General Product Safety Regulations 1994

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 1994/2328

1994 No. 2328


The General Product Safety Regulations 1994

Made 5th September 1994

Laid before Parliament 8th September 1994

Coming into force 3rd October 1994

Whereas the Secretary of State is a Minister designated1for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 19722in relation to measures relating to consumer protection as regards general product safety;

Now, the Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 2(2) of that Act and of all other powers enabling him in that behalf hereby makes the following Regulations:—

Citation and commencement
S-1 Citation and commencement

Citation and commencement

1. These Regulations may be cited as the General Product Safety Regulations 1994 and shall come into force on 3rd October 1994.

S-2 Interpretation


2.—(1) In these Regulations—

the 1968 Act” means the Medicines Act 19683;

“the 1987 Act” means the Consumer Protection Act 19874;

the 1990 Act” means the Food Safety Act 19905;

“commercial activity” includes a business and a trade;

“consumer” means a consumer acting otherwise than in the course of a commercial activity;

“dangerous product” means any product other than a safe product;

“distributor” means any professional in the supply chain whose activity does not affect the safety properties of a product;

“enforcement authority” means the Secretary of State, any other Minister of the Crown in charge of a Government Department, any such department and any authority, council and other person on whom functions under these Regulations are imposed by or under regulation 11;

“general safety requirement” means the requirement in regulation 7;

“the GPS Directive” means Council Directive 92/59/EECon general product safety6;

“the 1991 Order” means the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 19917;

“producer” means

(a) the manufacturer of the product, when he is established in the Community, and includes any person presenting himself as the manufacturer by affixing to the product his name, trade mark or other distinctive mark, or the person who reconditions the product;

(b) when the manufacturer is not established in the Community—

(i) if the manufacturer does not have a representative established in the Community, the importer of the product;

(ii) in all other cases, the manufacturer’s representative; and

(c) other professionals in the supply chain, insofar as their activities may affect the safety properties of a product placed on the market;

“product” means any product intended for consumers or likely to be used by consumers, supplied whether for consideration or not in the course of a commercial activity and whether new, used or reconditioned; provided, however, a product which is used exclusively in the context of a commercial activity even if it is used for or by a consumer shall not be regarded as a product for the purposes of these Regulations provided always and for the avoidance of doubt this exception shall not extend to the supply of such a product to a consumer;

“safe product” means any product which, under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, including duration, does not present any risk or only the minimum risks compatible with the product’s use, considered as acceptable and consistent with a high level of protection for the safety and health of persons, taking into account in particular—

(a) the characteristics of the product, including its composition, packaging, instructions for assembly and maintenance;

(b) the effect on other products, where it is reasonably foreseeable that it will be used with other products;

(c) the presentation of the product, the labelling, any instructions for its use and disposal and any other indication or information provided by the producer; and

(d) the categories of consumers at serious risk when using the product, in particular children,

and the fact that higher levels of safety may be obtained or other products presenting a lesser degree of risk may be available shall not of itself cause the product to be considered other than a safe product.

(2) References in these Regulations to the “Community” are references to the European Economic Area established under the Agreement signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992 as adjusted by the Protocol signed at Brussels on 17th March 19938.

Application and revocation

Application and revocation

S-3 These Regulations do not apply to— second-hand products which...

3. These Regulations do not apply to—

(a) second-hand products which are antiques;

(b) products supplied for repair or reconditioning before use, provided the supplier clearly informs the person to whom he supplies the product to that effect; or

(c) any product where there are specific provisions in rules of Community law governing all aspects of the safety of the product.

S-4 The requirements of these Regulations apply to a product where...

4. The requirements of these Regulations apply to a product where the product is the subject of provisions of Community law other than the GPS Directive insofar as those provisions do not make specific provision governing an aspect of the safety of the product.

S-5 For the purposes of these Regulations the provisions of section...

5. For the purposes of these Regulations the provisions of section 10 of the 1987 Act to the extent that they impose general safety requirements which must be complied with if products are to be—

(i) placed on the market, offered or agreed to be placed on the market or exposed or possessed to be placed on the market by producers; or

(ii) supplied, offered or agreed to be supplied or exposed or possessed to be supplied by distributors,

are hereby disapplied.

S-6 Sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (b) of sub-section (3) of...

6.—(1) Sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (b) of sub-section (3) of section 10 of the 1987 Act is hereby repealed.

(2) The Approval of Safety Standards Regulations 19879are hereby revoked.

General safety requirement
S-7 General safety requirement

General safety requirement

7. No producer shall place a product on the market unless the product is a safe product.

Requirement as to information
S-8 Requirement as to information

Requirement as to information

8.—(1) Within the limits of his activity, a producer shall—


(a) provide consumers with the relevant information to enable them to assess the risks inherent in a product throughout the normal or reasonably foreseeable period of its use, where such risks are not immediately obvious without adequate warnings, and to take precautions against those risks; and


(b) adopt measures commensurate with the characteristics of the products which he supplies, to enable him to be informed of the risks which these products might present and to take appropriate action, including, if necessary, withdrawing the product in question from the market to avoid those risks.

(2) The measures referred to in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (1) above may include, whenever appropriate—


(i) marking of the products or product batches in such a way that they can be identified;


(ii) sample testing of marketed products;


(iii) investigating complaints; and


(iv) keeping distributors informed of such monitoring.

Requirements of distributors
S-9 Requirements of distributors

Requirements of distributors

9. A distributor shall act with due care in order to help ensure compliance with the requirements of regulation 7 above and, in particular, without limiting the generality of the foregoing—

(a) a distributor shall not supply products to any person which he knows, or should have presumed, on the basis of the information in his possession and as a professional, are dangerous products; and

(b) within the limits of his activities, a distributor shall participate in monitoring the safety of products placed on the market, in particular by passing on information on the product risks and cooperating in the action taken to avoid those risks.

Presumption of conformity and product assessment
S-10 Presumption of conformity and product assessment

Presumption of conformity and product assessment

10.—(1) Where in relation to any product such product conforms to the specific rules of the law of the United Kingdom laying down the health and safety requirements which the product must satisfy in order to be marketed there shall be a presumption that, until the contrary is proved, the product is a safe product.

(2) Where no specific rules as are mentioned or referred to in paragraph (1) exist, the conformity of a product to the general safety requirement shall be assessed taking into account—


(i) voluntary national standards of the United Kingdom giving effect to a European standard; or


(ii) Community technical specifications; or



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