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Second-hand goods safety

We have created a guide for charity shops, auctioneers and those who supply, hire out and sell second-hand goods. 

You will find checklists that will issues. These are just summaries of the basic things to look out for. Any remedial or disposal action should also be recorded on your checklist. 

You should complete and keep a separate sheet clearly identifying the product for each item. 

General product safety

General Product Safety Regulations 2006 apply to new and second-hand consumer products, except new products that are covered by specific European safety legislation.

Electrical goods

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 covers items designed to run on a voltage between 50 and 1000 volts AC or 75 - 1500 volts DC. Items that run via a car cigarette lighter are not covered by this legislation.

Furniture

These checks should be carried out before offering second-hand furniture and furnishings for sale.

Gas appliances

The Gas Appliance (Safety) Regulations 1995 and General Product Safety Regulations 2005 – states that goods such as second-hand gas fires and cookers must be safe.

Oil heaters

There is specific legislation on the safety of free standing paraffin oil burners and heaters. If you wish to sell these types of items there are minimum checks that should be made first.

Nursery goods

Prams, pushchairs, cots and cot stands, playpens and highchairs should all carry details of a UK supplier or distributor and an appropriate British Standard number. You should always supply instructions for safe use and assembly.

Children's clothes

Specific regulations apply to the sale of children’s clothing in particular relation to chocking/strangulation hazards and flammability requirements.

Bunk beds

Bunk beds include any bed with a sleeping surface which is 800mm (about 32”) above the floor. The sleeping surface is the base of the bed not including the mattress or upholstery.

Toys

All new toys must be labelled with a “CE” mark which shows that the toy has passed safety requirements.

Bicycles

Second-hand bicycles are subject to the same controls as the specific standards new bikes are manufactured to. 

Imitation foods

The Food Imitations (Safety) Regulations 1989 prohibits the supply of goods that have the form, odour, appearance or packaging that children could confuse with food and may cause death or injury if put in their mouths.

These products can include lip glosses, jewellery, candles, soaps and novelty ind up items.

More information

It is an offence to supply products that are unsafe and you may be committing a criminal offence and could be prosecuted. If a person is injured by unsafe goods that you have sold they may be able to claim compensation through the courts.

For more information and advice, email envhealth@belfastcity.gov.uk or call 028 9027 0428. 

You can write to us at:

Belfast City Council
City and Neighbourhood Services Department
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP


Contact us
Environmental health
028 9027 0428
Health and Safety
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP