Wales Heads of Trading Standards

Improving Trading Standards in Wales

Penaethiaid Safonau Masnach Cymru Yn Gwella Safonau Masnach Yng Nghymru

Product safety

The safety of all consumer products, whether they are sold as new or second hand, is controlled by a wide range of regulations. Trading standards officers visit shops to inspect goods and to take samples for testing to ensure that items are safe. We visit manufacturers and importers all over Wales to discuss the safety of their products, giving guidance on how items are presented and on any instructions that may be needed for safe use.

Trading standards staff also carry out visits to monitor products sold at car boot sales, Sunday markets, one-day sales and also the sale of unsafe goods sold by itinerant traders who sell from door-to-door.

If you have any concerns about the safety of goods you have bought, or are considering selling if you are in business, then please contact your local Trading Standards Service for advice.

The following detailed WHoTS safety leaflets are available to download (by clicking title of the desired leaflet) but may also be requested from your local Trading Standards Service:

• Selling Safe Goods: Guides for the Second Hand Trade - comprehensive guides and checklists covering electrical appliances, gas appliances, furniture, nursery equipment, toys, and general product safety:


European Product Safety Directives & CE Marking [PSG-1 03.04]  (PDF 61The Electrical Equipment (Safety Regulations) [PSG-2 03.04] (PDF KB) – A guide for Manufacturers & Importers

The Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations [PSG-3 03.04] (PDF 80KB) – A guide for Manufacturers & Importers

The Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995 [PSG-4 03.04] (PDF 110KB) – A guide for Manufacturers & Importers

The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations [PSG-5 03.04] (PDF 107KB) – A guide for Manufacturers & Importers

Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations 2003 [PSG-7 05.04] (PDF 105KB) - A Guide for Retailers

Tobacco Advertising at the Point of Sale [PSG-8 12.04] (PDF 74KB) - A Guide for Retailers

Tobacco Advertising at the Point of Sale [PSG-9 12.04] (PDF 79KB) - A Guide for Specialist Tobacconists

The Safety of Hire Tools & Equipment [PSG-10 04.06] (PDF 166KB) – Practical Guide for the Hire Trade

Unsafe Goods [PSG-11 01.11] (PDF 131KB) - Liability for Damage or Injury

Furnished Lets [PSG-12 01.11] (PDF 87KB) - A Guide for Landlords and Letting Agents

Safe Consumer Goods [PSG -13 01.11] (PDF 61KB) - A Practical Guide for Business

The Safe Storage and Supply of Fireworks (PDF KB) - A Guide for Retailers 

Frequently asked questions

I have imported some lamps from America that are fitted with a 2-pin plug, can I sell them like this?

No, you can’t. All electrical items sold in the UK that are intended to be connected to the mains supply by means of a plug must be fitted with a standard 3-pin plug in order to comply with BS 1363 (i.e. both the live and neutral pins must be sleeved and be approriately fused). You have a choice of two actions, if you don’t want to send the lamps back to France. You can either replace the plugs with correctly fitted and fused 3-pin plugs or you can fit a conversion plug to each item. This conversion plug will fully encase the 2-pin plug and should be of a type that cannot be removed without the use of a too.

Further information can be obtained from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

I make simple wooden toys, which I sell at craft markets, I know that they are safe, but do I need to have them tested?

No you do not, but you do need to make sure that they are safe. Usually hand-made wooden toys are safe as each one is carefully made and all splinters and rough edges are smoothed away. Some simple wooden vehicles have been shown to be unsafe in the past because the wheels can be easily removed and they then present a choking hazard to small children. You may need to have your wheels tested. You will also need to make sure that any paints and varnishes you use are suitable for use on toys. 

All toys that you supply in the course of a business must be marked with the name and address of the manufacturer or importer, and the CE mark.  The CE mark is a declaration by the manufacturer or importer that the toy is safe and these marks must be on the toy or its packaging, and be permanent and easy to read.  On small toys these marks may be on a label attached to the toy, an accompanying leaflet or an associated display box.

Further information can be obtained from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

I've got some second hand furniture that I want to use in a flat I rent out, how do I know if it is suitable?

Second hand furniture must comply with the safety requirements of the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. You should look for a permanent label stating that the furniture complies with the Regulations. The label will be headed ‘CARELESSNESS CAUSES FIRE’. It will also give a batch number and may say who the manufacturer or importer is and what materials were used when the furniture was made. If you cannot find a label on the furniture you should not use it in the flat.

Further information can be obtained from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

I've imported some American cushions and furniture to sell in my shop. The labels say that they comply with US Regulations. Does this mean that they are OK to sell in the UK?

No, all upholstered furniture sold in the UK must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, as amended. These Regulations specify tests for both the covering material and the fillings of both furniture and cushions. The tests are contained in various British Standards, mainly BS 5852: Part 1:1979 and BS 5852:Part 2:1982. You will need to advise your suppliers in America of the requirements of these Regulations and Standards.  You may also need to set up a sampling and testing regime in the UK for any furniture that you import. The Regulations also set out a number of labelling requirements for both furniture and cushions (ie a batch number only has to be given on a permanent label of upholstered furniture if applicable, etc). You may wish to consider importing the cushion covers unfilled and then fill them using cushions that have been made for the UK market and are labelled accordingly.

Further information can be obtained from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.


Further useful information and assistance can be obtained from the following organisations:

Trading Standards Central - Latest product recalls
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Trading Standards Business Companion - Product Safety