Trading standards is backing UK bed manufacturers after it awarded the National Bed Federation’s Code of Practice Assured Advice status.

Acceptance of the NBF’s code as Assured Advice comes on the back of it setting up a co-ordinated Primary Authority Partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards.

It gives members reassurance that they are legally compliant when it comes to flammability regulations, cleanliness of fillings and trade descriptions.

Primary Authority Partnerships provide businesses regulated by multiple local authorities a single approach to legal compliance and protection from the confusion and frustration that can be caused by different local interpretations of legislation.  

As long as a business is following advice from its Primary Authority, other local authorities can’t ask it to do something different and can direct against any enforcement action proposed by another authority, if it is inconsistent with the advice given.

Since its 2009 launch, the scheme has been extended to groups of businesses following a shared approach to compliance, such as a Code of Practice operated by a trade association

NBF president Stuart Hibbert said: “Members who join the scheme will benefit from consistent and fair enforcement of regulations as well as access to robust and reliable regulatory advice which will apply to every NBF member in the scheme.

“Plus, having our Code of Practice adopted as Assured Advice means that regulatory authorities will accept our members are meeting their legal obligations in those areas it covers. If that doesn’t prove that our code has teeth, I don’t know what will.”

Two thirds of eligible NBF members have indicated their intention to join the new Primary Authority Partnership, according to NBF executive director Jessica Alexander.

She said: “Members of the scheme will benefit not just from a consistent approach to interpreting regulations relating to product safety and fair trading but will also be able to ask for advice and guidance on any queries they might have within those two categories. And advice or guidance given is then shared across all local authorities so will apply across the board for all our bed manufacturers.”