Trading Standards

Consumer advice  Business advice  What we do  Contact us Trading Standards Enquiries

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.

We are a regulatory service dealing with a wide range of Scottish, UK and European Legislation relating to the quality, quantity, price, description and safety of goods and services. 

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
    • 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 Citizens Advice Consumer Service 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?

Approved Traders Scheme

Find out about the Approved Traders Scheme. The scheme provides consumers with a list of local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks before being approved as members of the scheme.

Seek guidance on cancellation rights in consumer contracts.

If you need advice regarding a product or service which you are not happy with, you should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, which has replaced Consumer Direct.

You can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506, visit their website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland or submit a complaint online. For more information about the services that Citizens Advice Consumer Services provide, you can also watch their video - Citizens Advice Consumer Service video

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 www.gov.uk/find-local-trading-standards-office

Trading standards education

Consumer Education can be accessed online at www.askcedric.org.uk.