Trading Standards legislation

Below is a list of the Acts enforced by Trading Standards, with a brief explanation of what they control. 

  • Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Acts 1928 and 1931Controls the use of grade designation marks for products such as fruit, vegetables, eggs and fish.
  • Agriculture Act 1970
    Requires fertilisers and feeding stuffs, including pet foods, to be labelled showing analysis of composition.
  • Animal Health Act 1981Deals with the spread of diseases by controlling the movement of animals and isolating areas where disease is confirmed.  Also controls the importation of animals.
  • Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004
    Bans the sale of spray paint to under-16s
  • Business Names Act 1985
    Requires companies to display their registered office address on trading premises and on documents. 
  • Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991Prohibits the sale of unpackaged cigarettes to anyone.  Requires warning notice to be displayed in shops and vending machines restricting sales to an age minimum of 18 years.
  • Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937Prohibits the sale of tobacco to persons under 18 years of age.
  • Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Sections 5, 94 and 99)
  • Gives local authority power to licence second hand dealers and markets.   Allows local authority to deal with abandoned dangerous petrol tanks.
  • Clean Air Act 1993
    Regulates the composition and content of motor fuels.
  • Consumer Credit Act 1974
    Controls credit advertising and the content of credit agreements and associated documents.   Gives Office of Fair Trading power to licence creditors.  TSS supplies information to OFT regarding trading practices.
  • Consumer Protection Act 1987 Creates a general requirement that consumer goods must be safe.  Wide range of Regulations controlling the safety features of specific goods.
  • Control of Pollution Act 1974 Regulations apply to anti-fouling paint (used on the hulls of boats) to control levels of tributyltin, which is harmful to freshwater and marine animals and plants.
  • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 Prohibits the unauthorised use of copyright material or a patented design.
  • Crossbows Act 1987 Prohibits the sale of crossbows to persons under 17 years of age.
  • Customs and Excise Management Act 1979
    Requires compulsory fiscal marks ('UK Duty Paid') to appear on packs of cigarettes and tobacco 
  • Education Reform Act 1988      (Section 214)
    Prohibits the 'passing-off' of bogus degrees as genuine.
  • Energy Act 1976
    Requires fuel consumption figures to be displayed on new cars.
  • Energy Conservation Act 1981Requires gas appliances, heat generators and safety devices to be marked with a type approval.
  • Enterprise Act 2002
    Enables enforcement bodies to apply to courts for an "enforcement order" (similar to an interdict in Scotland) where there is a breach of certain consumer legislation.
  • Estate Agents Act 1979
    Requires estate agents to provide prospective clients with information about charges and other services offered.   Requires disclosure of any interest which they have in a property for sale.  Requires estate agents to be members of a redress scheme.
  • European Communities Act 1972
    Enables the UK to make Regulations to implement EU Directives.  Controls include the safety of electrical equipment, toys, machinery and the financial security of package tour operators.  Regulations made under this Act now replace much of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968.  Regulations also provide cancellation rights in timeshare or holiday club contracts (including resales) and ban up-front charges/deposits.
  • Explosives Act 1875
    Controls the storage of explosives.  Prohibits the sale of fireworks to persons under 18 years of age. Stockists required to register with local authority.  Local authority responsible for registration of storage places.
  • Fair Trading Act 1973
    Prohibits unfair statements in notices or documents.  Controls unfair trading practices via the Office of Fair Trading.
  • Farm and Garden Chemicals Act 1967Requires products such as weedkiller to be labelled showing hazardous ingredients.
  • Fireworks Act 2003
    Requires suppliers of fireworks to display a sign stating that supplying to under-18s is illegal, and that it is illegal for anyone under 18 to possess fireworks in a public place.  Restricts the selling of fireworks to certain periods of the year, unless a full-year licence is obtained.
  • Food and Environmental Protection Act 1985 (Part III)
    Controls the advertising, labelling and selling of pesticides and a wide range of products such as creosote, pet flea powder and slug pellets.  TSS also responsible for monitoring imported bulk packages of non-foods which have been at risk of radioactive contamination. 
  • Hallmarking Act 1973
    Requires precious metal jewellery (platinum, gold, palladium and silver) to be hallmarked and an illustrative notice to be displayed on traders' premises.
  • Health and Safety at Work etc., Act 1974      (Sections 19 and 20)
    Provides powers to enforce other Acts, e.g. Petroleum Acts, Explosives Act.
  • Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
    Requires sellers or selling agents of residential property to have a Home Report and to make copies available to potential buyers.
  • Medicines Act 1968
    Trading Standards enforces the controls on the number of pre-packed aspirin or paracetamol tablets allowed to be sold in premises which are not pharmacies.
  • Motor Cycle Noise Act 1987Regulations require motor cycle silencers or exhaust systems to be marked in accordance with the appropriate EU Directive or British Standard.
  • Motor Vehicles (Safety Equipment for Children) Act 1991Allows Regulations to be made to ensure the safety of equipment for children in motor vehicles.
  • Olympic Symbol etc (Protection) Act 1995
    Prevents unauthorised use of the Olympic Games symbols and wording.
  • Petroleum (Regulation) Acts 1928 and 1936
    Controls the storage of petrol.  Filling stations are licensed by the local authority.
  • Poisons Act 1972
    Controls the retail sale of Part II poisons, requiring registration with the local authority.
  • Prices Acts 1974 and 1975Requires traders to indicate the selling price of goods and, in some cases, the unit price.
  • Property Misdescriptions Act 1991Prohibits misleading descriptions of property.   Applies to estate agents and property developers.
  • Road Traffic Act 1988
    TSS enforces requirements that motor cycle helmets and visors are to be manufactured and marked to conform to a standard. 
  • Telecommunications Act 1984    (Sections 28 and 29)
    Requires telecommunications equipment to bear a prescribed mark indicating whether or not it is approved for general use
  • Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002
    Bans the advertising and promotion of tobacco products (with certain limited exceptions).
  • Trade Descriptions Act 1968
    Mostly now repealed, except that it prohibits false statements about royal approval or award.  Most other types of misleading statements are now controlled by Regulations made under the European Communities Act 1972.
  • Trade Marks Act 1994
    Prohibits the unauthorised use of a registered trade mark.
  • Video Recordings Acts 1984 and 1993
    Requires video films to be marked with age classification ( U, 12, 15, PG, 18 ).Prohibits the supply of video films to under-age persons.
  • Weights and Measures Act 1985
    Prescribes units of measurement.  Controls weighing and measuring equipment for trade use.  Controls the manner of measuring and labelling the quantities of a wide range of goods.