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Trading Standards Officers Issue Christmas Warning

December 4, 2014
Trading Standards

On average British shoppers spend £90 million a year on counterfeit toys and other presents at Christmas according to figures from the Trading Standards Institute (TSI). Many of the purchases do not meet UK safety standards and could put lives at risk.

This year customs officials have detained 21,000 consignments of counterfeit goods at UK borders including 170,000 fake items in one haul alone. The message from the TSI is ‘if it seems too good to be true it probably is.’

Phil Buckle from safety awareness organisation Electrical Safety First told the Daily Telegraph the chance of saving money at this time of year can be attractive to consumers. ”We understand that cheaper products can always be tempting but if it turns out to be counterfeit or substandard, then it could be putting you or a loved one at risk,” He said. “With half of all house fires caused by faulty electrical goods, buying a knock-off product can be a cost too high to pay.”

The main source for counterfeit electrical items is thought to be China and the far east. Other products can also pose a risk with make up found to contain lead, arsenic and mercury while Trading Standards Officers have discovered traces of methanol and and antifreeze in alcohol based gifts.

TSI are urging consumers to carry out their own due diligence before they purchase gifts using the four P’s, Product, Place, Packaging and Price.