Trading standards enforcement

We want businesses and the public to comply with regulations - prevention is better than enforcement - but sometimes we have to take necessary action against a business, or member of the public, to enforce the rules.

Prosecution is the most serious response. We can also take no action if we think that is the best option. We will always choose an enforcement method that is relevant and proportionate to the offence or contravention. We will also take account of an individual's or a business's past history when making our decision.

Our decisions will have regard to current statutory guidance and codes of practice, particularly the Regulators' Compliance Code, the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the Human Rights Act.

If you break trading standards regulations, we may take any of the following actions:

  • Informal advice
  • Fixed penalty notices
  • Formal notice
  • Forfeiture proceedings
  • Seizure of goods or equipment
  • Issue an injunction
  • Refusal or revocation of a licence
  • Simple caution
  • Prosecution