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Cracking down on unsafe products and unscrupulous traders

Portsmouth City Council upholds trading standards; the role includes cracking down on unsafe products and unscrupulous traders.

For more information follow the links below, email us at, call 023 9284 1295, or write to us at Environment & Public Protection Service, Portsmouth City Council, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2PQ.

Trading standards legislation

The UK Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the General Product Safety Regulations 1994 have led to an increase in the provision of safety in consumer goods.

A number of regulations made under the Consumer Protection Act, such as the Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995 and the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, legislate on particular types of goods.

European legislation

The increase in European directives being enacted by UK regulations, for example Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 1992, has also meant a wider role for Trading Standards officers.

UK Regulations which implement EU 100A directives are becoming an important area of trading standards responsibility. The regulations deal with a very wide and varied range of products and attempt to reduce the barriers to trade through ‘Essential Safety Requirements’. Some examples of the regulations already implemented include Medical Devices Regulations 1994 and Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992.

Toy safety

Below are a few simple checks which are helpful if you are buying toys:

  • all toys must comply with the government’s Toy Safety Regulations – if they do then they will have the ‘CE’ safety mark on them.
  • toy manufacturers are required to put a contact address on their toys, while toys with magnets, or with small parts that could be swallowed by very small children, should carry relevant warnings.
  • have a general look at the toy, does it look safe? For example, are there any sharp edges? Do components appear to be fitted tightly, such as the eyes on soft cuddly toys?

If you think a trader isn’t following these regulations, let us know and include the following information:

  • name and address of the shop
  •  if the toy has a CE mark on it
  • whether the manufacturer’s details are on the toy
  • whether the toy looks safe
  • whether the toy carries required warnings.