Supporting better product recalls

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


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


All businesses must ensure the products they put on the market are safe, but if a safety issue is later identified, a planned course of action is critical in order to provide a timely and effective response. This can significantly reduce the impact of such incidents and their associated reputational damage.

This government-backed Code of Practice is intended to help businesses deal with product recalls. Its principles are equally applicable whatever the size of the organisation. It provides practical guidance on the recall of non-food consumer products, other than those covered by existing sector-specific schemes.

The Code is relevant to businesses and regulators, particularly local authority Trading Standards. It presents a framework for cooperation and good practice, including the:

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

The Code was developed by BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body, with extensive input from Trading Standards, fire and rescue authorities, consumer interest groups and industry bodies. It was also informed by the work of the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety and associated behavioural insight research.

While some businesses have established teams and processes to address product safety issues, others are not in this position. Local authorities can support their efforts to be better prepared, particularly through Primary Authority partnerships.

Businesses should:

  • prepare a product safety incident plan before it is needed
  • talk to their local Trading Standards office about it
  • follow the best practice steps in the Code
Published 7 March 2018