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Trading Standards - Legislation

Legislation Summaries

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trade Practices

 

 

Legislation Summaries

A wide range of legislation controls the supply of goods and services.

From here you can download the following files:

 

A summary of legislation in:

A Summary of legislation in England and Wales (opens a MS Word document in a new window) 

A Summary of legislation in Scotland (opens a MS Word document in a new window) 

Northern Ireland (opens a MS Word document in a new window)  

 

A classified list of legislation in:

England and Wales (opens a MS Word document in a new window) 

Scotland (opens a MS Word document in a new window)

Copies of Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments can be obtained from The Office of Public Sector Information (new window)

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New consumer protection from unfair trade practices

The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) was adopted on 11 May 2005. Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations implementing the Directive in the UK came in to force on 26 May 2008.

The Directive:

  • harmonises unfair trading laws in all EU Member States;
  • introduces a general prohibition on traders not to treat consumers unfairly. This prohibition is intended to act as safety-net consumer protection legislation.

 

In particular, the Directive obliges businesses not to mislead consumers through acts or omissions; or subject them to aggressive commercial practices such as high pressure selling techniques. The Directive also provides additional protections for vulnerable consumers who are often the target of unscrupulous traders.

 

The Directive’s wide scope – it applies to all business sectors – and flexible provisions means that it will plug gaps in existing EU and UK consumer protection legislation; and set standards against which new practices will automatically be judged.

 

Implementation of this Directive should help ensure the UK has a consumer regime amongst the level of the best in the world.  The Directive’s broad scope means that it overlaps with many existing laws. In addition, because the UCPD is a maximum harmonisation Directive (i.e. setting out the maximum level of restriction permissible in respect of unfair commercial practices which harm consumers’ economic interests) a supplementary objective in transposing the Directive was to achieve, where possible, some regulatory simplification. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations repeal provisions in a number of overlapping laws, including most of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and Part 3 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (misleading price indications).

 

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the Trading Standards Service or Business Link (new window)

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