§ 60. Mr. Harris
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what measures he has introduced to improve the safety standards applying to consumer goods.
§ Mr. Butcher
The safety of consumers has been greatly improved by the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act 1987. From 1. October 1987, under the general safety requirement, it became a criminal offence to supply any consumer product that is not reasonably safe. This requirement is closely linked to standards of safety. The European Community directive on product liability, implemented by the same Act, came into force on 1 March 1988 which means that, if defective products reach the market and people are injured by them, it will be much easier to obtain redress through the courts.
In addition to the general safety requirement, the safety of a range of products is covered by specific regulations. New regulations are to be introduced covering the flammability of the upholstered furniture and bedding; and it is the intention to introduce further regulations to implement a number of EC directives, including those covering the safety of toys and certain electical products.