The UK government has opened a new national body tasked with tracking consumer risks and responding to large-scale product recalls.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards is intended to "enhance the UK's world-leading product safety system" and "give consumers the highest ever levels of protection".
The new organisation is in response to rising global trade, online shopping and product innovation. It's part of the government's response to the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety.
The Office will provide support and advice to Trading Standards teams around the country, and will delegate work among local authorities - some of the work that used to be done by the Office of Fair Trading before former Chancellor George Osborne closed it down.
It will do a range of things, from working with the British Standards Institution (BSI) on nationwide product recalls to helping manufacturers conduct product research.
Although there is a local focus here, the office will also work on a national level. The government claims it will help the UK manage the saftey of imported products when it leaves the European Union.
Business minister Andrew Griffiths said that the office will "strengthen the UK's already tough product safety regime" and will "allow consumers to continue to buy secure in the knowledge there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced".
The Office will work with the usual "relevant stakeholders", including consumer groups, manufacturers and retailers to ensure it "coordinates the UK's product safety regime as effectively as possible".
Griffiths continued: "I thank the working group for their efforts to help improve product safety and I look forward to working with them in this new phase."
Neil Gibbins, chair of the working group, added. "It has been my mission to make the public safe since I joined the fire service nearly 40 years ago.
"That's why I'm pleased to see the government respond to our recommendations with concrete steps to ensure the safety of consumers, now and in the future."
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