Published: 12 July 2023  (Updated: 12 July 2023)

OPSS Product Safety Industry Research

As reported in this news item, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) have commissioned YouGov. to conduct research to provide evidence for developing reactive regulation. The previous research primarily focussed on the views and behaviours of consumers.  However, this further research is aimed at understanding the industry supply-side issues.  The survey sample consisted of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, repairers and installers working in sectors under OPSS remit.

Below CTPA have summarised the key findings in relation to cosmetics:

Information access

  • Many of the interviews conducted with those in the cosmetics sector discussed their involvement with the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA).
  • Larger businesses and those within the cosmetics sector were the most like to have heard of OPSS.
  • Rates of interaction with local authorities regarding product safety issues were highest amongst the toys/baby products and cosmetics sectors.
  • Almost a third of those in the cosmetics sector felt that sharing of information was a key strength of the current regulatory system and a quarter agreed there was a good framework of product safety legislation in the UK.
  • Businesses in the cosmetics sector reported suppliers as their most common source of information.

Safety responsibility

  • Businesses in the toys/baby products and cosmetics sector were most likely to report taking actions to ensure high product safety standards such as assisting with product recalls and reporting faulty or counterfeit goods.
  • Certain sectors including cosmetics were more likely to feel they were accountable in the event of a product safety issue.
  • Those in the cosmetics sectors were more likely than other sectors to state they ensure high levels of product safety standards because they are accountable if something goes wrong.

Key challenges

  • All businesses surveyed were asked what challenges their business faced regarding product safety compliance. Keeping up to date with rules and regulations was the most commonly reported challenge, which was more commonly mentioned by distributors, in the cosmetics sector.
  • Those in the cosmetics sector were more likely than others to feel their industry faced challenges in ensuring product safety standards. Those in the cosmetics sector were more likely than average to report challenges around lack of clarity on standards, ensuring communication between actors in the supply chain and uncertainty around product safety standards following UK exit from the EU.
  • These results suggest that larger businesses and more regulated sectors such as cosmetics seem more aware of the challenges their industry faces to ensure product safety.

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