Product safety

Guidance and information on product safety and product recalls.

All businesses importing, manufacturing or supplying consumer products have certain legal obligations. Background information on them is available on the Business Companion website.

While the vast majority of products are safe, a planned course of action is critical to ensuring a timely and effective response should a safety issue arise.

This government-backed Code of Practice is intended to help businesses deal with product recalls. Developed by BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body, it provides practical guidance on the recall of non-food consumer products, other than those covered by existing sector-specific schemes.

It is relevant to businesses and regulators – particularly local authority Trading Standards – and includes:

  • preparation of a recall plan by businesses
  • activities required in corrective actions
  • support regulators should provide

This Code was created with the assistance of leading retailers, consumer interest groups and industry bodies, and informed by the work of the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety and associated behavioural insight research. Its principles are equally applicable whatever the size of the organisation.

Code of practice on consumer product safety related recalls and other corrective actions

One of the 8 main recommendations in the independent review of UK consumer product recalls published in February 2016 was that there should be an official trusted website on recalls for business and the public. A site providing links to significant sources of information on product recalls is available on GOV.UK.

Product recall: acting on product safety

Our involvement with product safety also includes:

Working Group

The creation of the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety was announced in October 2016 by the Consumer Minister, Margot James, bringing together experts in the fire services, trading standards, consumer groups and industry.

  1. Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety report

    • Independent report
  2. Product safety: Working Group

    • Guidance
  3. Product safety: Working Group - meeting notes

    • Guidance

Latest developments

Published 28 November 2016
Last updated 13 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Link added to the new Code of practice on consumer product safety related recalls and other corrective actions.
  2. First published.