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The council’s Trading Standards team has been shortlisted for a national award which will be announced on 20 June.

They are finalists in the Innovation and Technical category of the UK Government’s Regulatory Excellence Awards.

Trading Standards are responsible for keeping inferior or unsafe products off the market by their inspection and enforcement work.

In Edinburgh they have developed a risk assessment tool to show the impact of what they do. The benefit is calculated at around £1.4m.

In the last three years the team has stopped distribution of products with their early inspection and advice work.

Transport and Environment Vice Convener, Councillor Karen Doran, said: “The work carried out by Trading Standards is essential for ensuring the products we buy are safe and of an acceptable quality.

“Not only have the team been recognised for their efforts to stop the distribution of substandard products at an importer and producer level, but their innovative approach has helped to demonstrate the immense impact these actions have. I wish them the best of luck in the Regulatory Excellence Awards finals.

“In an increasingly globalised marketplace, ensuring that products are compliant and safe will continue to be a challenge, especially with further uncertainty posed by EU Exit. This will continue to require Trading Standards team to be innovative in their approach to protecting consumers.”

Recent examples of Edinburgh Trading Standards team’s efforts include:

  • Children’s hoodies were identified at retail level, which had been imported by a small trader. These featured a free-running cord posing a strangulation risk. Thanks to the officers the hoodies were easily modified by the trader to ensure their safety.
  • A consignment was intercepted at Edinburgh Airport following a referral by Trading Standards This consignment was inspected and contained cosmetic products which breached product safety rules. This led to the removal of almost 1500 products from online platforms.

The risk assessment tool developed is based on Government figures relating to the societal cost of injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, and provides an estimate of the potential benefit resulting from the Trading Standards interventions.  Using this methodology, this new ‘Outcomes Model’ assesses the activities of the City of Edinburgh Council which have resulted in the withdrawal, or prevention of placing on the market, of unsafe and non-compliant products.

The ‘Importers’ approach has been promoted throughout Scotland by the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS), and for the coming year (2019/20) has been adopted as a national approach.

Find out more about the work carried out by Trading Standards on the Council website.