Public Services > Central Government

Government launches new office for product safety and standards

Matteo Natalucci Published 22 January 2018

The office, to be based within BEIS, will have a budget of around £12m per year and be responsible for enhancing the UK’s product safety system and giving consumers a high level of protection


The government has announced the creation of a new national oversight body tasked with identifying consumer risks and managing responses to large-scale product recalls and repairs.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards will be responsible for enhancing the UK’s product safety system and giving consumers a high level of protection. It will enable the UK to meet the evolving challenges of product safety by responding to expanding international trade, the growth in online shopping and the increasing rate of product innovation.

In addition to ensuring the UK continues to carry out appropriate border checks on imported products once the UK leaves the European Union, the office will provide support and advice for local authority Trading Standards teams.

The office will have a budget of around £12m per year when fully operational.

The government will work with consumer groups, manufacturers and retailers to ensure the office coordinates the UK’s product safety regime as effectively as possible.

The office will be based in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and will start work immediately.

Business minister Andrew Griffiths said, “The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will strengthen the UK’s already tough product safety regime and will allow consumers to continue to buy secure in the knowledge there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced”.

Neil Gibbins, Chair of the working group, said, “It has been my mission to make the public safe since I joined the fire service nearly 40 years ago. That’s why I’m pleased to see the government respond to our recommendations with concrete steps to ensure the safety of consumers, now and in the future”.

The announcement comes as part of the government’s response to the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety. Established in October 2016 by former Consumer Minister Margot James – who is now Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) - the group of product and fire safety experts was brought together to build on the recommendations made by Lynn Faulds Wood in her independent review into consumer product recalls.

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