Over 33,000 products stopped by CCPC over safety concerns

August 22, 2019

 

  • 2018 statistics show 346,739 potentially unsafe products referred to the CCPC
  • CCPC issues warning to businesses that they must take the necessary steps to comply with product safety legislation following Brexit

 

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has today published details of its product safety activities in 2018. Last year, the CCPC, working with Revenue’s Customs Service, examined 42 consignments containing 346,739 potentially unsafe products. These products included toys, sun glasses, kitchen appliances, electrical adapters, chargers and hoverboards. Following its investigations, the CCPC found that 33,688 products did not meet the relevant EU and Irish safety regulations and standards and therefore were not safe for use by Irish consumers. The risks ranged from potential eye damage from sunglasses which did not provide UVA/UVB protection to fire hazards arising from unsafe phone chargers.

Today’s announcement comes as the CCPC released footage of the destruction of 3,440 unsafe chargers and adapters which were found to not comply with safety standards. The video can be found online here.

Commenting on last year’s activity, Isolde Goggin, Chair of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said, “Our aim is to ensure that goods placed on the Irish market do not pose a safety risk to consumers. Each year, we investigate thousands of potentially unsafe products. The 33,688 products we stopped last year did not meet required safety standards and so we took the necessary steps to ensure that such products were either re-exported or destroyed and that consumers in Ireland were not put at risk.”

“Manufacturers, importers and distributors who sell to consumers in Ireland are responsible for ensuring that the products they sell comply with all of the relevant product safety regulations and standards. Failure to do so may not only result in financial loss to the trader but more importantly their products may cause physical harm to their customers. If we find that a trader has failed to fulfil their duties, we will not hesitate in taking appropriate measures, including seizure, forced destruction or re-exportation, to prevent unsafe products from being placed on the Irish market.

Addressing the changes which are ahead for Irish businesses, Ms Goggin said “Once the UK leaves the Customs Union, it will become a third country and products from the UK will be treated the same as products which have originated from any other non-EU country, such as China or the United States. If you buy from a UK-based supplier, you will be importing from a third country into the EU. Therefore, your business must comply with specific importers’ obligations under the relevant product safety regulations. As we prepare for Brexit, we are working to raise awareness of these important changes. We have also increased our staff resources to ensure that consumers in Ireland are not at risk from unsafe products after Brexit.”

Commenting on the urgency for Irish businesses to take action, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said “Although the situation for many businesses remains unpredictable, the reality is we are quickly approaching October 31. Supporting businesses and citizens to prepare for Brexit has the highest priority across Government. We have been working hard to put a range of supports in place to help firms identify the actions they need to take now to prepare. I am strongly urging all businesses to avail of the resources we have made available to them. More information is available on gov.ie/Brexit.”

More information about product safety and the impact of Brexit for Irish businesses is available on ccpc.ie.

Ends

Notes

Businesses and consumers who are concerned about Brexit and what it may mean for them are encouraged to visit www.gov.ie/brexit where there is a range of practical information on how to get prepared.

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