The safety of all consumer products, whether they are sold as new or second-hand, is controlled by regulations.

Our officers visit shops to inspect goods and take samples for testing to ensure that items are safe.

We visit manufacturers and importers to discuss the safety of their products, giving guidance on how items are presented and any instructions that may be needed for safe use.

We also visit car boot sales, Sunday markets and one-day sales and are always alert to the problems of traders selling unsafe goods from door to door.

Read further advice and guidance on product safety.

Consumer advice is available by calling 0808 223 1133.

This includes making complaints about a trader, product, or to report a scam. This service is provided on our behalf by the Citizens Advice service and they will pass details of enforcement issues to us.

Frequently asked questions

We have produced a factsheet setting out the main things to watch out for. Product safety is a complex area and so we would encourage you to contact us on 01609 780780 or by email to for specific advice on individual products.

 Read the importing goods from outside the EU factsheet. (pdf / 33 KB)

All cosmetic products supplied in the UK, whether for consumer or professional use, must comply with the Cosmetic Product (Safety) Regulations 2008.

You should also consider the food imitation regulations, which outline the requirements all companies must meet when placing non-food items that look like food onto the European market.

Detailed advice is available from the business advice team at

No, but you do need to make sure 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 were shown to be unsafe in the past because the wheels could easily be removed and young children could choke on them. You may need to have the wheels tested. You will also need to make sure that any paints and varnishes are suitable for use on toys.

The Toy Safety Directive provides a common standard for the safety of toys throughout the whole of the European economic area. All toys sold within the area must meet the requirements of the directive, and may be sold without further local controls as long as they are legitimately CE marked.

Contact Trading Standards

For Trading Standards business advice, please contact us and we will be happy to help.