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Safety fears as nearly 30,000 Hoverboards imported through Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 08:03 17 December 2015

One of the hoverboards seized from an Ipswich retailer last month

One of the hoverboards seized from an Ipswich retailer last month

Archant

With safety fears growing, Suffolk Trading Standards officers today revealed around 30,000 Hoverboards have entered the UK through Felixstowe.

A spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Council department said previously 88% of those tested were either unsafe or did not comply with EU regulations.

However, with Felixstowe docks being the entry point for nearly two-thirds of all UK Hoverboard importations the numbers are now so vast officers are unable to check them all.

The spokeswoman said a note is taken of the location for all consignments. The authorities in those areas are informed the deliveries are on their way and require checking.

Up to two days ago Felixstowe had received 103 out of the 159 consignments which have arrived in the country in the past few months.

Out of an overall total of 49,905 Hoverboards, 29,692 came through the Suffolk docks.

Yesterday, following reports of some boards bursting into flames or exploding, online retailer Amazon told customers who had purchased them to throw them away.

Tesco said it would stop selling the toys in its stores and on the internet, while Argos was also reported to be withdrawing Nevaboards from its shelves

The importations at Felixstowe are arriving from the Far East, predominantly China, in time to meet the demands of the Christmas market for what was this year’s ‘must-have toy’.

Last month trading standards officers said 7,000 unsafe or non-EU compliant Hoverboards had been seized after they arrived at Felixstowe docks.

They also urged shoppers to be vigilant after 14 boards were seized at a shop in Ipswich town centre.

The toys were on sale for a bargain price of £270.

The rogue boards had no safety fuses, a two-pronged plug and no manufacturer or supplier details. The boards were also said to have breached health and safety regulations.

The popularity of the Back to the Future films, where Marty McFly travels to October 26, 2015, in the second instalment of the series, is also thought to be influential in Hoverboards’ popularity.

Suffolk Trading Standards has advised shoppers to make sure any Hoverboards they buy have the three-pin-plug, importer and manufacturer information, instructions in English, and carry the ‘CE’ mark.

Anyone who becomes suspicious about boards they see on sale should telephone 03454 040506.

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