Concerns voiced over lack of access to EU Safety Gate post-Brexit

Published on: April 15th, 2019

Which? says spotting and dealing with unsafe products will be delayed unless continued access to the European Safety Gate system is negotiated.

As reported by the Guardian, dangerous goods including toys could flood into the UK after Brexit unless the government urgently reforms the current “failing” safety enforcement system, the consumer group Which? has warned.

Its new analysis shows the scheme, under which 31 European countries alert each other to products with serious safety problems, issued 34% more notifications in 2018 than a decade ago. Last year the system flagged 2,064 dangerous non-food products – 500 more than in 2008, when the figure stood at 1,542. While part of the increase may be attributed to better reporting by authorities, the increase highlights the scale of unsafe products that must be tackled, Which? said.

Action can include recalls, warnings or seizure of products at the border, all of which are reliant on increasingly cash-strapped trading standards run by local councils.

“With more products than ever before being declared unsafe, it’s clear that an already failing consumer enforcement system needs a major shake-up to ensure that people aren’t left at risk from dangerous products in their homes” said Caroline Normand, the Which? director of advocacy. “If it is to make people’s safety the number one priority, the government must secure access to the European alert and information sharing systems after Brexit, as well as introduce major domestic reforms to ensure consumers are properly protected from unsafe products.”

In 2018 toys and vehicles were the product categories with the highest number of safety notices, 655 and 419 respectively, and both with significant increases over 10 years.

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