What Do Trading Standards Do?

The Trading Standards Institute works very closely with both the Citizens Advice consumer service and the Office of Fair Trading to regulate in order to create a fair and improved trading environment for customers, traders and the general public at large. The institute has powers in providing support to both the trading and consumer community with an emphasis on preventative measures. Trading standards work to regulate business and trade in order to create a fair and improved trading environment for customers.

Specific duties of Trading Standards are listed below.

  • They have the power to enforce legislations relating to the supply of goods and services
  • Take action against traders that break the law, when necessary
  • Advising and educating traders that may not even be aware that they are breaking the law
  • Offering advice and help to consumers
  • Taking informal action on less serious cases in the form of giving advice, guidance and educating traders who have broken the law and making sure they do not do it again
  • Taking formal action on the more serious cases in the form of prosecuting in criminal court, issuing cautions, applying for injunctions, issuing statutory notices, entering premises and seizing goods and/or documents
  • They have the power to assist the consumer to take the trader to court in a case of the trader violated the law with substantial evidence
  • Carrying out routine inspections
  • Checking price displays in retail premises and ensuring that they are accurate