Trading Standards

Our trading standards team are dedicated to working with local businesses providing advice and guidance on a wide range of civil and criminal legislation to create a safe and fair trading environment for both businesses and consumers in the Peterborough and Rutland areas.

On this page:

Consumer advice

The Citizens Advice Bureau provide advice and support about your consumer rights and are your first point of contact for any enquiry. Your consumer rights are protected by law when you buy goods or services locally or online. 

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Advice to businesses

Our Trading Standards team provide advice to business in Peterborough and Rutland on a variety of subjects, for example:

  • animal health or welfare  
  • counterfeit goods
  • explosive / fireworks
  • food labelling
  • petroleum
  • product safety
  • consumer contracts / distance selling
  • underage sale
  • weights and measures.

There are a number of external websites that hold a variety of valuable information for businesses:

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Product safety

Product safety is one of the key areas of responsibility for trading standards. The law states that all new and secondhand goods must be safe and the manufacturer, importer or supplier should not place any product on the market unless it is safe.

We have a duty to:

  • inspect premises
  • take samples of different goods
  • investigate consumer complaints

To report an unsafe product, please contact us.

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Underage sales

Think 21/25 means that if you think someone looks under 21/25, then ask for their proof of age. When asking for proof of age, it is important that you only accept legitimate identification such as a driving licence or passport or other forms of approved ID schemes.

For further information please visit the PassScheme website. The sale, supply or offer to supply any of the following types of age restricted products to underage persons is prohibited:

  • tobacco
  • knives
  • fireworks
  • video recordings and games
  • intoxicating substances
  • lottery tickets
  • alcohol
  • petrol
  • aerosol spray paint
  • this includes online sales.

If you sell an age restricted product to someone underage then you could face a large fine or even a prison sentence. At the very least you may receive a fixed penalty. This applies to the business, but also to the person who makes the sale. 

If you do commit an offence by selling to someone under-age, some legislation allows you to defend yourself if you are able show that you took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.

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Proxy sales

If you think that an adult is buying age restricted products for someone under 18, you should refuse to sell to them and contact us for advice. Anyone who buys alcohol for a person under 18 may be committing an offence by doing so.

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Counterfeit goods

With millions of counterfeit goods being produced and sold every year, it is a huge problem globally. Counterfeit goods are deliberately produced to resemble well-known brands, including hallmarked metals appearing to be genuine jewellery. Making or selling fake goods is against the law. The Citizens Advice Bureau hold information on what you can do to get your money back or feel you have been misled.

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Food labels 

Trading Standards enforce legislation concerning food standards– composition and labelling. Food label requirements are set out by regulations that apply to specific foods, labelling requirements are complex and vary from product to product. View the Food Information Regulation from the Food Standards Agency.

Food safety and hygiene is the responsibility of the Food Safety team

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Almost all businesses use packaging to some extent to pack goods in the course of conducting their business. The main requirements of packaging regulations are:

  • weight and volume must be kept to the minimum amount necessary 
  • must be manufactured to allow reuse or recovery in accordance with technical requirements
  • noxious and hazardous chemicals in packaging must be kept to a minimum

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Animal health

Inspections are routinely carried out on farms, at shows and during transportation to ensure that legislation is complied with and standards are maintained.

Our animal health and welfare team duties include:

  • ensuring livestock is correctly identified and is moved with the required movement documentation
  • contingency planning and disease prevention
  • investigating complaints.

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Weights and measures

All weighing equipment in use for trade must be suitable for its intended purpose and be sufficiently accurate. It is recommended that all weighing equipment is checked on a regular basis.

Any business that uses weighing or measuring equipment for trade will need to ensure the equipment has been verified. Any one who charges for a public weighing on a public weighbridge is legally required to hold a certificate of competence to demonstrate knowledge of the record keeping requirements. Charges may apply.

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Cowboy builders or rogue traders

If you think you have been a victim of a rogue trader or doorstep conman please report this to us. This may include bogus officials, high pressure sales techniques, or rogue traders telling you that work needs doing and then charging extortionate prices.

If someone knocks at your door and tells you that you need work done on your home, don’t be forced into making a decision at the door or on the spot. We recommend that you:

  • get personal recommendations for traders from friends, family or neighbours
  • ask for references from recent clients
  • describe exactly what you want prior to getting a quote
  • get a quotation from more than one trader
  • take your time. Don’t be hurried into making a decision

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Petrol is highly flammable, explosive and toxic and there are laws that you are required to follow when you are storing it.

The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 are in force as of 1 October 2014 which replace the petroleum Licencing system, with the Petroleum Storage Certificate (PSC). Certificates are issued to the premises where the petrol is stored and dispensed, with no reference to person or company name.

Certificates do not have an expiry date and remain in force until either major changes take place or the site ceases to operate for more than 12 months.

Fee are payable each year and are set dependant on the quantity stored, but some quantities do not require a certificate. Please contact us for further information. 

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Fireworks and explosives

The storage and sale of fireworks/explosives are controlled by regulations that require the keeper to licence their premise for the storage of explosives. 

It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to possess fireworks in public places.

It is illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, with the exception of:

  • 5 November, when this is extended to midnight
  • New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when fireworks can be set off until 1am the following morning

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Contact trading standards

If you would like further help and advice about any of the areas mentioned above, please contact us using the following details:

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