In an extraordinary outburst against the DTI and the government, a senior trading standards officer has claimed that CE regulations introduced on 1 January are unenforceable.
Ron Gainsford, assistant chief executive of the Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards (Lacots), said the 180 UK trading standards authorities (TSAs) had grave difficulties in enforcing the provisions.
So far, the TSAs have not prosecuted anyone for breaching regulations.
Gainsford was responding to Keith Warburton, executive director of the Personal Computer Association, who said at the AGM: 'Members are up in arms about the CE marking.' He said companies were advertising the CE mark without testing kit and TSAs were taking no action to prevent it.
Gainsford said: 'TSAs are committed to liaise with businesses to ensure they conform to EC regulations. We at Lacots have had enough of the light touch enforcement approach. A level playing field does not exist. When a new piece of legislation comes out, what resources will the DTI throw into it?
'If the Government wants enforcement, that needs resources. You can't expect to pull a rabbit out of a hat. I challenge the Government to respond.'
Warburton claimed small dealers and assemblers lived in fear of government legislation, while IT departments and users rarely register any interest in the CE marking.
Gainsford responded: 'In the UK, everything's allowed until it's forbidden.
In Germany, everything's forbidden until it's allowed. In Italy, everything's allowed. The whole bloody thing's crackers.'
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