This information is intended for businesses and their employees and aims to answer any questions you may have about inspections that officers of the Trading Standards Service may carry out at your business premises. It tells you what powers the officers have and what rights you have.
Who will carry out the inspection?
Trading Standards inspections will be carried out by Trading Standards Officers of Walsall Council. They may be accompanied by officers of other Council services, Police Officers or any other individual necessary to conduct the inspection, such as experts in particular types of goods.
Why is the inspection taking place?
The inspection is to establish whether Trading Standards legislation, applicable to your business premises, is being complied with. It may be a part of the Service's routine inspection programme or because a complaint has been received about the business or because the officer suspects that an offence may have been committed. The officers will inform you of the reason for their visit.
What powers do the officers have?
Officers have the right at all reasonable times, to enter any premises other than premises used solely as a private dwelling. If you refuse entry to an officer you will be committing an offence and the officer will be able to obtain an entry warrant.
- Officers can inspect and test weighing and measuring equipment and goods.
- If the officers suspect an offence has been committed they may seize and detain property that they consider may be required as evidence.
- They can require computer information to be produced.
- They make take photographs or make video recordings.
What can you expect from the officers?
- To be shown identification.
- A courteous manner.
- To be told the purpose of the visit and an explanation of the findings,
- To be given a list of all seized items.
- To be notified of the results of any tests carried out
- Where appropriate, to be notified of the appeals procedure against local authority decisions and for claiming compensation in relation to those decisions.
What will happen after the inspection?
If the officer finds a breach of Trading Standards legislation, s/he will decide what course of action to take, depending upon the nature of the breach.
If the officer finds nothing wrong, or any minor contraventions, s/he will tell you this and advise you of what action you must take to ensure compliance. If appropriate the officer may put this advice in writing in a Traders Notice and will make it clear what is legally required and what is advice on best practice.
If the officer finds a contravention of safety legislation s/he may issue a suspension notice prohibiting the movement of specified goods for a period of six months.
If the officer finds more serious contraventions s/he may decide that legal proceedings should be considered. Under such circumstances a representative of the business may be interviewed and a full investigation carried out before a decision on the most appropriate course of action is made.
If you have a complaint that these procedures have not been followed you should first contact Trading Standards to discuss the matter. If you remain dissatisfied you can ask for details to enable you to submit a formal complaint to the local authority.
Telephone: 03454 04 05 06
Local Government Ombudsman
If after this stage, your complaint remains unresolved, you may refer the matter to
Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Telephone 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983
If you dispute the issue of a suspension notice in relation to specific goods, you have a right of appeal to a Magistrates Court.
This page was last updated on 03 November 2016