Why are Trading Standards visiting me?
Trading standards visit business premises for a number of reasons, but the underlying purpose of a visit is generally to check and ensure that the business is complying with the law as well as to address or investigate any non-compliance. Trading standards services follow an intelligence-led approach, information can come from many sources, including complaints and a business's previous history. Trading standards officers can also carry out inspections of premises on a routine basis.
What powers do Trading Standards Officers have?
In most cases, TSOs have powers under Schedule 5 to the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Depending on the legislation they are enforcing, they may have additional powers. A TSO’s main powers include the power to enter premises, powers of inspection and powers to secure or seize material that might be required in evidence:
A TSO can at any reasonable time enter premises to observe the carrying on of a business, to inspect goods or documents, to test weighing or measuring equipment, or to make a test purchase. Refusal of entry could be viewed as obstructing an officer, which is a criminal offence.
A TSO can enter your home, or any other premises used solely or mainly as a dwelling, but only with a warrant issued by a court. A TSO can also obtain a warrant to enter any premises by force if necessary, and this might be done, for example, where it is expected that entry
will be refused or obstructed.
If the entry is for a routine inspection then the TSO must give you two days written notice of the inspection before entering your premises. However, notice is not needed if:
you have waived the need for it to be given to you
the TSO has reasonable suspicion that you have broken the law
giving notice would defeat the purpose of the visit
it is not practicable to give you notice (for example, there is an imminent risk to public health or safety)
the entry is for the purposes of market surveillance activities under safety legislation
where a breach of trading standards law is suspected, a TSO can seize goods and documents
Our Trading Standards legal services
If you are being investigated in respect of a suspected breach of trading standards, we can advise and represent you throughout. Our services include the following:
Advising you throughout the investigation process, including in respect of supply of requested documentation
Attending interviews and interviews under caution Preparing written statements
Entering into correspondence and negotiations with the authorities to resolve matters
Challenging the issuing of notices or revocation of licences
Putting together a strong defence in the event that court proceedings are commenced
If you are being investigated by a trading standards authority, we recommend that you seek legal representation without delay to ensure that your interests are safeguarded and to try and reach an early resolution of the issues.
Trading standards investigations can be damaging and time-consuming. At Taylor Law we will intervene early to minimise difficulties and disruption and ensure that your rights are protected.
We have an excellent track record of success in working with clients in respect of trading standards investigations and litigation, with expert civil and criminal defence solicitors in Leeds, Middlesbrough and London who can step in immediately to advise and represent you.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough)
or 0203 780 7646 (London) or fill in our Contact Form.