To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that third-party toy sellers are traceable and accountable for products sold via online marketplaces to children in the UK.
16 September 2021
The Government is committed to ensuring that only safe consumer products can be sold in the UK. Product safety legislation places obligations on manufacturers, importers and distributors and this includes overseas online retailers selling goods via marketplaces.
Under the UK Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011, a toy must be marked with the name of the UK-based manufacturer or UK-based importer, and the address at which they can be contacted. Where this is not possible on the toy, the relevant information must be present on the toy’s packaging or in an accompanying document.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is taking forward a programme of work to ensure that major online marketplaces are playing their part to protect UK consumers from unsafe goods sold via third parties. OPSS works with colleagues in local Trading Standards to take action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale. This has recently included action taken to ensure that a number of non-compliant products, including toys, being sold by third-party sellers have been removed from sale, delisted, recalled or destroyed. In addition, we are developing a new voluntary commitment for online marketplaces to agree further actions they will take to reduce the risks from unsafe products being sold online.
OPSS is also 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. 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.