On 2 March, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) announced its arrival with its first enforcement action.

Lumber merchant Hardwood Dimensions (Holdings) Ltd was fined £4,000 plus costs after pleading guilty to the import and sale of illegally harvested timber from Cameroon. This breached the Timber and Timber Products (Placing on the Market Regulations) 2013, which requires timber traders to ensure that their products are made from timber that has been sourced legally.

The creation of the OPSS was announced in January 2018 (discussed in our blog here) and it has moved quickly to reinforce its role as an active national regulator for product safety and standards.

Product manufacturers will note that this first-announced enforcement action arises in the context of a breach of a regulation that is not specifically safety-related. A clear indication of the breadth of the jurisdiction of this new Office, and its commitment to ensure compliance with product regulations across the board.

The OPSS press release is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-product-safety-office-carries-out-first-enforcement-action

Posted by Jamie Humphreys

Jamie Humphreys is a litigation and regulatory lawyer. He is a strategic advisor to clients who face critical threats to their business at all stages of the product life-cycle, working with them to ensure the most favourable outcome and manage any reputational impact. He also provides policy advice to clients on proposed legislation and regulations that may introduce profound changes to their business. He has acted on high profile litigation across a range of different industries, internal investigations into allegations of fraud by global products manufacturers, major corruption investigations for Governments, and B2B product liability disputes, international recalls and consumer claims for well-known global brands. He is passionate about the impact that new technologies such as 3D printing, AI and Internet of Things will have in the products space and works with clients to ensure they prosper within a dynamic regulatory environment.