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Dangerous toys seized and destroyed at Gatwick Airport



Dangerous toys and other illegal goods have been seized at Gatwick Airport and destroyed following an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards.

Officers were alerted by Border Force in September 2019 after they had concerns about some products imported from China for sale on a major online selling platform.

106 boxes containing toys, swimming goggles, ear candles and children’s playpens were inspected by Trading Standards and Border Force officers.

A sample of the playpens was then sent for testing. Results showed the packaging posed a risk of asphyxiation and the product did not comply with labelling requirements.

Proper labelling on the other toys was also missing.

Trading Standards officers contacted the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to verify the ear candles were a registered medical device as claimed by the importer. They confirmed these products were not registered and therefore cannot be supplied in the UK.

The importer was unable to confirm that the goggles were safe and complied with the relevant legislation on personal protective equipment.

All the goods were refused entry and the importer paid for their destruction.

Border Force stopped more toys at Gatwick Airport in December 2019 and once again alerted West Sussex Trading Standards.

These toys had come from China and were due to be sold on a major online selling platform.

The boxes of toys contained ‘Avengers’ surprise toy eggs, make your own jewellery sets, build your own garden sets and super hero wrist slapper bracelets.

Officers immediately noticed that the toys were incorrectly labelled.

Samples were then sent for testing and results showed some of the toys posed a choking hazard to children under three.

Packaging on some of the items was also deemed to be a suffocation hazard because the plastic was too thin.

As a result of these findings, the toys are believed to be counterfeit.

All four boxes of toys were destroyed at the importer’s cost.

Peter Aston, Trading Standards Team Manager, said:

“These goods could have caused serious harm if sold in the UK and some of the toys mayhave been fatal for a young child.

“When shopping online, we would urge people to only buy from reputable brands and retailers.”

Anyone who thinks they have purchased an unsafe product, should contact Trading Standards at or via Citizens Advice on  03444 111 444.


Gatwick Airport to receive £8 million Government grant to protect local jobs and bounce back after coronavirus



Crawley’s MP Henry Smith has welcomed an announcement from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that Gatwick Airport is now able to apply for a Government grant worth up to £8 million per business, helping to protect jobs and the local economy in Crawley.

The Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme, which opened on Friday 29th January, will help Gatwick (and other commercial airports across England) to cover losses on costs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including airfield operations, contracted services such as airfield and runway maintenance, and business rate bills.

Airports and ground handlers can apply to the scheme on GOV.UK, and if successful, should receive their funding by the end of the financial year.

The financial support scheme, which follows the Government’s extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) Scheme, is open for applications until 21st February 2021.

This investment will help support Gatwick Airport following the introduction of international travel restrictions designed to protect public health and prevent the spread of Covid-19 as the Government continues to roll out its world-leading vaccination programme.

Henry said;

“I’m pleased that Gatwick Airport will receive up to £8 million to help it protect jobs during these challenging times.

“This funding offers vital support for Gatwick Airport – which supports so many jobs and businesses in Crawley.

“The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support to protect jobs and businesses through the pandemic, and this latest support will be hugely important for helping Crawley to build back better after coronavirus.

“As Crawley MP and Chair of the Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group I’ve continued to urge Government to ensure support for the industry and this will remain my call to ministers.”

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, commented;

“A thriving aviation industry has been central to the success of this country and while we recognise the testing conditions airports are currently facing as a result of the pandemic, I believe that the sector will be ready to bounce back once restrictions are lifted.

“Today’s scheme is another step in the right direction, providing vital support for an industry that is raring to get back to business, once it is safe to do so.”

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