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UK slow to report on product recalls in Europe

Last week [Week 3], there were 38 recall notifications placed in Europe, and 37% (14) of those were for motor vehicles. All but two of the vehicles are being recalled from end users.

Germany submitted the most alerts (10), however five of those related to motor vehicles originating from Slovakia (2), Japan (2) and Spain (1). Some of the vehicles affected have a manufacturing date as far back as 2010, but all pose a serious risk to motorists.

What was interesting about this report was that it carried a caveat which said: The alerts published on this weekly report notified by the United Kingdom were submitted in 2020, although the reference number indicates 2021.

While the United Kingdom did not submit any alerts in the motor vehicle category, it did for one LED Bulb Lamp originating from China. This led us to consider whether this was a sign of things to come with the UK and other recall categories.

We have seen backdated alerts before where countries submit later than normal, however this feels different following the agreements on post-Brexit trade. In the last three weeks, the UK has notified on 20 occasions – 19 of these were in the second week of the year and carried the same caveat as previously outlined.

Whether this is a Brexit teething issue or not remains to be seen but it is highly unusual for a country like the UK to be late in its reporting.

On 31 December 2020, the UK’s Office for Product Safety and Standards published its Product Safety and Noncompliance Notification [1] Guidance update which took effect on 1 January 2021. In this guide under section 2.6. it stated that RAMS (the Regulation on Accreditation and Market Surveillance) requires market surveillance authorities to ensure products which present a serious risk are recalled, withdrawn or prohibited from the market.

The fact that the notifications from the UK are appearing late on the tables, suggests that there is a stall somewhere that needs to be remedied quickly if the Member States and the UK are to continue to work quickly together to address the recall of products that pose a serious risk.

This could just be an administrative blip in the system, but it is worth noting if you are a manufacturer or a member of the supply chain which serves Europe’s consumer market that some alerts are taking longer to reach the recall tables.

To learn more about the rise and fall of recall trends and to acquire knowledge about how to plan for one, download our latest insight guide.

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