The new Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) has collaborated with the BSI, to introduce the first ever government-backed Code of Practice for product safety recalls – PAS7100.

This is the first major undertaking of the OPSS, which was set up in January 2018. The development of the code results from recommendations made by the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety, in order to improve the UK’s product safety regime.

The Code of Practice is intended to provide clarification for producers and distributors as to the steps that should be taken when faced with a product safety issue under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.

“The Code of Practice has been created to ensure that corrective action by manufacturers is taken in both a safe and systematic way” according to the Director of Standards at the BSI, and has been drafted in two parts.

Part one of PAS7100 is focused on non-food consumer products and is intended for use by manufacturers, importers and distributors. It provides details on:

  • how a business can plan for a recall, including establishing mechanisms to deal with any product safety issue identified;
  • managing a possible safety related product recall or other corrective action;
  • establishing mechanisms to monitor the safety of products;
  • investigating any potential product safety issue; and
  • reviewing corrective action programmes to ensure that product safety responsibilities continue to be met.

Part two is focused on providing guidance to regulators, including local authority Trading Standards, and provides guidance on working with organisations on their corrective actions plans, and the continuation of monitoring incidents and data.

PAS7100 is written from a UK-centric perspective, with UK legislative and governance frameworks in mind, but it is likely to be useful to organisations that operate outside of the UK in terms of practical tips for managing a recall. The Code of Practice can be purchased from the BSI website.