A UK retailer has recalled a shipment of travel adapters that it imported from China, following action by Hampshire Trading Standards. Despite the products carrying a CE marking, applied by the retailer’s Chinese manufacturer, tests by TÜV SÜD Product Service revealed a dangerous defect in the plug which could electrocute end-users.
Every year Trading Standards officials stop hundreds-of-thousands of faulty products being imported into the UK, as companies increasingly buy electronic products and components directly from manufacturers abroad to meet consumer demand for low-cost goods.
There is a common misconception amongst UK retailers, distributors and manufacturers that a CE marking on an electrical product or component means that it is safe. What they don’t realise is that the CE marking can be applied on a product without any authorities checking that the correct safety tests have been done. Less scrupulous non-EU manufacturers don’t bother to test products and stamp on a fake CE marking, while others misunderstand the complex rules and apply the marking to products that should fail tests.
Richard Poate, Senior Manager at TÜV SÜD Product Service, said: “CE marking was actually introduced to enable the free movement of goods across the EU, not as proof of safety. More than twenty years since CE marking was introduced, we are seeing evidence that while it is helping us to trade, it is less effective in protecting consumers from buying unsafe goods.”
Under EU legislation, it is the manufacturer or importer of a product that is responsible for product compliance through a process of self-declaration, which manifests itself as the Declaration of Conformity. This is a formal statement that a product complies with applicable Directives and standards. It must be signed by the responsible person within the organisation and that signatory may be subject to prosecution, or even imprisonment, if the equipment is found not to comply.
Intelligent Pelican has voluntarily destroyed this shipment and recalled the same models from a previous shipment that have been sold. For full details on the recall please click here.
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