Visits by Trading Standards

We have been contacted recently by several members in Kent who have had visits from Trading Standards accompanied by police officers. During these visits both Trading Standards and the police have exceeded their powers and authority and attempted to bully retailers.

With legal advice we have put together this document detailing Trading Standards lawful authority. This should help our members stand up for their rights in law whilst remaining on the right side of it.


Any Trading Standards Officer wishing to enter our premises to inspect will have to produce identification showing that the person concerned is a duly authorised and empowered Trading Standards Officer.

They will need to identify the law under which they purport to exercise a right to enter to inspect.

Trading Standards Officers have no power to authorise Police Officers to enter premises and Police Officers do not have a general right to enter premises.

Trading Standards Officers do not have a right to enter premises to execute a search.

In some circumstances Trading Standards Officers may have a right to be allowed to enter to inspect but not to search. Such powers as are afforded to Trading Standards Officers to enter to inspect are not granted for the purposes of searching premises nor for engaging in “fishing expeditions” [which are in substance and effect searches].

Trading Standards Officers will have to go directly in a timely manner to the subject of the inspection, inspect it and nothing else and leave the premises. If there are to be any discussions these can take place outside the premises or in a separate room or in an entrance lobby at our discretion.

Police Officers are not to be present on any such occasion and should not be invited into the premises in the absence of demonstrable lawful authority.


We've provided a copy of this advice as a PDF for you to print off and use as a checklist in the event of a visit from Trading Standards. Download the PDF here.