Trading Standards - latest news for business

Trading Standards is keen to keep local businesses up to date with the latest changes to legislation to assist them in their compliance. Below you will find topical items on this and other matters that fall within our remit that may be of interest to you as a business.

National lockdown

The UK is in national lockdown and associated business closures and restrictions are in place.

A summary of the business restrictions is available on the GOV.UK website. More detailed guidance is available on the GOV.UK 'closing certain businesses and venue' page. If you need further detail, you can view the full legislation on the legislation.gov.uk website.

You can seek advice from Trading Standards or your local Environmental Health team on compliance with the lockdown rules in the context of your business. Whilst there is usually a small charge for Trading Standards advice services, where you are an SME based in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and your enquiry relates to lockdown restrictions, the advice is free of charge.

To receive advice, please complete our business advice online form and one of our business advisers will be in touch. For larger businesses, there may be a small charge. We will detail any charges upfront so that you can decide whether to take up our offer of advice. Our hourly rate is £70 per hour plus VAT.

Exit from Europe

Advice and support available from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

In addition to providing comprehensive information and guidance on the GOV.UK transition webpages, the Government has launched a number of tools to help businesses understand what is required of them following our exit from Europe:

Exporters

Northern Ireland

  1. Northern Ireland Protocol guidance - you should refer to this if you move goods into, out of or through Northern Ireland. View the Northern Ireland Protocol guidance on the GOV.UK website.

  2. Trader Support Service (TSS) on the GOV.UK website - this free UK Government-backed service guides you through any changes you need to make and can complete customs declarations on your behalf. The TSS also offers a comprehensive range of education materials including online training, webinars and 'how to' guides.

  3. Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS) on the GOV.UK website - free support, including a dedicated helpline, is available for traders and businesses moving animals, plants and associated products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. MAS also means that traders will not need to pay health certification costs, which will be met by the UK Government.

Bespoke Brexit advice from Trading Standards

Trading Standards can provide you with specific regulatory advice in relation to Brexit on the following matters:

  • The new requirements placed on businesses who previously brought goods in from the EU and are now regarded as 'importers' and not 'distributors'. This will require these businesses to have additional labelling, checks and procedures in place. Some of these measures came into effect on 1 January 2021. Please note on the GOV.UK website there is guidance in relation to importing goods and guidance on importing animal products, high risk food and feed not of animal origin.

  • The new requirements placed on businesses who previously sold goods in the EU but are now regarded as 'third country suppliers' (including those who supply food of animal origin). Again, this requires such businesses to put in place additional checks, labelling and procedures and some of the requirements came into effect on 1 January 2021.

  • The special requirements that apply to goods sold or supplied within Northern Ireland.

  • The safety compliance requirements placed on UK manufacturers producing products for the consumer market in terms of labelling, testing and registration of certain products.

  • The new requirements placed on feed businesses and assistance with Export Health Certificates for animal feed.

  • The requirements placed on those importing animals into the UK. Guidance on importing and moving live animals is on the GOV.UK website.

Please complete our business advice online form to get in touch with our business advice service. There is a charge of £70 per hour plus VAT for our advice, but we will give you an estimate of the cost of the advice you need before proceeding so that you have the choice as to whether to proceed or not.

You can also read more about our advice services on our advice for business page.

Funding to assist with the cost of EU exit advice

The Government has announced a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund. This fund offers support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU. The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 if your business has up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover.

SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, can apply for grants of up to £2,000 to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue to trading effectively with the EU.

You can find more information on the SME Brexit Support Fund on the GOV.UK website. Full guidance on how you can use the grant is on the GOV.UK website, as well as who can apply and how to apply.

Cosmetic importers and manufacturers advice - implication from Brexit and transition period

Submit a Cosmetic Product Notification

Prior to leaving the EU, the placing on the market of cosmetic products required information about the cosmetic to be notified to the European Commission through the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP).

From 1 January 2021, if you are a Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) business and place cosmectis on the GB market, you are no longer required to use the EU notification portal. You now have a duty to notify all cosmetic products placed on the GB market onto the new UK Government Portal - the SCPN (Submit a Cosmetic Product Notification). You have until 31 March 2021 to submit cosmetic product notifications onto the SCPN for cosmetics already placed on the GB market.

Visit the GOV.UK website for further details and to gain access to the SCPN.

Responsible Person and product labels

You have until the end of 2022 to ensure product labels have a UK Responsible Person name and address. Previously, businesses who brought cosmetic products into the UK from an EU member state in most cases were classed as the 'distributor' but will become the 'importer'. The importer of a cosmetic product, whether from the EU or another country, becomes a Responsible Person by default.

Where you continue to supply Northern Ireland (NI) and / or EU market, you will need an established address or a formal relationship with an Authorised Representative (Responsible Person) in NI or the EU and must still notify products onto the EU CPNP.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards has published further information on the changes. Visit the GOV.UK website for guidance on the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013.

If your business needs assistance or specific regulatory advice with regards to marketing and placing products on the market, please contact Trading Standards using our business advice online form.

Update to criteria of Cannabidiol (CBD) products which can remain on sale from 1 April 2021

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is reiterating its advice to the CBD industry to submit their novel food applications and move towards compliance with novel food regulations.

Apply for a regulated product authorisation on the Food Standards Agency website.

Companies with suitably validated applications should then be able to continue selling their products in England and Wales until they have been considered by independent scientific committees and a decision on authorisation has been made.

The criteria for products which can remain on sale from 1 April 2021 has been updated. Previously, only products which were on sale at the time of the FSA's announcement on 13 February 2020 and were linked to an application which had been validated by 31 March 2021 were to be included. To maximise the opportunity to pass validation, this now includes all products on sale on 13 February 2020 and linked to an application submitted before 31 March 2021 that is subsequently validated.

If your business needs assistance or specific regulatory advice with regards to marketing and placing products on the market, please contact Trading Standards using our business advice online form.

Restrictions on the sale of certain solid fuels - new rules from 1 May 2021

Following the passage of the Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020, new restrictions effective from 1 May 2021 will place restrictions on the sale of certain solid fuels including wet wood and house coal. Retailers will be required to:

  • Check the fuel they supply is authorised and displays the 'Ready to Burn' mark
  • Store seasoned wood in such a way as to keep it dry

The Government is expected to publish guidance on the regulations shortly and we will add to this page.

Energy labelling - new rules from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021, products newly placed on the market require a UK energy label. Dealers also need to display this new label.

Further changes are taking place from 1 March 2021, when legislation mandating the use of new, re-scaled energy labels will come into force for some products. There will also be a 'UK energy label' for these re-scaled energy labels.

Prior to this date, suppliers must provide dealers with access to these labels. From 1 March 2021, dealers will have 14 working days to ensure re-scaled labels are displayed.

The product types subject to re-scaling are:

  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines and dryers
  • Domestic refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Wine storage fridges
  • Electronic displays, including television monitors and digital signage displays

You can find more information on the energy labelling of products on the GOV.UK website.

New rules on single use plastics introduced - 2020 and 2021

In October 2020, restrictions on the supply of single use plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds to the end user came into effect.

In April 2021, there will be an extension of the carrier bag charge to all retailers, and increase of the minimum charge to 10p.

In July 2021, a ban will be introduced on small straws attached to beverage cartons.

View the full regulations on the legislation.gov.uk website.

Allergens - the rules are changing for food that is pre-packed for direct sale on 1 October 2021

From 1 October 2021, PPDS (prepacked for direct sale) food will need to have a label with a full ingredients list and allergenic ingredients emphasised within it.

Known as ‘Natasha’s Law’ after the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette containing sesame seeds, the government has brought in rules to protect those with allergies and give them greater confidence in the food they buy.

Currently, the law does not require PPDS food to carry allergen information on the packaging.

PPDS food means food sold from the same premises from which it was packed, including a market stalls and mobile sales vehicle.

Businesses may implement these changes before the rules come into force. For further advice, please contact Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards business advice service using our business advice online form.

There is a charge of £70 per hour plus VAT for our advice, but we will give you an estimate of the cost of the advice you need before proceeding so that you have the choice as to whether to proceed or not. You can also read more about our advice services on our advice for business page on the Cambridgeshire County Council website.