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General Product Safety Regulations

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The General Product Safety (GPS) Regulations 2005 which implement Directive 2001/95/EC, came into force in the UK on 1st October 2005.

The purpose of the General Product Safety Directive (GPS) is to ensure that all products intended for or likely to be used by consumers under normal or reasonably forseeable conditions are safe.  Safety takes into account factors such as the product's characteristics, instructions and warnings. Relevant Bristish or Europaen Standards can be taken into account in assessing the safety of a product.

The products covered by the Regulations include (but are not limited to) clothing, medicines, primary agricultural and horticultural products, DIY tools and equipment, food and drink, household goods, nursery goods and motor vehicles.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's (BERR) CCP Directorate in the UK has overall responsibility for the Regulations but where sectoral responsibilities for safety matters are concerned other relevant Government Departments take the lead.

Unsafe Product Notification Procedures

The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 introduce three different duties for notifying unsafe products.

Two of these (for products presenting a serious risk in need of urgent intervention, and non-serious risk requiring some intervention) are duties placed on local authorities to notify for example the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform(BERR) in the UK.

The third is a general duty placed on producers and distributors to notify the local authorities when they become aware they have placed on the market, or distributed, an unsafe product.

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