The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (‘the Regulations’) are designed to protect consumers from dishonest, misleading and aggressive sales practices used by individuals, business and companies supplying products and services.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors outlines the Regulations.
The Regulations | Kangs Trading Standards Defence Solicitors
The following are deemed to be criminal offences:
- knowingly or recklessly engaging in a commercial practice which contravenes the requirements of professional diligence in a way that materially distorts or is likely to distort the economic behaviour of the average consumer with regard to the product under regulation.
- engaging in a commercial practice which is misleading action.
- engaging in a commercial practice that is a misleading omission.
- engaging in a commercial practice that is aggressive.
- engaging in commercial practices that are specifically set out in schedule 1 of the Regulations, that are very wide ranging and include:
- claiming to be a signatory to a code of conduct when the trader is not.
- displaying a trust mark or a quality mark without obtaining the necessary permission.
- falsely stating that a product will only be available for a limited time.
- claiming to be a trader or offering a product that has been approved or endorsed by a public or private body when this is not the case.
- claiming that trade is about to cease when it is not.
- falsely claiming that a product is able to cure illnesses, dysfunctions or malformations.
- creating the impression that the consumer cannot leave the premises until a contact is formed.
Enforcement and Penalties | Kangs Trading Standards Law Advisory Team
The Regulations are generally enforced by Trading Standards officers employed by local authorities and enable a criminal prosecution against anyone found to be in breach of them.
The offences are triable at either:
- the Magistrates’ Court where, upon conviction, a fine of up to the statutory maximum will be imposed or
- the Crown Court where a conviction can result in a maximum prison sentence of two years and/or a fine.
Potential Defences | Kangs National Trading Standards Solicitors
An accused may be able to show a defence if the commission of the offence was due to:
- a mistake,
- reliance upon information supplied by another person,
- the act or default of another person,
- an accident,
- another cause beyond the trader’s control; and
- the trader took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the offence by them or a person under their control.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
The Regulations are both detailed and complicated rendering it easy to fall foul of them.
It is essential, as with any criminal investigation that could result in a prison sentence, to seek expert advice immediately.
The Trading Standards Defence Team at Kangs Solicitors has a wealth of experience in dealing with Regulatory matters on a daily basis.
Should you require assistance please do not hesitate to contact: