Trading Standards protect the interests of local consumers and businesses. We enforce consumer protection legislation by inspecting business premises, 'mystery shopping' exercises, undertaking surveys and dealing with consumer complaints. Our main functions include:
- product safety - we check and test goods to see if they comply with safety standards (for example, toys)
- quality - we check that food meets specific labelling and compositional requirements
- fair trading - we check that goods and services are described correctly (for example, second-hand cars)
- metrology - we examine and test weights, measures and equipment used by traders (for example, shop scales)
- business advice - we provide friendly, courteous, impartial advice and assistance to local businesses. We also provide information on what to expect when an officer from Trading Standards calls
We inspect and sample various food and non-food products as part of our overall inspection plan. Our annual food and non-food sampling plans target local priorities as well as nationl issues. We also take part in the Central Trading Standards Authorities projects.
Our aim is to provide good quality advice and information to business to help them comply with the legislation which applies to their business. However, where there are breaches of the legislation, appropriate action will be taken. The decision on what action to take is informed by our enforcement policy which is part of the Black Country Regulators Operating Framework (PDF 731kb). This supports business by providing a single, consistent enforcement policy and set of service standards across the Black Country; reducing unfair competition and providing confidence in our businesses.