Trading standards

Our aim is to protect Argyll and Bute’s residents, visitors and businesses and maintain a fair and safe trading environment where local businesses and consumers can thrive.

Spotlight on Fraud


Our activities include:

  • Fair trading – preventing traders from acting unfairly against buyers, including unfair contract terms and the restriction of consumers’ rights.  Other Fair Trading topics include:
    • Pricing – most goods on display for sale must be priced, special rules apply when dealing with sales. Find specific advice on unfair delivery charges here.
    • Consumer credit – specific requirements relate to advertising, authorisation and documentation. For further information on credit authorisation, please visit the Financial Conduct Authority website – Authorisation to provide Consumer Credit.
    • Consumer protection – a general ban on unfair trading means that traders must act in a way that enables the average customer to make free and informed purchasing decisions.  It also outlaws aggressive sales techniques and bans a number of unfair practices that might misinform or mislead consumers. Further information in relation to bogus workmen and scams is available, or contact Advice Direct Scotland for further information on consumer protection generally.
    • Counterfeiting and trademarks – from cigarettes to DVDs and CDs, from computer games, clothing or perfume to car parts
  • Weights and measures – weighing and measuring equipment “in use for trade” must be tested and verified before use and operate to strict tolerances. The weights of pre-packed goods and loose goods sold by weight or measure are also subject to specific regulation.
  • Safety - All goods on sale to the public must be generally safe, and specific requirements relate to many goods e.g. toys, fireworks.  Licences relating to the safe storage and use of petroleum and explosives are issued by Trading Standards
  • Quality and environment – Enforcing controls relating to fertilisers, pesticides and animal feeding stuffs
  • Age related sales - Ensuring goods such as solvents, cigarettes, nicotine 'vaping' devices and fireworks are not sold to persons under the appropriate age
  • Licenses - Trading Standards are also responsible for the administration and enforcement of several other licenses and registrations

Need consumer advice?

If you need advice regarding a product or service which you are not happy with, you should contact the Advice Direct Scotland service, which has replaced the Citizens Advice Consumer Service & Consumer Direct since 31st March 2019.

You can contact the Advice Direct Scotland Service on 0808 164 6000, or visit their website at From the website, you can connect with Advice Direct Scotland via email, facebook, twitter or livechat.

The service operates from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Mondays to Fridays, excluding bank holidays.  Advisors are trained on all aspects of consumer rights and help people to take the best course of action when they have a consumer problem by giving legally correct advice.

Need business advice?

Businesses within Argyll and Bute can contact us for advice and information or view our advice leaflets online.

Not an Argyll and Bute resident or business?

Find your local service at

Trading standards education

Consumer Education can be accessed online at

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