A trading standards team in Suffolk has seized nearly one million unsafe consumer items at the Port of Felixstowe.
Figures for 2018/19 show that 996,143 items across 670 product lines were targeted, assessed and detained at the port by Suffolk County Council’s Trading Standards Imports Team.
The total value of the goods is estimated to be around £23m.
Four in 5 of the UK’s consumer goods arrive in the UK by a container. Half of these enter via the Port of Felixstowe.
Suffolk is one of the few authorities to host a dedicated Imports Team, which is directly funded by National Trading Standards.
Cllr Richard Rout, cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said that the team’s work has potentially saved ‘hundreds of lives’.
‘The Imports Team plays a vital role at the Port of Felixstowe. Their work not only protects the people of Suffolk, but everyone in the UK, by preventing unsafe items finding their way into the supply chain,’ he said.
‘The team is constantly monitoring items coming into the country which could cause significant harm. Just from these recently detained items, it is not an over-exaggeration to say that hundreds of lives have potentially been saved.
‘A single unsafe electrical item could result in a house fire, involving all our emergency services, putting multiple lives and property in danger. The fact that we are detaining such a large number of these items every year, reduces those risks considerably.’