The DTI has yet to publish its draft legislation implementing the latest European General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) and is running some 12 months late. However, a survey by City law firm CMS Cameron McKenna reveals business is concerned that the directive is unnecessary, and incurs more red tape, yet stands to fail consumers – the very group it is aimed at protecting.
According to the survey, conducted using the firm’s online Law-Now service, a third of all manufacturers and distributors do not have a product recall procedure in place to execute a Perrier-type withdrawal.
Mark Tyler, who heads the product safety team at CMS Cameron McKenna, says the situation is far from ideal: “An immediate outcome of being unprepared for product recalls is that they could face prosecutions if they are not ready when the provisions become law. While the draft regulations will clarify the position, at the upper end, this may well mean serious product safety offences will for the first time come before Crown Courts capable of imposing large fines.”