Caveat emptor – buyer beware!

Compliance means different things to different people and differs depending on the on the area you are involved in – be it compliance from a legal, financial, European or product quality perspective.  Here we are focused on the compliance of the promotional products we sell. Ensuring they are legally, compliant with both local and European safety regulations. And, if we are shipping to other markets, as confirmed by our clients we ensure our products are compliant with the market they are intended to be used in.

General product safety directive – EU rules on product safety are defined in this directive. Essentially, under the directive, a product is safe if it meets all the statutory safety requirements under the European or national law.

Where there are no regulation or EU standards then the product compliance is determined according to other reference documents such as national standards, Commission recommendations, codes of practice.

It is the responsibility of businesses and authorities to ensure their products are safe for sale, even if it is a promotional product and used in some kind of marketing campaign – product compliance still follows the same rules.

Businesses must:

  • Only place products which are safe on the market
  • They must inform consumers of any risks associated with the products they supply
  • They must ensure any dangerous products on the market can be traced and therefore be removed to avoid any consumer risk

Anyone putting products on the market should do all the due diligence to ensure those products meet all requirements, carry testing and/or check all testing documentation to ensure should there be a challenge that they can prove they have done all their due diligence to prevent any unsafe items being placed on the market where they could potentially put a consumer at risk.

In addition, there should be a risk review and guidance on the correct labelling and warnings where necessary.

Many of our global brands go beyond best practice in this area, particularly where goods are being used for consumer marketing campaigns, where an unsafe product could be harmful to the recipient and cause a huge risk to the brand.

All parties have a responsibility – do not assume your supplier is providing safe and tested product – ask for full details about the compliance and ensure you have all the due diligence information to back up your actions.

Why does this matter?

Firstly, one would hope that businesses care enough to want to protect their customers and consumers. And of course, to protect their brand reputation from risk of providing unsafe products. Never assume anything – ask all the right questions!

How we do this in practice:

  • Risk review (product & supplier)
  • Request & review existing documentation
  • Review mandatory requirements
  • Instigate additional testing or approve existing
  • Update client with recommendation and provide additional guidance

The Sourcing Team has a focus on working with the right factories – those who treat their workers fairly, in a safe environment and in only supplying products we believe, based on our due diligence process and expertise in product safety are safe and suitable to be used in a marketing campaign.

If you want to fast track this process speak to our team – it’s what we do for our clients as part of our product sourcing service. Our aim is to protect your brand, reputation and ultimately, the consumes and recipients of promotional and marketing products. For assistance with your product compliance challenges contact our head of compliance –