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Consumer Goods: Electrical Safety

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 31520, tabled on 12 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of adopting as Government policy the recommendations of Electrical Safety First's campaign on (a) improving the regulation of electrical goods on online marketplaces and (b) bringing the regulation of those goods on online marketplaces into line with the regulation of those goods on the physical high street.

Answered on

15 July 2021

The Government is committed to ensuring that only safe products can be sold in the UK.

Existing laws require that all consumer products, including electrical goods sold online, must be safe before they can be placed on the UK market. The national product safety regulator, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), and Local Authority Trading Standards have powers to take action against manufacturers, importers or distributors who sell unsafe consumer products through online marketplaces.

The OPSS also actively identifies products available online that pose a serious risk, ensuring that non-compliant products being sold by third-party sellers are removed from sale. Between February and April 2021, OPSS interventions led to the withdrawal and recall of more than 5,000 unsafe products previously listed and available in the UK via online marketplaces.

The OPSS is currently conducting a review of the UK’s product safety framework, including in relation to e-commerce, to ensure it remains fit for purpose, protects consumers, and enables businesses to innovate and grow. Through the review, officials are engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure we have the broadest possible evidence base to inform future policy. This includes Electrical Safety First who participated in recent roundtable discussions on the review.

The Government issued a public Call for Evidence to support the review which closed on 17 June. Officials are currently reviewing the evidence received and we will publish a response in due course.

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