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Trading standards

Our standards and services

The Office provides a wide range of services to meet its statutory compliance obligations. An enforcement policy has been developed which identifies our courses of action to ensure compliance.

The lead officers are professionally qualified Inspectors of Trading Standards who are trained to advise and enforce all aspects of consumer protection legislation. A range of enforcement tools are used to encourage businesses to meet their legal obligations such as advice, warnings and official cautions but businesses who knowingly fail to comply with the legislation can expect to be prosecuted. Businesses that sell petrol, fireworks and videos together with non-resident traders and moneylenders are all required to be licensed or registered with the Office.

The enforcement of Age Restrictions on the sale of tobacco products, petrol, videos and solvents is a high priority for the Office with considerable efforts made to ensure that both retailers and young people understand the restrictions in place.

A significant part of the work carried out by the Office is devoted to ensuring that consumer products sold or manufactured in the Island meet modern day safety standards. We provide an advice service for industry and can supply details of relevant statutory requirements and international standards as well as offering metrology and calibration services.

We rigorously pursue manufacturers or sellers of counterfeit goods on the Island under the Trade Marks Act 1994, to ensure that the owners of registered trade marks are protected.

Legislation is in place that governs false or misleading advertisements and prices which empowers the Office to prosecute or obtain a High Court injunction in appropriate cases. A code of practice for traders which gives guidance on good practice for price descriptions has also been approved by the Office.

The Role of Trading Standards Officers

Trading Standards Officers enforce the law and regulations that govern goods and services which we buy, hire and sell, but they also provide an important advice service to industry.

They not only visit local traders to audit their business practices but also inspect all weighing and measuring equipment used for trade, monitor and check advertisements for accuracy, inspect and test goods for safety and licence many types of activity to ensure consumers are protected from unscrupulous traders. 

Where there is a criminal aspect to any complaints received or matters discovered during an audit, the Trading Standards Officer has power to recommend that a prosecution takes place. This may require the officer to attend the Magistrates or High Bailiffs Court as an expert witness.

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