Trading Standards - Business Advice

Fair Trading

The Isle of Wight Trading Standards Service works to ensure a fair trading environment both for consumers and businesses. Some complaints that we receive are investigated in accordance with our Enforcement Policy.  To view policy, please click here (PDF, 159.12KB, 8 pages).

Fair Trading is a substantially large area of Trading Standards work and it is broken down into the following subject headings to make it easier to find information about an area you are looking for:

  • Descriptions for Goods and Services.
  • Cancellation of Contracts.
  • Pricing.
  • Counterfeit Goods.
  • Distance Selling & E-Commerce.
  • Hallmarking.
  • Estate Agency.
  • Package Tours and Holidays.            

Carrier Bag Charges: Retailers Responsibilities

If you’re a large retailer you must charge at least 5p for single-use carrier bags.  If you’re a small or medium-sized business you can charge and follow the scheme voluntarily - you don’t have to report or keep records for carrier bag use. There's a link on links tab above that takes you to the Government advice page about the scheme.

NEW LEGISLATION - Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

To read  guidance notes on the above Regulations which came into force on June 13 2014, please click here this replaces the Distance Selling Regulations and provides further requirements for retailers and replaces the Cancellation of Contracts Made in Consumers Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008.              

Descriptions for Goods & Services

We check the accuracy of statements made by traders which could mislead consumers into buying goods and services which they otherwise wouldn’t have purchased. We do this through responding to consumer complaints, receiving intelligence, routine inspections and project work.

Pricing

We ensure that all goods sold at retail have a price indication and that offers are genuine and not misleading. For further information please read the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Information guide titled Pricing Practises - go to the links tab above to see the guidance offered by the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Information

Counterfeit Goods

Trade in Counterfeit goods has a major effect on commercial and economic stability. We enforce legislation which protects the Intellectual Property rights of legitimate businesses. Intellectual Property covers Trade Marks, Copyright, Designs & Patents and Fraud.

The UK Intellectual Property Office gives advice on how to protect you Intellectual Property. To visit their website, please click here.  If you believe that someone is selling a counterfeit product, please report it to us by clicking on the 'Contact' tab above where you can either send an email message using the 'Send a message to this service' tab or telephone on the number provided.

Hallmarking

We enforce the Hallmarking Act 1973 which requires most goods made with precious metals to be genuinely Hallmarked and that sellers of such goods to display a notice detailing the marks on trade premises.  For further information please click the links provided below:

Estate Agency

We enforce and advise on legislation that governs Estate Agents, namely under the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 that ensures properties are fairly marketed.  We also have a duty to advise and enforce the Energy Performance Certificates Regulations where necessary. It is also a requirement that an Estate Agent belongs to an approved redress scheme.

Package Tours and Holidays

There are specific requirements for certain information to be given to consumers.  Money taken by providers of holiday packages must be secured and protected from insolvency.  For further information please click the links provided below:

  • Visit the Business Companion website to view an In depth guide to recognising what is meant by a package holiday and their specific legal requirements, including brochure descriptions.
  • To view the Department for Trade and Industry Information Guidance – Questions & Answers on the Package Travel Regulations for Organisers and Retailers 2006, please click here (PDF, 192.03KB, 13 pages).

Failure to register use of CCTV equipment.

Failure to register use of CCTV equipment can Lead To Prosecution by the Information Commissioner’s Office. The Trading Standards Service has recently received this important message from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has re-iterated its warning to businesses to register use of CCTV equipment at their premises following prosecution of a bar owner who failed to do so.

A Lancashire bar owner was recently prosecuted by the ICO for failing to register his premises' use of CCTV despite several reminder letters from the ICO. The operator was fined £100 and ordered to pay £250 prosecution costs by Blackpool Magistrates along with an additional £15 victim surcharge.

Licensee should be aware that under the Data Protection Act notification is a legal requirement for organisations processing and collecting CCTV images. Therefore it is important that businesses who operate CCTV equipment notify the ICO, as failure to notify is a criminal offence.

More information on the requirement to notify the ICO can be found on the ICO website www.ico.gov.uk.

For more business advice, free impartial legal guidance for businesses, please visit the Business Companion website.