Do Trading Standards know the Consumer Rights Act?

We all know that Trading Standards Officers have certain powers of entry, inspection, taking away possible evidence and the like.  And where they have good grounds to believe that offences are being carried out, or if they are making test purchases “under cover”, it makes sense that they can exercise such powers without giving advance notice. 

However, what is the situation for “routine” visits or inspections at your place of work? 

In these instances, turning up unannounced is no longer allowed unless it is to an area accessible to the public and then only to observe the carrying on of your business.

If Trading Standards want to come along and speak with you to routinely ask how your business operates, or to see invoices, terms and conditions and the like they must give you a notice in writing of their intention to visit.

Moreover, there must be least two working days between the date of receipt of the notice and the date of entry.

So, when one of our clients turned up to find that a Trading Standards Officer been in asking questions we asked that Officer (rather pointedly) why he hadn’t complied with Regulation 23 of Schedule 5 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015?  He wriggled and squirmed but he knew he’d been caught out. 

Lawgistics 1. Incompetence 0.

If you think your Trading Standards Dept may have abused their powers we would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Authors: Jason Williams

Published: 08 Jun 2016

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