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Trading standards advice for businesses


Protect yourself - Keep your distance poster for businesses (PDF, 689KB)


Advice and information for businesses on product compliance, age-restricted products and weights and measures.

Get advice

We provide advice for businesses based in the borough and enforce legislation covering the description, safety and pricing of goods and services.

Our aims are to:

  • ensure a fair and safe trading environment
  • protect the interests of people in the borough
  • support legitimate businesses to grow

We do this by:

  • investigating consumer complaints when criminal consumer protection laws may have been broken
  • achieving compliance with statutory controls
  • inspecting businesses and retail premises
  • enforcing the law in relation to doorstep crime, rogue trading and age-restricted products (such as alcohol, cigarettes, knives and fireworks)
  • preventing the supply of unsafe goods
  • working with other agencies to tackle consumer protection problems

If you're a business in the borough and need advice on trading standards, you can contact us using the form below.

To use the form, you need to be signed in to your Barking and Dagenham Council My Account. If you haven’t got a My Account, you can register for My Account.

Business advice form

Age-restricted sales Toggle accordion

We enforce legislation on the sale of age-restricted products to children, including alcohol and tobacco.

We work with the police to reduce the number of the under-age sales by retailers in the borough and carry out test purchases to check compliance with the law and age-verification practices.

A test purchase is when we ask an underage volunteer to attempt to buy an age-restricted product. They may be covertly observed by an officer, or recorded.

If you are subject to a test purchase, we will inform you of the result either at the time or in writing afterwards.

Minimum ages for purchasing age restricted products

ProductMinimum age for purchase
Adult fireworks18
Aerosol spray paints16
Alcoholic drinks18
Butane cigarette-lighter refills18
Crossbows and lookalike guns18
DVDs, videos and certain console games12, 15 or 18, as marked
Knives, axes and blades18
Liqueur confectionery16
Lottery tickets16
Tobacco products and cigarette papers18

Prosecutions and fixed-penalty notices

We may prosecute, issue fixed penalty notices or cautions to retailers who make illegal sales.

In cases of illegal alcohol sales, we may instigate a licensing review of the alcohol premises licence, which may result in suspension or revocation of the licence.

Two illegal sales might lead to the voluntary closure of the licensed premises for a period of 48 hours to 2 weeks.

We offer retailers:

  • free advice
  • information leaflets
  • refusal booklets to record incidents of refusing the sale of age-restricted products

We also do educational work with young people to raise awareness of the law and the health risks associated with age-restricted products.

Weights and measures Toggle accordion

In partnership with Havering, Redbridge, Newham and Waltham Forest, we are responsible for making sure that all goods sold are correctly weighed and measured in accordance with the Weights and Measures Act 1985.

We see that all weighing and measuring equipment in use for trade is accurate, and that underweight or short measures of goods are not sold within the borough.

The partnership verifies, calibrates and inspects weighing and measuring equipment in businesses in the borough, and carries out reference testing at premises requiring inspection under the average quantity system.

Make an appointment for an inspection

If you have new or repaired weighing or measuring equipment (such as scales, petrol pumps, etc) which needs to be passed as fit for use for trade, and which are based in any of the partnership boroughs, please make an appointment for inspection.

North East London Metrology Partnership (NELMP)

Langtons cottage, Billet Lane, Hornchurch RM11 1XJ

01708 433 427


Business compliance Toggle accordion

The government's Business Companion provides information for businesses that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation.

The guidance is divided up into 15 broad quick guides and each one contains a number of more detailed in depth guides.

There could be rules you are not aware of, so make sure you explore the site thoroughly.

Business Companion - Trading standards law explained

Local businesses seeking further advice should contact us on 020 8215 3000 or email tradingstandards@lbbd.gov.uk.

Product safety recalls

When unsafe products get onto the market a product safety recall is issued.

Check if a product has been recalled on the Trading Standards Institute website.

Product recalls

Product conformity standards

All products covered by product-specific legislation must meet essential safety requirements.

A producer or importer can demonstrate that a product meets these requirements by carrying out the appropriate tests as set out in the relevant standard(s), if applicable.

The British Standards Institute (the UK’s national standards body) provides copies of standards which relate to specific product types.

The European Union issues a list of EU harmonised standards.