The independent report on the review of the UK’s product recall system and the Government’s response to it were both published on 18 February, too late for the deadline on last month’s Newsletter.
The independent report contained eight recommendations: setting up a dedicated product safety agency; introducing a single official website for all recalls; improving funding for market surveillance; finding alternative sources of funding such as a business levy; revising guidance on recalls; improving data sharing; reintroducing a national injuries database; finding ways to influence consumers; and offering prizes for university students.
The Government’s response was, as expected, rather reticent about expenditure in the current economic climate. They do not believe that a new agency is either necessary or affordable, nor were they enthusiastic about a business levy or indeed reinstating the hospital injuries data collection. They are going to set up a Steering Group to look at ways and means, especially means, of addressing the other recommendations, in particular, the idea of a central web portal for all UK product safety issues. They have shelved the question of increasing funding for market surveillance, pending the findings of a separate review of Trading Standards operations, though, as AMDEA has already pointed out, there are other Market Surveillance Authorities involved in product safety legislation.
AMDEA had reiterated our offer to share all that we have learned from Register My Appliance and we have now been invited to sit on the Steering Group.