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General Product and Safety Regulations

DEFENCES

Liability of persons other than the principal offender

9.1 Where a person (the ”principal offender”) has committed an offence under the Regulations and this was due to the act or default of another person, proceedings may be brought against that other person whether or not proceedings are also brought against the principal offender.

Liability of company officers

9.2 Where it can be shown that an offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, such persons (in addition to the body corporate) may also be proceeded against.

Under specific legislation

9.3 Where the safety of a product is covered by UK national legislation and action is brought against a supplier under that legislation he will be entitled to any defences provided in that legislation.

Under the Regulations


9.4 The Regulations provide a defence of “due diligence” which allows a producer or distributor to argue in certain circumstances that he took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the alleged offence. Where a producer or distributor argues that the commission of the alleged offence was due to the act or default of another person (or due to reliance on information given him by another person) he must notify the prosecution not less than seven days before the date of hearing the case (or the trial diet in Scotland) that he intends to rely on this defence. A breach of the Regulations does not confer any right of action in civil proceedings in respect of any consequential loss or damage suffered.