National Trading Standards Safety at Ports and Borders Teams
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National Trading Standards Safety at Ports and Borders Teams

The National Trading Standards Safety at Ports and Borders work stream provides direct funding to 15 local authority trading standards teams. Officers inspect items at ports, airports and postal hubs and detain unsafe and non-compliant consumer goods that could cause harm to consumers, including electrical goods, cosmetics and toys. Since 2015 over 6 million such items have been detained saving the UK economy an estimated £54m.

The teams in action

There are two central referral teams, the Single Point of Contact based at Suffolk County Council and the Border Force Targeting Team based at East Midlands Airport. These teams set, manage and coordinate border controls based on identified risk and intelligence which in turn informs future border activities. In addition the teams generate local referrals via their own checks of manifests as well as receiving local referrals direct from their Border Force colleagues.

Inspections are conducted on a risk based approach and National Trading Standards constantly monitors the landscape for emerging threats so that they can be countered effectively. Examples of such goods include "craze" items like Hoverboards and fidget spinners. Over 40,000 unsafe hoverboards have been prevented from entering the country and ending up under the Christmas tree of unsuspecting consumers.

Buying online for onward sale online? 

If you do this you are assuming the legal responsibilities of a business to ensure that what you’re selling complies with product safety and intellectual property legislation. For information about this visit  The Single Point of Contact Team provides advice direct to importers which is available here.

Report it: National Trading Standards needs your help to clamp down on unsafe products from abroad. If you believe that any online or face-to-face seller is selling potentially dangerous goods, or something you’ve bought has made you suspicious, report it to Citizen’s Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.