Recommended By Trading Standards
Mark Parry Business Owner
Second Hand Furniture Regulations
There are many rules and regulations regarding the sale or donation of household items, below I have given details of these regulations, please understand these regulation are designed for the safety of the general public and are governed by law, second hand furniture dealers, charities and auction house's can be prosecuted if they do not comply with these regulations.
Although these regulations cover businesses that sell second hand items it is very rare that they are enforced when selling through buy and sell or auction websites, so it is your choice weather to abide by them, it just boils down to whether you are comfortable selling these items even though there might be a risk to someone's health.
Second Hand Furniture Regulations
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 2010.
The regulations apply to all furnishings, and furniture, furniture coverings, and seat pads, and furniture used in houses, gardens and caravans, the regulations apply to all landlords, estate agents, letting agents, charities selling furniture, and anyone selling or supplying second-hand furniture as part of a business or trade, Foam/fillings used must pass the required test.
The only way to ensure such compliance is to have an appropriate and permanent display label indicating that the furniture/furnishings are safe, please remember is that these regulations also cover charity shops. If items do not comply with the foam filled furniture regulations then they will have no value, as they cannot be sold second-hand.
Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995
To ensure that all gas appliances sold are safe, the regulations state that a certificate of compliance is needed for all second hand gas appliances sold, this means a Gas Safe test by an appropriately qualified plumber, the regulations apply to all landlords, estate agents, letting agents, charities, and anyone selling or supplying second-hand gas appliances as part of a business or trade.
These regulations extend to charity shops, and explain why many charity shops are unable to take donations of gas appliances, such as cookers or portable gas heaters. The servicing/repair and Certificate of Compliance test for second hand Gas item's may cost more than the item is worth.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
To ensure that all electrical items sold are safe, the regulations state that a certificate of compliance is needed for all second hand electrical items sold, this means an electrical test and sometimes repair or servicing by an appropriately qualified electrician, the regulations apply to all landlords, estate agents, letting agents, charities, and anyone selling or supplying second hand electrical items as part of a business or trade.
These regulations extend to charity shops, and explain why many charity shops are reluctant to take donations of electrical items. The servicing/repair and Certificate of Compliance test for second hand Electrical item's may cost more than the item is worth.
General product (Safety) regulations 2005
Some charity shops ( but not all ) now follow the recommended general product safety regulations regarding Glass in furniture, such as coffee tables, display cabinets and kitchen tables etc, and will not accept them unless they meet the relevant safety standards indicated by a British Standard Kite Mark.
This ensures its thickness in terms of the impact it can withstand, and that if it breaks, it does not shatter into long shards of glass that could cause serious injury, particularly to a child, please consider these regulations if you are thinking of selling or donating these items to charity.