Published: 00:00, 26 July 2014
| Updated: 09:21, 26 July 2014
Trading standards officers have seized almost 1,000 dangerous chainsaws, imported from China, at Dover Docks.
The machines were found to have three major faults, including the failure of the chain brake test, which measures the force needed to move the handl. When the engine was running the brake did not work, no matter how hard it was activated.
Tests also showed that although the engine kill switch works, it takes longer than anticipated to take effect. This should stop the engine immediately but the chainsaw tested took about five seconds.
Thirdly, users are advised to wear protective gloves but the design does not allow enough room for a glove to be worn, a spokesman added.
KCC Trading Standards officers were alerted to the consignment by Customs officers at Dover, where it had arrived from China via Hamburg. The importer told Trading Standards that the chainsaws, which come in several parts for self-assembly, were intended to be sent on to Poland.
Paperwork indicated the value of each box, containing two chainsaws, to be just 3.90 US dollars but websites show similar chainsaws on offer from China for between £40 and £60.
A total of 486 boxes were seized, each containing two chainsaws, along with 16 grass-cutters with a major part missing and incomplete documentation.
KCC Trading Standards manager Mark Rolfe said: “These chainsaws were intended for self-assembly but were found to be extremely dangerous, even when put together by experts.
“Not only should they been banned from sale in the UK but even if they were intended for sale in Poland, we would not approve exporting them. As well as blocking the entry of these into Europe, we have put out a Europe-wide warning to try and protect consumers across the EU from these dangerous products.
“We intend to apply for forfeiture and will seek to have them destroyed, possibly by a charity which could sell various parts for scrap.”
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