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