Have you noticed a non compliant PPE ? Don't hesitate to inform us:

  1. Fill in the form *
  2. Please send it to the national PPE organisation in your country (list with contact information is included in the form) or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 On the websites of the following national PPE organisations you will also find a form to report non-compliant PPE (mostly in the language(s) of the country) :

* By completing this form, you are submitting your information to one of the ESF national members or to the ESF secretariat, who will use it only to communicate with you regarding this notification. See also the ESF privacy policy.

In the EU 2 legal acts are published on PPE.

The first one is the Directive 89/686 (Product Directive)  this legislation lays down requirements for the design and manufacture of  (PPE) in order to ensure the health and safety protection of users and rules on its free movement in the Union. PPE shall fulfil the applicable essential health and safety requirements. The CE marking of PPE is based on this Directive.

Remark that on the 31st of March 2016 the new PPE Regulation 2016/425  was published. This regulation becomes applicable on the 21st of April 2018.

The second one is the Directive 89/656 (Use Directive), this legislation lays down the minimum requirements concerning the use of PPE. The responsabilities of employers and employees concerning PPE for occupational use are covered by this Directive.

The Blue Guide on the implementation of EU product rules 2016 was adopted on the 5th of April 2016 and is published in English  (other languages will follow) .

In relation to the European Union, harmonisation of law (or "harmonisation") is the process of creating common standards across the internal market.

Retailer Poundworld has been fined £63,000 for selling vests that were misleadingly described as hi-viz.

At St Albans Crown Court on Friday 20 November, Poundworld Retail Limited were fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £42,395.10 in an agreed confiscation order as well as £6,123.16 prosecution costs. This follows an investigation by Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards.

On 28 March 2014, Trading Standards purchased an Edwards Tools and Accessories Hi-Viz Safety Vest for £1 from Poundworld in Watford. The vest was subsequently tested to measure its visibility in low-light conditions and the results were described as ‘amongst the worst results ever recorded’ by the testing company.

Following this, Poundworld agreed to withdraw the product from sale on 5 June 2014 but stated that they had never received any complaints about the vests and therefore believed the test failures could be attributable to a batch problem.

The vest was then tested for visibility in daytime light conditions and again failed. As a result, Poundworld conducted a national recall of the products on 16 January 2015.

In mitigation it was accepted that Poundworld had dealt with the matter swiftly, by withdrawing stocks from sale immediately, and following it up with a recall. The court heard that the company takes compliance seriously, had been co-operative throughout, and had worked with their local trading standards home authority. It had a thorough complaints procedure and had changed policies, now using UK test centres to provide reliable reports.

It was submitted that this was an uncharacteristic breach. The company had relied on their suppliers, had been misled by them and had lost out as a result. The court acknowledged that they had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “The public have purchased over 95,000 of these seemingly bargain vests with a false sense of security, no doubt trusting the descriptions on the packaging, that they would be safe and seen, when they would have been nothing of the sort. This case should act as a warning to all businesses that fail to complete adequate safety checks, putting customers at risk of serious injury or death. Trading Standards will have no hesitation in investigating such cases and if diligence is found to be lacking, put them before the court.”

Alan Murray, CEO of the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), said: “It is extremely disappointing that such a well-known retailer would be selling a product that was misleading and could put lives at risk. The BSIF operates the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme where members have binding commitments to only supply products which meet the relevant standards. More information on this scheme is available at www.bsif.co.uk"

Poundworld has had five previous convictions between 2008 and 2013 for other consumer protection law breaches.


note : see also the page 'suspicious certificates for PPE' in the COVID-19 section of the website.

ESF is neutral. When ESF is aware of possible counterfeit products or fake certificates, ESF is investigating this issue by contacting with the possible suppliers in an informal way. If necessary further steps are taken, ESF works together with the relevant market surveillance authorities. 

ESF effective members and their members have access to the reported cases.

In order to help you to recognise correct or incorrect documents, we prepared Q&A 0087 and 0088 on the topic - see https://www.eu-esf.org/q-a/q-a/4368-q0087 and https://www.eu-esf.org/q-a/q-a/4369-q0088 

If you don't find the answer to your question there, do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact us

Do you want to have more information, don't hesitate to contact us:

E.S.F. ivzw
Bavikhoofsestraat 190 - 8531 Bavikhove - Belgium
Phone +32 56 70 11 03 -www.eu-esf.org - email: info@eu-esf.org

VAT: BE0454 000 382 - RPR Business Court Gent - Division Kortrijk
Transparency register EC: 91447653655-65

Disclamer ESF

The information contained in this communication (letter, e-mail, on the ESF website or in documents available for download on the ESF website or as attachment to letter or e-mail, etc..) is intended for guidance only and whilst the information is provided in utmost good faith and has been based on the best information currently available, is to be relied upon at the users own risk.ESF will not accept any direct or indirect liability deriving from it. No representations or warranties are made with regards to its completeness or accuracy and no liability will be accepted for damages of any nature whatsoever resulting from the use of or reliance on the information. The guidance is based on available legislation and information and the interpretation of that legislation/information by ESF. Each company based on its own decision-making process may decide to use the guidance in full, partially or not, as it suits its needs but no liability shall be attributable to ESF.


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