The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has started a consultation on consumer law enforcement powers. The aim of the consultation is to simplify and clarify consumer law in the UK, improving consumer protection.
BIS is consulting in five areas:
1) the consolidation and simplification of consumer law investigatory powers so that officers’ powers are transparent to enforcers and businesses alike;
2) making it easier for Trading Standards Services to tackle rogue traders operating across local authority boundaries;
3) enabling officers to present cases in County courts to encourage more use of civil enforcement to avoid over-reliance on criminal prosecutions;
4) allowing local authorities more flexibility in training their Trading Standards staff which provides assurance to businesses of officers’ competence and focuses on local needs; and
5) removing restrictions on how Trading Standards Services calibrate their measurement standards, by enabling competition and thereby reducing costs to local authorities.
The laws under review in the consultation do not all apply across the UK so any proposed changes to the law will have to take regional differences into account. The consultation will run until 20 June 2012.