Blackfords LLP

Trading Standards law

Local authorities are responsible for the regulation and enforcement of numerous and complex laws which govern the relationship between those that trade, businesses and those that purchase or use the services of the trader, the consumers. Trading Standards Officers have significant investigative powers which allow them to:

  • Investigate and ultimately prosecute breaches of trading standards and consumer legislation as criminal offences
  • Demand the production and retention of documentation
  • Conduct “secret shopper” test purchases, including the use of under-age operatives to test for age related sales
  • The power of seizure and detention over documentation and goods or consumer products alleged to be faulty, dangerous or counterfeit
  • The power to enter premises, inspect and test products
  • Prevent the sale of certain products
  • Issue enforcement notices requiring affirmative action by businesses before they continue to sell or trade
  • Issue Closure Notices and Closure Orders

Examples of the specific areas that Trading Standard Officers focus on are:

  • Trade descriptions or mis-descriptions
  • Contraventions of trademarks and infringements of copyright to prevent “fake” or unauthorised “grey import” goods being sold
  • The obligations placed on manufacturers, importers and suppliers to ensure total compliance with all applicable trading standard, environment and health and safety laws
  • Product safety issues
  • Labelling of products
  • Age related sales

We have a specialist team of lawyers with considerable experience of advising businesses and company officers regarding these issues and what to do when confronted with them.


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