Report a defective product

The UK has left the EU, and some rules and procedures have changed from 1 January 2021.

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What can be reported, to whom and how.

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

Most specific 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. It applies to:

Such product 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.

Most specific product safety law does not apply to:

However, while product safety law may not apply to these examples, their use is covered by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), and Section 6 of the Health and safety at Work etc Act 1974 may apply on installation or to second-hand products that were originally placed on the market in conformity with the law when they were first made available.

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 medical devices, construction products permanently incorporated into buildings (unless also a machine) and the radio or electromagnetic capability aspects of equipment - 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

If you have a concern relating to defective products that you wish to forward to HSE’s Product Safety and Market Surveillance Unit, can you please submit via your usual HSE liaison channels and include sufficient relevant information pertaining to the concern/defective product.

Updated: 2021-03-17