Kate Corby is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution Department of Baker & McKenzie's London Office. Kate has specialist expertise in providing legal and strategic advice on and coordinating large multi-jurisdictional product recalls as well as providing product liability, safety and regulatory compliance advice and representing clients in civil and regulatory/criminal litigation. She advises a broad portfolio of household name manufacturer and retailers across a wide variety of industries, including consumer goods, electronics, pharmaceuticals and healthcare and automotive.
Kate is recognised as an expert in this field at governmental level, as one of only two lawyers (the other being a Baker & McKenzie colleague) invited by the now Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to be part of the Working Group set up to consider implementation of the recommendations from its review into Consumer Product Recall processes commissioned in 2015.
This Practice Note considers product safety and corrective actions, including product recalls. It explains a producer or distributor’s liability under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005, SI 2005/1803 (GPSR 2005), and in particular the steps that both producers and suppliers must take to identify an unsafe product (or defective product), notify consumers and conduct corrective action, such as a product recall. It also considers the EU rapid alert system, known as RAPEX.
This Checklist sets out the key issues when dealing with a product liability or safety matter which requires a corrective action, such as a product recall. When considering corrective action relating to a product liability or safety issue, it is advisable to have reference to the new government-backed Code of Practice (PAS 7100) that was produced by the UK Government's new Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) in combination with the British Standards Institution (BSI), the UK's national standards body, and sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). While the guidance contained in the Code of Practice is not legally binding, BEIS has indicated that it expects compliance with the spirit and letter of the Code of Practice.
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