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The roles of Trading Standards

Based at the Civic Centre, Hillingdon's Trading Standards Service currently consists of six dedicated officers, trained to be expert in their fields.

These are the officers who:

  • ensure that the toys we buy for our children are safe
  • make sure that prices are correct
  • check dangerous counterfeits and remove them from sale
  • check to make sure you get a full pint of beer or not a watered down version
  • ensure that your cotton shirt really is cotton not synthetic
  • ensure you get the correct quantity of fuel
  • test new and second-hand furniture for fire safety
  • check to make sure garages service your car safely
  • investigate scams and rogue traders

Some trading standards officers are also qualified to enforce weights and measures legislation. These are the officers who:

  • inspect and test weighing and measuring equipment on trade premises, e.g. petrol pumps; weighing machines; length measuring equipment; measuring equipment for serving alcohol in licensed premises
  • test new weighing and measuring equipment for accuracy before use. A special mark is placed on all equipment that passes the Inspectors' tests
  • check packaged goods (food and non-food) for weight and quantity
  • check labelling both on imported goods as well as those manufactured in the U.K.
  • check for short measure
  • check on the manner in which the quantity is made known to the purchaser
  • enforce the legislation relating to metrication

Our Legislation page lists the main areas of legislation that we have a duty to enforce.

Current priorities

Our current priorities are to:

  • protect vulnerable residents from rogue traders
  • reduce anti-social behaviour using a range of activities and actions to control the sale of age-restricted goods
  • tackle the most complained about traders in Hillingdon so they trade fairly in the future
  • block the trade in counterfeit goods in Hillingdon in order to protect legitimate businesses, protect consumers from shoddy and unsafe goods and to disrupt linked criminal activity
  • ensure that goods sold in Hillingdon are safe
  • enforce legislation governing the accuracy of commercial weighing and measuring equipment.

Trading standards - business advice

Whether you are currently trading or thinking about setting up a new business, we can provide advice to help you comply with the many consumer laws that may affect you.

Understand the laws

Our officers are here to help you understand the requirements of the law - not just to see that you observe the law. We adhere to national guidelines (known as the Home Authority Principle) which require us to place special emphasis on companies resident in Hillingdon. (For general guidance on setting up a business, please go to Starting a business?).  

Over the phone advice

We also have an on-call advice rota from 9-1 Monday to Friday - telephone 01895 250164 - where you can speak to our duty officer about your new business. Although the duty officer may not be able to answer all questions you may have, they have access to officers with specialised knowledge of various areas who will be able to answer your queries.

Arrange an appointment

You may wish to arrange an appointment to come into the office to see an officer or arrange for an officer to visit your premises at a convenient time. Remember we are here to help. Getting it right first time together we can reduce the cost of compliance and prevent you making unnecessary mistakes. You can of course contact us by email for help or information.

Guidance notes and leaflets

There is a wide range of jargon-free guidance notes and leaflets for businesses that are continuously revised and updated.

Trading standards - consumer advice

Consumer advice and information in Hillingdon is provided by the Citizens Advice which provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.

The Citizens Advice consumer service will place your case details on a central database that all the other trading standards throughout the UK can access. If it passes your complaint on to us, we will carefully evaluate your complaint and make a decision as to the appropriate course of action. This may be a full investigation, referral to another more appropriate agency, or no further action (logged for information only). We make the decision using a scoring system that takes into account our priorities, consumer detriment and reliability of the information, any known previous intelligence, and currently available resources. Thus, individual complaints do not necessarily lead to immediate enforcement action. The information is however valuable intelligence allowing trading standards to properly prioritise their activities. 

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 25 May 2016 at 09:17