The Emirates Standards & Metrology Authority (ESMA) has recently published its highly anticipated Product Safety Law. Despite the fact that all UAE lighting related measures to date have a safety component drafted into the regulation, this is the first time the UAE has enacted bespoke legislation specifically addressing product safety for consumers.
The overriding object of the Law is to protect consumers and ensure that all consumer products, both locally manufactured and imported are safe. ESMA will be principally responsible for the supervision of the implementation of the law and will work with other UAE regulatory entities including but not limited to UAE customs authorities to ensure compliance with the law is upheld.
The product safety law states that a Supplier must:
- not offer unsafe Products or introduce unsafe Products into the UAE;
- ensure that their Products remain safe whilst being used by a consumer; and
- should a Product become unsafe, take the necessary remedial measures such as withdrawing or recalling such Products from the marketplace.
In order for a Product to be considered “safe”, Suppliers must ensure that their Products comply with any applicable standards issued by ESMA, or by a foreign regulator duly approved by ESMA. If no such standards are in place for a particular Product, a risk assessment in relation to the Product must be filed with ESMA to determine if it is safe to be sold in the UAE. A Supplier whose Product has been deemed unsafe by ESMA may file a grievance with ESMA, albeit ESMA is the ultimate decision maker on this matter.
MELA’s understanding based on recent discussions with the regulator, is that products sold in ‘free zones’ are also included within the scope of the product safety law and as such need to comply with the provisions therein.