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20 Aug 2019

Almost one million unsafe products seized at UK border

Potentially hazardous baby carriers, electric hot plates and child car seats among products prevented from entering the UK
Felixstowe port

In the past year, an estimated £23m worth of consumer products have been deemed unfit for sale in the UK and detained at the Port of Felixstowe, after being found to be potentially dangerous.

Some 996,143 unsafe products, many destined for sale on online marketplaces, were uncovered at the Suffolk port in 2018-19.

Around two in five of all consumer goods arrive in the UK via the Port of Felixstowe, making it the busiest entry point of its kind in the country. It's one of the few ports to have a dedicated team funded by Trading Standards.

Suffolk councillor, Richard Rout, said: 'Just from these recently detained items, it's not an over-exaggeration to say that hundreds of lives have potentially been saved.'

Product safety hub - all our advice on what to do if you have an unsafe product in your home

What kind of products were seized?

The staggering number of unsafe items found in the past year was made up of 670 different products types, including baby carriers, strollers, child car seats and electric hot plates.

Baby carriers were found with detachable labels that could be a choking hazard and with leg openings wide enough for a baby to fall out.

These problems could endanger a baby's life and highlight the importance of the inspections.

Unfortunately, though, some unsafe products still make it into the UK. These dodgy items that play fast and loose with safety often find their way on to online marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, where they are sold via third parties.

Which? tests find unsafe products

In 2019 alone, our tests have found scores of smoke alarms that fail to detect smoke, and we've reported on safety issues on cars, child stair gates, tumble dryers and more.

Our rigorous tests have also uncovered 19 child car seats, including some from leading brands, that we think are too unsafe to buy, despite them meeting the legal requirements for sale in the UK.

See our list of Don't Buy child car seats for the products we think you should avoid.

Help us put a stop to dangerous products

Dangerous products in Britain's homes are putting millions of people at risk.

We are calling on the government to take action to keep our homes free from unsafe products, and on retailers to remove the products from their store shelves and websites.

You can help by signing our petition.