers from unsafe products. This includes developing a new voluntary commitment for online marketplaces to agree actions they will take to reduce the risks from unsafe products being sold online, enabling them to publicly demonstrate their commitment to the safety of their consumers in the UK.

In order to ensure that the UK’s Product Safety framework is flexible and fit for the future, the OPSS is conducting a review. The review will ensure we have a framework that delivers safety for consumers while supporting businesses to innovate and grow and will consider the impact on product safety of non-traditional business models, including third-party sales.

Answered by

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy