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Report a defective product

The UK has left the EU, new rules from January 2021

The transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

Find out what you can do now to prepare

What can be reported, to whom and how.

Products that are defective by design, construction or due to the manner of supply

European product safety law requires that products are safe and compliant when first placed on the market or put into service. 'Safe' here includes risk to health arising from use of the product.

EU product safety law applies to:

Product safety law also covers the manner of supply, eg if instructions are missing, wrong or not in the end user's language; or the Declaration of Conformity is missing or incorrect. In all these cases, market surveillance authorities (MSAs) can take action. For guidance and information on how to contact an MSA, see: What you should do.

However, where installation is undertaken separately from supply of the complete item, the failure to install products safely in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions is not considered a product supply issue.

Product safety law does not generally apply to:

However, while EU product safety law may not apply to these examples, they are all covered by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).

What you should do

If you have concerns about a product due to its design, construction or the manner of supply, you should report the matter to the appropriate market surveillance authority (MSA). The manufacture and supply of most equipment used at work - except personal protective equipment and construction products permanently incorporated into buildings (unless also a machine) - fall within HSE's remit and you should report any issues, following the advice on the Notify HSE page.

The other main UK MSAs are:

For further information on the product supply role of each and direct links to those organisations, see: Other regulators.

However, before you report a defective product, it will help in processing and investigating your concerns if you can also provide the following information:

Although this is a lot of information, much of this must be obtained before an MSA can follow up concerns about defective products. Authorities can only challenge manufacturers and suppliers based on quality factual information that confirms non-compliance with legal requirements.

Other regulators wishing to pass concerns about defective products to HSE are requested to complete Section 1 of the Product Safety Request form PSR1 as thoroughly as possible before sending it to HSE through their usual liaison channels.

Updated: 2020-09-04