I am familiar with Electrical Safety First's campaign for better regulation of online marketplaces. As you will know, the UK has a strong product safety system to ensure products are safe before they can enter the market, and this includes products sold online.
I understand the concerns raised regarding this issue, and I take the problem of counterfeit electrical goods seriously. It is therefore welcome that the Government is working across the industry and with law enforcement colleagues on a number of initiatives to tackle this issue. You may also welcome the fact that officials in government are working with representatives from online platforms to discuss counterfeits on their platforms. Action is also underway to ensure a co-ordinated law enforcement response against the sellers of these counterfeits.
In addition to this action, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is reviewing product safety legislation to make sure the existing legislative framework is adequate. This is due to changes to traditional supply and distribution chains as a result of e-commerce. The Government has analysed submissions the OPSS Call for Evidence and the response can be read in full here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1035917/uk-product-safety-review-call-for-evidence-response2.pdf
I welcome that the Government has announced it will now consult on a landmark reform programme, with priorities including helping businesses to understand their legal obligations by ensuring our future framework is as simple, consistent, and risk proportionate as possible. Ministers will also examine how product safety processes and testing requirements could become more risk based, addressing the impact of the changes brought by e-Commerce to the product safety framework.
I will continue to follow the developments in this area and in particular the OPSS review into the current product safety legislative framework. This is an important issue, and the coronavirus pandemic highlights how more and more consumers are relying on e-commerce.