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Retail and Manufacturing Consultation (Government Response)

Volume 548: debated on Monday 16 July 2012

The Government are committed under the red tape challenge to reduce the burden of regulation which acts as a barrier to growth. Unnecessary regulation has to be removed especially if it is outdated and no longer applies.

We are today laying before the House two statutory instruments which will revoke 13 measures identified under the retail and manufacturing themes of the red tape challenge. Three of these measures were introduced to revoke previous instruments.

Many of these statutory instruments were introduced to tackle a specific problem relating to a particular product such as safety issues arising from hood cords on outer clothing or safety standards for prams and pushchairs. While these regulations may be very effective at stamping out the problem they were designed to tackle, they are not flexible enough to deal with new products or practices. The revocation of these measures is beneficial as some of them are based on standards which are redundant.

The removal of these measures will not reduce consumers’ protections but increase clarity and make the law for business and consumers more straightforward.

Prescriptive regulations in the areas covered are no longer necessary and this was the general view highlighted in the consultation responses. The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 protect consumers from products which are not safe for use, provided the supporting European standards offer an acceptable level of safety protection. In addition to this the issue of price fixing is now covered by the Competition Act 1998 which deals with agreements and practices which prevent, restrict or distort competition.

A full list of the statutory instruments to be revoked is as follows:

Bunk Beds (Entrapment Hazards) (Safety) Regulations 1987 (SI 1987/1337)

Children’s Clothing (Hood Cords) Regulations 1976 (SI 1976/2)

Imitation Dummies (Safety) Regulations 1993 (SI 1993/2923)

Wheeled Child Conveyances (Safety) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997/2866)

Gas cooking Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/149)

Heating Appliances (Fireguards) Regulations 1991 (SI 1991/2693)

Gas Catalytic Heaters (Safety) Regulations 1984 (SI 1984/1802)

All-Terrain Motor Vehicle (Safety) Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/2288)

Cooking Utensils (Safety) Regulations 1972 (SI 1972/1957)

Indication of Prices (Beds) Order 1978 (SI 1978/1716)

Child Resistant Packaging and Tactile Danger Warnings (Safety) (Revocation) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2620)

Stands for Carry-cots (Safety) (Revocation) Regulations 1996 (SI 1996/2756)

Magnetic Toys (Safety) (Revocation) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/1347)

The Government are currently looking in more detail at the following regulations which were also included in the consultation. We intend to do a separate Government response on them in due course.

Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/1554)

Pencils and Graphic Instruments (Safety) Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/2406)