Some of world’s biggest retailers will have to adhere to the British Retail Consortium's product safety standard following an agreement with North America's leading retail trade association.

The BRC is partnering with North America’s Retail Industry Leaders Association as new US safety legislation, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, comes into force on February 10.

The new US law requires retailers to sell only products which meet certain safety standards. The BRC will help retailers comply with the new regulations.

Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Penny’s and Costco will now require their suppliers to show they are BRC certificated.

The BRC says support of the American retailers is a key step towards establishing the BRC Consumer Product Standard as a global product safety standard.

Liz Kinloch, group technical and trading law director at Tesco plc and chair of the BRC Global Standards Governance and Strategy Committee, said: “The standards help retailers adopt a consistent approach to the management of their supply base, form a major component of a retailer’s risk assessment of its suppliers and assist retailers to meet their legal obligations.

Sean Allam, head of product sourcing at John Lewis, said: “Not surprisingly suppliers, as we have seen in the food industry, are reluctant to invest in multiple standards and approval schemes so it’s essential that the industry sets minimum standards that can be universally supported and applied.”