Trading standards

Trading standards ensure businesses are aware of their obligations to consumers and do not infringe consumer protection laws. There are many areas of legislation that we have a duty to enforce, some of which include protecting children from harm, fair trading, consumer safety and licensing/registration.

Please note that Trading Standards license businesses in Harrow selling fireworks and explosives and premises in both Brent and Harrow running auctions of domestic goods. All other licensing is done by the licensing teams in Brent and Harrow Councils respectively.

Our priorities

Trading standards legislation aims to protect consumers while creating a fair trading environment for business. Our current priorities are:

  • Rogue traders - protecting vulnerable residents from unscrupulous businesses
  • Age-restricted sales - reducing anti-social behaviour using a range of activities and actions to control the sale of age 18-restricted goods (knives, spray paint, alcohol, fireworks, tobacco )
  • Fair trading - tackling the most complained-about traders in Brent so they trade fairly in the future
  • Counterfeit and dangerous goods - blocking the trade in counterfeit goods in order to protect legitimate businesses, protect consumers from poor quality or unsafe goods and disrupt criminal activity
  • Weights & measures - enforcing legislation governing the accuracy of commercial weighing and measuring equipment and goods sold by quantity
  • Dealing with complaints received from business and consumers about criminal breaches of Trading Standards law which occur in Brent and Harrow.

Complaints

Consumers wanting advice or to make a complaint about a business should first contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service who are the primary contact for 99% of UK Trading Standards services.

Simple advice on problems which are covered by civil law can be given by the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. Brent & Harrow Trading Standards no longer give consumers help and advice with civil law problems (such as faulty goods & services).

Guidance sheets and leaflets

Detailed information about trading standards including guidance notes and leaflets can be found on our dedicated website: www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/brent&harrow

Brent and Harrow

Our Business Regulation and Consumer Protection Unit is part of a partnership between Harrow Council and Brent Council. Our trading standards team adheres to national guidelines (known as the Home Authority Principle) which require us to place special emphasis on companies resident in Brent or Harrow.

Significant breaches of the law are thoroughly investigated; prosecution is only carried out when there are serious or deliberate breaches of criminal Trading Standards law.  There are a range of alternative actions available including Civil Injunction, cautions and advice.

Primary authority partnerships

Regardless of its size, a business operating across council boundaries can form a primary authority partnership with a single local authority in relation to regulatory compliance. Read more about primary authority partnerships on the Better Regulation Delivery Office website.