Legal Article - Business Law

The Powers of a Trading Standards Officer

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 gives Trading Standards and Enforcement Officers very wide and far reaching powers of entry and inspection.

For any specific problem please refer to Lawgistics.

An officer may at all reasonable times:

a) Enter the premises, provided it is not a private house, to see if an offence has been committed

b) If they think an offence has been committed then they may require the production of any books or documents and take a copy in order to establish whether or not an offence has been committed.

c) If they have reason to believe any documents may be required as evidence they can seize and detain them. They CANNOT seize books.

In real terms this means that an officer can enter your motor trade premises and ask the person at the time in charge of the premises to produce the books and documents. It is not sufficient to say that the owner is out or away.

It is the responsibility of the person actually there to produce the books or documents.

If in doubt then Contact Lawgistics immediately.

It should be a standing instruction that anyone claiming to be a Trading Standards Officer should be asked to produce their credentials, unless they are known to them. If they fail to produce them for whatever reason then they cannot enforce their powers.

If any person wilfully obstructs an officer, or wilfully fails to comply with any requirement, or fails to give any reasonable assistance or information reasonably required then an offence of obstruction will have been committed for which they may be charged.

 

Published: 21 Mar 2011

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