Defining a distributor
Under the law, if you sell, supply or wholesale consumer goods you are a 'distributor'.
This means you must meet certain obligations which include passing on all of the warnings and instructions that come with the goods.
Consumer Safety (Jersey) Law 2006 on Jersey Law
As a distributor, it is your role to supply a safe product. If you know or have information that goods may be dangerous, you must not supply them.
You should provide consumers with relevant information to allow them to:
- assess any risk posed by the product throughout the period of its use if the risks are not immediately obvious
- take precautions against those risks
This means passing on all the warnings and instructions that accompany the product.
Professional use products
Where consumers can buy professional products, they must be treated as 'consumer goods' (eg, certain power tools).
If you supply a 'professional use only' product to a consumer, you will be responsible for its safety.
If the product could never be safe for use by consumers, you should take reasonable steps to ensure the marketing and supply of the product is very strictly controlled.
If you affect the safety of the goods, then you become the producer.
- removing the goods from their packaging
- assembling products
- repairing products
- not passing on instructions and warnings
This means you will have to comply with 'producer' obligations.
Product safety for producers
Information and traceability
You should also be able to trace products you supply, where they were purchased from, and who they were sold to.
Normally, the documentation you use to support tax requirements will be enough.
Reporting unsafe consumer goods
If you find that a product you have supplied is unsafe, you must immediately tell your supplier.
You must cooperate with Trading Standards who enforce the law. You must provide information relating to the product, the nature of the risk, supply and marketing information, and take appropriate action to remove the risk from consumers.
Issuing a safety notice
If you do not meet the standards of the Consumer Safety (Jersey) Law 2006, Trading Standards have access to a range of measures to remove the risk to consumer safety. These are known as safety notices.
They are only used when voluntary actions have not removed the risk. It's an offence under the law not to fulfil these obligations.
Safety notices (Trading Standards)
This information is intended for guidance. Only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.