Twenty years ago I had to shut down a successful UK manufacturing company due to the increasing costs of meeting the different certifications, the company’s products were world leading with quality far in excess of competitive products imported. The business became unprofitable by exponentially increasing design and legal costs over a 7 year period.
In the past thirty years governments have introduced new laws to protect the consumers and the environment; these laws have forced many UK businesses into receivership or to import their goods from countries like China as these laws are not fairly and consistently applied to both UK manufacturers and importers.
UK based manufacturers suffer custodial sentences and higher fines which are not equally applied to importers. For instance in the UK a manufacturer selling a consumer product which is marked to the CE standard, the directors might suffer a custodial sentence and a fine in the millions if the certification was challenged and was found to fail any of the directives.
And yet foreign manufacturers provide “get out of prison” cards to importers, by providing documentation why the product is compliant. This results in defective CE marked mains adaptors or other defective equipment being sold on the high street.
Perhaps the situation needs to be rebalanced by accepting that with certain countries it is difficult if not impossible to bring any legal action against manufacturers of dangerously defective goods, and to ensure that the importer becomes fully liable that goods imported from these certain countries meet that standards.