Conducting a product recall—general consumer goods
Produced in partnership with Tom Fox of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Conducting a product recall—general consumer goods

The following Risk & Compliance guidance note Produced in partnership with Tom Fox of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Conducting a product recall—general consumer goods
  • Legislation
  • Guidance
  • Monitoring products
  • Determination of risk
  • When to recall
  • When to notify relevant authorities
  • Notifying Trading Standards
  • Safety Gate Notification
  • Recalling a product
  • more

This Practice Note addresses the practicalities of product recall for general consumer products from the perspective of producers and distributors.

'Producer' and 'distributor' are defined terms under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPSR 2005), SI 2005/1803. In newer legislation, eg the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC, the terms 'manufacturer', 'importer' and 'distributor' are used instead and are defined slightly differently.

This Practice Note focuses on products that are not covered by sector or product specific legislation. The same principles will cover some products covered by sector legislation, eg toys, but not others such as food and drink and cosmetics which are addressed by separate Practice Notes, eg Conducting a product recall—food and drink.

Legislation

The main relevant piece of legislation is the EU’s General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC (GPSD), which is implemented in the UK by the GPSR 2005.

This applies to all general consumer products, ie any product (including in the context of providing a service) which is intended for consumers or likely, under reasonably foreseeable conditions, to be used by them.

Producers must only supply safe products and must assess products prior to sale and distribution to ensure they are safe and any risks identified have been eliminated, or if that is not possible, minimised.

The legislation requires certain supply chain operators to:

  1. monitor the products they place on the