The UK’s Baby Products Association advises that the sales of R44 car seats (also referred to as child restraints) must cease in the UK and the European Union from 1st September 2023.
This means that they can no longer be offered for sale, either online or in stores. R44 means Regulation No 44 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE). Any R44 car seats owned beyond this date can continue to be used and are still considered to be safe. The Regulations have been updated to reflect new technology and the latest Regulation is R129.
After much misreporting in national press in 2017 regarding the withdrawal of new booster seats type approval, the Baby Products Association has worked with industry experts to keep the message regarding the end of sales of R44 car seats as clear and concise as possible.
Here are your questions answered by the UK’s Baby Products Association:
Who has ruled?
The European Union
Does this apply in the UK following Brexit?
This applies in the European Union countries and the UK (pre-Brexit deal)
What is the end date for use?
No end date for use has been announced
Is this for all age groups?
Yes, any age group covered by an R44 car seat
Can R44 restraints still be used after this date?
Is there a future date when they can no longer be used?
How do I identify an R44 restraint?
R44 restraints can be identified by a label that is typically orange or has an orange panel displaying ECE R44.04 or ECE R44.03 at the top. It is also given in the user manual.
How I identify an R129 restraint?
R129 restraints can be identified by a label that is typically orange or has an orange panel displaying R129 at the top. It is also given in the user manual.
Does this mean R44 seats are no longer safe?
No, R44 seats are still safe to use
Does this apply to second-hand car seats?
We do not encourage the purchase of second-hand car seats.
About the Baby Products Association
The Baby Products Association was established in 1945 with the objective of promoting the baby and nursery products sector in both the UK and Europe. Today it plays an active role in the development of product standards and provide an umbrella of support and specialist services to its membership.
Association members and member representatives sit on a large number of committees and working groups in CEN (Europe) and the BSI. The Association’s Technical Committee is made up of industry experts and specialists covering a wide range of baby and nursery products including wheeled goods, nursery furniture, baby walkers, soft goods, child restraints, toys and early learning.
Where no standards exist it is pre-emptive in its approach and will develop and produce a Baby Products Association Code of Practice. The Association is the voice of the industry in the UK and it is its aim to provide members with the comfort and assurance that it supports them and the industry in general.