Published: 08 March 2022  (Updated: 11 March 2022)

OPSS Guidance on Product Safety and Noncompliance Notifications

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) published new guidance on 7 March 2022 related to a business legal responsibility towards the products placed on the market, applicable in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  The product safety legal framework requires businesses supplying goods on the UK market to notify the relevant authority where they become aware that a product they have placed on the market, supplied, or distributed is unsafe and poses a risk to the user, or is noncompliant with relevant legislation.

Under the General Product Safety Regulation 2005 (GPSR), all products must be safe in their normal and foreseeable usage.  Additional sector-specific safety legislation might apply, and this is referenced in the guidance document, which includes in Annex A mention of the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013.  Where the requirements for Responsible Persons (RP) or distributors is not met, businesses can make use of the Annex B form to inform the relevant competent authority.  The guidance further details the responsibilities of the regulator when responding or acting on a received notification.

The guidance clarifies that notification responsibilities are not applicable in conditions concerning isolated circumstances or individual products, such as would be the case in the obligations to report Serious Undesirable Effects (SUEs) under the UK Cosmetics Regulation.  These responsibilities are, however, also outlined in the published guidance.

Companies are reminded that this guidance is intended to communicate instances related to safety or noncompliance of their own products, and not intended to report other noncompliant products existing on the market.

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