'Dangerous' Hoverboards To Be Destroyed

10 October 2017, 11:40

Hoverboards seized

One-hundred dangerous hoverboards which were seized at the Port of Dover, have been ordered to be destroyed after legal proceedings brought by Kent County Council Trading Standards.

They were intercepted by UK Border Force officials after they arrived in three pallets in the back of a lorry in December The accompanying paperwork described them as 'Shoes and T-shirt', with no mention of balance wheels or electrical goods in general. 

Trading Standards were contacted to investigate and officers found that the items had two-pin plugs, instead of the three-pin plugs required in the UK.

The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 state that no manufacturer or their authorised representative shall place machinery on the market unless it is safe.  

In order to be deemed as safe machinery it must:

  • undergo conformity assessment 
  • meet all of the relevant essential health and safety requirements including  marking the product visibly, legibly and indelibly with specified information
  • have CE mark in accordance with the provisions 
  • be accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity 
  • be accompanied by a user instructions in the language of the end user, and
  • include a technical file to demonstrate compliance with the above processes and requirements.

The only markings on the boards, which were intended for delivery to a company in Birmingham for its Christmas trade, were a sticky label attached to the underside which gave instructions for use and CE mark.

Under the rules, the CE mark must be permanently fixed to the product, indicating that there were issued with the product.

Trading Standards officers worked with the Birmingham company and the Chinese manufacturer provided some paperwork for the boards. 

On closer examination there were discrepancies within the paperwork and without proper labelling on the product they could not be confirmed as being applicable.

Magistrates ordered the boards to be forfeited for destruction, having recognised that if the goods were released they could find their back into the market and there would be no way of tracing them given the lack of labelling. 

The manufacturer was also ordered to pay investigation, storage and legal costs of just over £2,000.

Trading Standards Operational Manager James Whiddett said: "During the course of the investigation it was not possible to link the goods to the documents being provided and on inspection officers identified components on the balance wheels that were not included in the provided test reports. 

"Officers then noticed physical differences in construction between the boards. 

"It is vitally important that products are safe to prevent injury to the end user.  Products must be traceable and each product must be identical to the model tested and then have serial numbers and permanent labelling.

"Labelling is critical as it provides the relevant information for a product to be recalled in the event of a safety issue. We are happy with the outcome at court, as untraceable and potentially unsafe goods have been removed from the market."

Caption: Jim Whiddett with one of the seized hoverboards.

Note to editors:
The case was heard last Tuesday, 3 October.

For further information contact Murray Evans at Kent County Council Press Office on 03000 416071 or email murray.evans@kent.gov.uk