National Trading Standards – Online sales of age-restricted products

This guidance is for England & Wales

Selling age-restricted products via the internet presents particular issues and retailers must have effective systems in place for preventing sales to prospective customers who are underage.

This guide applies to all products that have age restrictions on sales, such as alcohol, tobacco, spray paints, fireworks, and video recordings and games.

Duty of retailers

It is the responsibility of retailers to ensure they do not sell age-restricted products online to people who are under the minimum legal age. This means setting up effective systems capable of verifying the age of potential purchasers to ensure they are above the minimum legal age to purchase a product. When making an assessment of such systems account should be taken of legal requirements to take all reasonable precautions and to exercise all due diligence to avoid committing an offence. These legal requirements are a retailer’s defence in consumer protection legislation.

Such systems should be regularly monitored and updated as necessary, to identify and rectify any problems or weaknesses in the system or to keep pace with advances in available technology.

There is no definitive answer as to what constitutes taking all reasonable precautions or exercising all due diligence. However, past court case decisions in relation to other areas of consumer protection have established that a retailer’s defence is more likely to fail if positive steps or precautions are not taken, resulting in a conviction.

Risk analysis, including the investigation of the options available to overcome risks, is required to identify and investigate what precautions and steps could be taken.

Checks unlikely to satisfy ‘due diligence’

Retailers should take positive steps to verify the age of the purchaser when selling age-restricted products. The following are examples that are unlikely to be enough to satisfy the requirements of taking all reasonable precautions and exercising all due diligence:

  • relying on the purchaser confirming they are over the minimum age
  • asking the purchaser simply to provide a date of birth
  • using tick boxes to ask purchasers to confirm they are over the minimum age
  • using a general disclaimer such as: ‘Anyone ordering this product from our website will be deemed to be at least 18’
  • using an ‘accept’ statement for the purchaser to confirm that they have read the terms and conditions and are over the minimum age
  • using e-payment services such as PayPal, Nochex or Worldpay. These services may require a customer to be over 18, but they may not verify a user’s age
  • only accepting payment by credit card. Credit cards are not available to under 18s but certain debit and prepaid cards are. Your payment systems are unlikely to be able to differentiate between the different types of card so it is essential that you have additional age verification in place

Young people will seek to challenge conventions and test boundaries. In the case of online sales, young people could potentially evade the stringent proof-of-age checks that are required on the high street unless retailers make positive checks.

Age verification checks

The following is a guide to possible steps and precautions that retailers could adopt to assist with age verification. However, it should be noted that these may not be suitable for some situations and retailers will need to assess what steps are suitable and appropriate to their individual circumstances. Retailers may be able to develop other methods of age verification.

Age verification concepts in a fast moving digital world are challenging in terms of effectiveness. No system is failsafe and any service that relies on remote verification has the potential for errors.

Many websites now require purchasers to register details or to set up accounts for future purchases, which means that age verification checks may only be required for the initial set-up of accounts or on the first purchase from the website.

Age verification on delivery

Retailers could use age verification checks at the point of delivery by ensuring that delivery drivers request valid proof of age to confirm that the purchaser is over the minimum age to buy the product in question. It should be noted that third-party couriers may not accept responsibility for age verification.

Online age verification checks

Online age verification software is available that makes use of various sources of information in order to verify both age and identity during the ordering process. These checks include using the electoral register and/or credit reference agencies. There are also businesses that offer online access to electoral register information, which could be used to verify a purchaser’s age.

Follow-up offline checks

In some circumstances, it may not be possible to verify a potential purchaser’s age to conclude an online order. It is there suggested that further checks could be carried out, such as requiring the customer to provide a valid / acceptable proof of age, which can then be appropriately checked.

Collect in-store

For some retailers that also have a high street presence, purchasers could view and reserve products online and then collect in-store, where age verification could be carried out by members of staff as with a normal face-to-face transaction.

Further information

It is the responsibility of the retailer to ensure that products are only sold to purchasers old enough to buy them. If there is any doubt the transaction should not proceed.

The above guidance is applicable to all products that are subject to age-restricted sales. These include alcohol, tobacco, spray paints, fireworks, and video recordings and games.

A PAS (publically available specification) has been published, which was developed by the Digital Policy Alliance and BSI (British Standards Institution). PAS 1296: Online age checking. Provision and use of online age check services. Code of Practice is designed to help traders, particularly those that conduct age checks or provide age check services, to comply with the law.

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

Children and Young Persons Act 1933

Video Recordings Act 1984

Criminal Justice Act 1988

Children and Young Persons (Protection From Tobacco) Act 1991

National Lottery etc Act 1993

National Lottery Regulations 1994

Offensive Weapons Act 1996

Cigarette Lighter Refill (Safety) Regulations 1999

Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003

Licensing Act 2003

Fireworks Regulations 2004

Gambling Act 2005

Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006

Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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National Trading Standards – Leather Goods

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

Any consumer product made of leather – for example, clothing, shoes, bags, belts, furniture, soft furnishings, and even equine equipment, such as saddles and bridles – is subject to controls on the chemicals that may be present as a result of the tanning process. Chemicals such as azo dyes, chromium VI and dimethyl fumarate (DMF) have previously been found to be present in leather goods and are now restricted under regulations due to the health hazards they pose to consumers.

If you are not the manufacturer or importer, you should check with your supplier that the products comply with the Regulations. This could involve asking to see test certificates, or auditing your suppliers if you are a large retailer. If you are a manufacturer or importer, you would normally be expected to have tested your products to ensure that they comply.

The legislation

EU Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulates the use of azo dyes, chromium VI and dimethyl fumarate (DMF).

Anyone who supplies consumer leather products intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin, and that may contain any of these chemicals, will be affected by the Regulation. Examples are as follows:

  • clothing
  • hats
  • footwear
  • gloves
  • wristwatch straps
  • handbags
  • purses
  • toys containing leather
  • furniture
  • soft furnishings
  • equine equipment, such as saddles and bridles

Azo dyes, chromium VI & dimethyl fumarate

Azo dyes are organic compounds. Azo dyes are used to treat textiles, leather articles and some foods. Some – such as dinitroanline orange, ortho nitroaniline orange, or pigment orange 1, 2, and 5 – are mutagenic and carcinogenic. Azo dyes derived from benzidine are carcinogens.

Tanning is the process of making raw hides or skins into leather. The majority of leathers used in furniture, gloves and footwear are tanned using chromium salts. Contact with the skin can cause burns and contact-dermatitis allergic reactions, which appear as reddening of the skin, itching and rashes.

Chromium VI is a skin sensitiser; future reactions can be caused when only a very small amount is in contact with the skin. There are also dangers from ingestion. This is a particularly important hazard to assess for young children’s toys or clothing where there is a risk of mouthing. Studies have shown the ingestion of chromium VI may affect the liver, kidneys and the immune system.

DMF is used as a biocide in leather products, such as furniture or shoes, to prevent growths of mould during storage or transport in a humid climate. DMF has been found to be an allergic sensitiser at very low concentrations, producing an eczema reaction that is difficult to treat. Concentrations as low as 1ppm may produce allergic reactions.

Azo dyes in products

Azo dyes, which may release one or more listed aromatic amines above 30 mg/kg (0.003% by weight), must not be used in articles that may come into direct and prolonged contact with the human skin or oral cavity – for example:

  • clothing
  • hats
  • footwear
  • gloves
  • wristwatch straps
  • handbags
  • purses / wallets (including those worn around the neck)
  • briefcases
  • purses
  • leather toys and toys that include leather garments

Leather articles must not be placed on the market unless they conform to these requirements.

Chromium VI in products

Leather articles or articles containing leather parts coming into contact with the skin must not be placed on the market where they contain chromium VI in concentrations equal to or greater than 3 mg/kg (0.0003% by weight) of the total dry weight of the leather.

Dimethyl fumarate in products

Leather products containing the biocide DMF in concentrations greater than 0.1 mg/kg must not be placed on the market.

Second-hand leather goods

For products sold second-hand, the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 apply. These require goods supplied to be safe so the restrictions will still apply.

What should I do to make sure I comply?

If you are not the manufacturer or importer you should check with your supplier that the products comply with the Regulations. This could involve asking to see test certificates, or auditing your suppliers if you are a large retailer. How much you need to do depends on a number of circumstances – for example, the size of your business – but doing nothing will not be sufficient.

If you are a manufacturer or importer, you would normally be expected to have tested your products to ensure that they comply. It is recommended that a reputable test house should carry out any testing, such as one accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

General Product Safety Regulations 2005

EU Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) 

REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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National Trading Standards – Mini motos, off-road vehicles, etc

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

Off-road vehicles – such as mini motorbikes, quad bikes and powered scooters – are popular as recreational vehicles for both adults and children. As a wider variety of vehicles have become available at affordable prices, concerns have been raised about vehicle safety and associated nuisance and anti-social behaviour.

When assessing the safety of a product a number of matters are taken into consideration and anyone in the supply chain, including retailers, can be held liable for the supply of unsafe products.

Traders should carry out basic checks on vehicles before supply, including checking the frame is not damaged, that nuts and bolts are secure, tyres are properly inflated, and steering is aligned. The vehicle sold must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. There are rules relating to the legal and illegal use of off-road vehicles, which should be passed on to the consumer.

Product safety

The law requires that any product sold to consumers must be safe. Products should not present any unnecessary risk to anyone when used in a normal or reasonably foreseeable way. When assessing the safety of a product, the following must be taken into account:

  • the packaging, labelling and instructions
  • the effect of the product on other products with which it might be used
  • the special needs of particular types of people, such as children

Where there are national, European or international standards relating to the product, these standards will also need to be taken into account.

Anyone in the supply chain, including retailers, can be held liable for the supply of unsafe products. In general, it is a criminal offence to supply unsafe products and you could also be liable to pay compensation for any injury or property-damage caused.

You should be prepared to carry out checks on the product and/or on your suppliers to ensure product safety. Doing nothing is not enough.

Special safety requirements

The CE mark is placed on a product by the manufacturer as confirmation that it complies with all the relevant safety standards

CE mark

Off-road vehicles are covered by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. They specifically exclude vehicles that are intended for use in competitions or on the road. Compliance with the health and safety requirements of these Regulations can be achieved by manufacturing to European or British standards.

The European Standard BS EN 16029: Ride-on motorised vehicles intended for the transportation of persons and not intended for use on public roads. Single-track two-wheel motor vehicles. Safety requirements and test methods is currently under review. This Standard could be taken into account when assessing whether the product complies with the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.

All vehicles that are covered by the Regulations will need to be CE-marked and comply with the health and safety requirements outlined in the Regulations.

Particular safety concerns

As a retailer, you may not have the same degree of technical knowledge and expertise as a manufacturer or importer. However, you may be able to carry out certain checks on the safety of off-road vehicles. All off-road vehicles subject to the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 must be accompanied by a declaration of conformity drawn up by the manufacturer. This specifies, amongst other things, which standards the off-road vehicle complies with. It is an offence not to provide the declaration of conformity with the machine.

Additionally, you should ensure that each vehicle is supplied with adequate written instructions. If you rely only on verbal instructions it will be very difficult to prove what you have said and your instructions may not reach the end user (if the vehicle is a gift, for example). If there are parts of the instructions that have a particular relevance to safety, you may wish to highlight them.

You should also examine each vehicle before you supply it and carry out basic checks – for example:

  • all fixings, nuts and bolts are correctly and securely fastened
  • the frame is not damaged
  • the condition and inflation of tyres
  • brakes are working effectively
  • no sharp edges and entrapment hazards
  • no leaks in the fuel system
  • make sure that the steering is aligned
  • ensure all hot surfaces, such as exhausts, are guarded

You may wish to offer advice on the appropriate safety equipment that needs to be used with the vehicle, such as a helmet and suitable clothing, and to offer to supply this equipment. Any such advice should also be included in the written instructions.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the goods you sell must be of satisfactory quality, fit for their purpose and as described. If a vehicle is intended to be ridden off-road, it should be sufficiently robust to provide a reasonable service life. A consumer might reasonably expect to replace some parts from time to time – due to ordinary wear and tear –  but they would probably expect the vehicle to be able to cope with rough terrain.

If a vehicle fails prematurely, the consumer may be entitled to claim their losses from the retailer. This could include a repair, replacement, full or partial refund and/or compensation.

If the manufacturer offers a guarantee, remember that this does not take away a consumer’s rights. Your consumer may still have a claim against you even after the manufacturer’s guarantee has expired.

llegal use of off-road vehicles: information for your consumers

Off-road vehicles cannot be used on the public highway. Furthermore, under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (and related legislation) motorised vehicles cannot be used anywhere off-road, except on private land with the landowner’s permission. This means that mini motorbikes and quad bikes cannot legally be used on pavements, footpaths or cycle paths; nor can they usually be used on parkland, common land or wasteland.

There are also provisions in law against nuisance, including noise nuisance caused by the inappropriate or illegal use of off-road vehicles. In some cases the police can impound and even destroy vehicles that are being used in an anti-social manner.

There are special tracks and facilities for off-road vehicle use, but your consumer may not live near to one of these, or they may find it difficult to transport a vehicle there.

Consumers may not be fully aware of the legal restrictions that apply to the use of off-road vehicles. They may well be disappointed if they buy a vehicle, expecting to be able to ride it on a local park or common, only to find out later that they cannot do so. It would therefore be advisable to check with your consumer, at least in general terms, that they understand where and how the vehicles can be used.

Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, retailers are obliged to disclose information that might affect a consumer’s decision to buy, even if the consumer does not ask for it. You should therefore make it clear to prospective customers that the vehicle can only be used on private land, and then only with the landowner’s permission and if it does not cause a nuisance.

Trading standards services are aware of a number of cases where off-road vehicles have been badged with the name of a famous motorcycle manufacturer, even though that manufacturer had no involvement in their production. If you are offered the chance to supply such vehicles, you should make checks with the manufacturer’s UK representatives to find out whether the vehicles are genuine. If they are not, please report the supplier to trading standards; the products might also be dangerous.

Petrol cannot be sold to children under 16 years of age. If you are supplying a vehicle for use by children, we would recommend that you remind your customers of this.

Outside the scope of this guide

If you are importing off-road vehicles into the EU, to sell at retail or wholesale, you may need to take specialist advice from your local trading standards service.

Vehicles that are sold for use both on and off the road (such as some quad bikes) are designed to comply with the regulations that deal with the construction and use of vehicles on the road. To be used on the road, of course, the vehicles and riders will require the correct form of licence and insurance.

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

Road Traffic Act 1988

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008

Consumer Rights Act 2015

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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National Trading Standards – Labelling of Footwear

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

Footwear must be labelled with an indication of the main material from which the upper, lining and sock, and outer sole are made in the form of either pictograms (symbols) or words.

The label should be attached to at least one item of footwear per pair and it may also appear on the packaging.

What do the Regulations cover?

The Footwear (Indication of Composition) Labelling Regulations 1995 apply to footwear of all descriptions ranging from simple sandals to thigh-length boots, with the exception of:

  • second-hand or worn footwear
  • protective footwear
  • footwear containing asbestos
  • footwear intended for use in play (for example, fancy dress) by children under 14

Who is responsible for the labelling?

It is the responsibility of the manufacturer or importer to ensure that footwear is correctly labelled and to supply accurate labels that are not misleading.

It is the responsibility of the retailer to ensure that the footwear they sell is labelled correctly, in accordance with the Regulations. It is therefore recommended that retailers have a system in place for checking footwear labelling before it goes on sale, and that these checks are recorded. Retailers can get information about the composition of footwear they sell from manufacturers or importers.

Labelling requirements

The label must state, in English or in a clear pictogram form, what material makes up 80% of:

  • the surface area of the upper
  • the surface area of the lining and sock (this means the lining of the upper and the insole, which constitutes the inside of the footwear article)
  • the outer sole

Where there are multiple materials used the two main materials in the composition of the footwear must be stated.

The label must be attached to at least one item of footwear in each pair and may be affixed by way of printing, sticking, embossing or use of an attached label; it must be visible, securely attached and accessible. The label may be on the packaging but it must also appear on the footwear itself.

If pictograms are used in a retail shop a notice must be displayed that explains to consumers what the symbols mean. The notice must be large enough so that the information can be seen and understood by consumers.

If pictogram labels are used where footwear is sold from a place consumers do not have access to (for example, mail order or internet sales) the consumer must be clearly informed of the meaning of the pictograms used.

Table showing the written indications or pictograms concerning the parts of the footwear:

Parts of footwear
upper: Footwear upper label
lining and sock: Footwear lining and sock label
outer sole: Footwear outer sole label

Table showing the written indications or pictograms concerning the materials used in footwear composition:

Materials used
leather: Footwear leather label
coated leather: Footwear coated leather label
textile: Footwear textile label
other materials: Footwear other materials label

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

Footwear (Indication of Composition) Labelling Regulations 1995

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

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National Trading Standards – Toys

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

There are a number of labelling requirements for toys, including the name and address of the manufacturer / importer, the type, batch, model or serial number, the CE mark, and warnings and instructions.

The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 set out the legal requirements for the safety of new toys supplied by a business. Toys are defined as “products designed or intended (whether or not exclusively) for use in play by children under 14 years old”.

Toys that are second-hand do not need to be labelled with the CE mark or the address of the manufacturer or distributor, but they must still be safe. The special warnings and instructions are required for both second-hand and new toys.

Labelling

All new toys that you supply in the course of a business must be marked with:

  • the name and address of the manufacturer, or if the manufacturer is outside of the EU the name and address of the manufacturer and the importer
  • type, batch, serial or model number
  • the CE mark

CE mark

The CE mark is a declaration by the manufacturer that the toy is safe.

These marks must be on the toy or its packaging and be permanent and easy to read.

On small toys these marks may be on:

  • a label attached to the toy
  • an accompanying leaflet

Warnings & instructions

Some toys must come with warnings and instructions about precautions that need to be taken to ensure safe use. Special warnings are required as follows (and where specific instructions are required, you should seek further advice or refer directly to the Regulations):

  • toys that are not suitable for children under three require a warning to this effect, plus the reason why – for example, choking hazard. This can be in the form of a pictogram or words
    Unsuitable for under-threes mark
    – this symbol should never be found on toys that are suitable for children under three, such as rattles, teethers and soft-bodied toys
  • swings, slides and similar toys require instructions for assembly and for periodic checks and maintenance
  • ‘functional’ toys (those that are used in the same way as, and are often scale models of, appliances or installations intended for adults) require the following marking: ‘Warning: to be used under the direct supervision of an adult’. They also require specific safety instructions and an indication that they must be kept out of the reach of very young children
  • toys containing inherently dangerous substances or preparations (such as chemical toys) require specific safety instructions, a statement of a minimum age limit for use and a statement that the toy is to be used under adult supervision. Where appropriate, additional requirements as to labelling and packaging may apply under EU Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures
  • toys such as skateboards or skates require specific instructions and the following marking: ‘Warning: protective equipment should be worn. Not to be used in traffic’
  • toys for use in the water (such as rubber rings) require the following marking: ‘Warning: only to be used in water in which the child is within its depth and under adult supervision’

Second-hand toys

Toys that are second-hand are covered by the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 – rather than the Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011 – and as such do not need to be labelled with the CE mark or the address of the manufacturer or distributor, although they must still be safe. The special warnings and instructions (see above) are required for both second-hand and new toys.

You are advised to only sell second-hand toys that are CE marked, contain any relevant instructions or warnings and have been checked for any obvious faults.

Your responsibilities

When you have reason to believe a toy is unsafe and presents a risk – for example, you receive a complaint that a toy has injured a child – you must:

  • inform trading standards and your supplier of the risk
  • withdraw the toy from sale, if appropriate
  • provide trading standards with information about:
    – the risk presented by the toy
    – the non-compliance in question
    – any actions taken

Your local trading standards service may request cooperation in relation to any action undertaken.

You must ensure that whilst a toy is under your responsibility the conditions under which it is stored or transported will not jeopardise the toy’s safety.

Finally, for a period of 10 years, you must be able to identify the business that supplied you with the toy (in other words, you need to keep invoices etc).

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

General Product Safety Regulations 2005

EU Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures

Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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National Trading Standards – Imported feed & food controls

This guidance is for England

For the purposes of imported feed and food controls, feed and food is classed as either a product of animal origin (POAO) or feed / food of non-animal origin (FNAO). There are different legislative controls for feed and food entering the UK, depending on whether it is coming from within the European Union (EU) or from a third country (that is, a non-EU country). Personal imports are subject to separate controls, no matter where they come from.

All importers must be identified, registered or approved as feed / food business operators (FeBOs / FBOs) and as such included in official controls.

Products of animal origin (POAO)

POAO include, for example, fresh meat, meat products, meat preparations, dairy products, fishery products, shellfish, egg products, honey, snails, insects and fishmeal used in animal feed.

Imported POAO are likely to be illegal if they are not presented to a border inspection post (BIP) for official controls to be carried out and/or if they do not comply with public or animal health requirements – for example, by being contaminated with veterinary residues.

Feed / food of non-animal origin (FNAO)

FNAO includes all other products or materials not fitting into the category of POAO. Imports of certain ‘higher-risk’ FNAO can only enter the UK through specific ports and airports that are approved as designated points of entry (DPEs), where official controls will be carried out.

In a similar way, certain FNAO subject to safeguard measures can only enter the UK at designated points of import (DPIs). A ‘higher-risk’ product is feed or food that is either a known, or an emerging, risk to animal or public health.

Details of such high-risk products can be found on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website.

Summary of import controls

Whilst the majority of feed and food that is imported into this country is perfectly legal, wholesome and safe, it is important to have effective official controls in place to ensure that consumers and businesses are protected from contaminated products, unfair trading practices and fraud.

Feed or food produced legally by one EU Member State may be freely exported to other Member States without any specific checks being carried out at the ports. In a similar way feed or food imported legally from a third country into one Member State can then be freely distributed throughout the EU without further checks. This is the principle of the EU as a customs union, allowing intra-EU trade to be free from checks at the point of entry.

POAO imported from third countries are subject to the most stringent controls. These can only be imported from approved third countries and, with some exceptions such as honey, from an approved establishment. They must be accompanied by health certificates signed by the relevant ‘central competent authority’ for the third country to verify that they have been produced in equivalent standards to those in the EU and can only be imported via an approved BIP where the feed or food is subjected to veterinary checks by the appropriate authorised officer.

FNAO are not subject to the same level of import controls. However, certain ‘high risk’ FNAO from third countries can only be imported into the EU via DPEs or DPIs and may be required to be accompanied by health and analytical certificates. Once the feed or food has been subjected to official controls a ‘common entry document’ (CED) is issued, which must accompany the food to the first destination inland.

Personal imports of POAO and FNAO from third countries are subject to strict controls and imports of meat and dairy products from these countries are banned. Further details on personal imports may be found on the GOV.UK website.

Third country (non-EU) representatives

EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene requires, amongst other things, that feed business establishments are registered or approved  within their own territories. However, third-country animal-feed establishments that import into the EU certain additives, premixtures of additives and compound feeds containing them are required to have a representative within the EU. For example, this may be an importer of feed, based in the UK, who has secured sole selling rights for a particular feed.

Only one representative in the EU is required for each third-country establishment. It is therefore possible that the third-country establishment may have previously appointed a representative in another Member State. UK feed business operators should ascertain if this is in fact the case, and if not obtain the details necessary to fully complete the model declaration form.

More information relating to third-country animal-feed establishment representatives – including the list of third-country representatives, which is continually updated – can be found on the FSA website. Representatives should make their application to the Member State authority where they are based. In the UK this is the Food Standards Agency.

Legislative framework

The legislative framework that covers the importation of feed and food is complex but must be understood by importers. It may best be considered in terms of the nature and origin of the product or material in question.

Feed & food imported from within the EU

Feed and food originating from another Member State is subject to the same legislative controls and safeguards as feed or food produced in the UK. Such feed or food should be safe, as defined in EU Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety. It should be labelled in accordance with EU Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers or EU Regulation (EC) No 767/2009 on the placing on the market and use of feed and should have been handled in accordance with the hygiene regulations on feed and food (see ‘Key legislation’ below).

Feed & food imported from third countries: POAO

POAO may only be imported into the EU in accordance with EU Directive 97/78/EC laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries. This Directive sets out the requirements for veterinary checks and the issue of CVEDs. Under EU Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules the local authority or food authority is designated as the competent authority in relation to enforcement and execution under relevant legislation.

Feed & food imported from third countries: FNAO

The import conditions relating to FNAO from third countries are provided by EU Regulation (EC) No 882/2004. This Regulation requires that the competent authority undertakes official controls on FNAO at the point of entry of the feed or food into the EU or at any stage during distribution. These official controls should include documentary, identity and, where appropriate, physical checks of the feed or food. Any suspect feed or food that is detained by the competent authority, and any feed or food that fails to meet the requirements of EU law, should be destroyed, re-dispatched, used for a non-food purpose or subjected to special treatment to render it lawful.

Particular care must be taken by food importers, in relation to their legal obligations, in terms of food that is imported but fails to meet the requirements of EU law and is subsequently diverted for use as animal feed. Food imported under such circumstances would then be “intended for use in oral animal-feeding” and therefore designated as a ‘feed’; the requirements of EU Regulation (EC) No 767/2009 then apply, in particular the labelling requirements relating to placing a feed on the market.

Further information

Further information, including advice and guidance on import and export, can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

EU Directive 97/78/EC laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries

EU Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety

EU Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs

EU Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules

EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene

EU Regulation (EC) No 767/2009 on the placing on the market and use of feed

EU Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 laying down health rules as regards animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption (Animal by-products Regulation)

Trade in Animals and Related Products Regulations 2011

EU Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 and Directive 97/78/EC

EU Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers

Animal Feed (Composition, Marketing and Use) (England) Regulations 2015

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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We are hiring! – Job – Team Member – Bookkeeper

Team Member – Bookkeeper

Storeship Ltd are one of the leading Fulfilment Houses based in the UK. Our customers demand the very best from us to fulfil their online orders accurately whilst being cost effective. We have recently moved into more suitable premises in Nottingham and are looking to strengthen the team.

We are now looking for an experienced Bookkeeper to manage our day-to-day accounting and finance requirements. Confidentiality, excellent organisation skills and accuracy are important qualifications for this position, as well as good customer relations and the ability to communicate clearly. The ideal candidate for this position is a skilled multi-tasker, is reliable and is committed to consistently meeting deadlines. An Administration Assistant will report into this position.

You will be qualified to AAT Technician level or equivalent. We will consider applications from experienced candidates either from an Accountancy Practice background or industry.

Main duties will include;

  • Sales and Purchase Ledger, including all reconciliations and payments.
  • Banking, reconciliations, payments, receipts, direct debits and queries.
  • Setting up of customer accounts on our internal system. Billing and invoicing as appropriate.
  • Reconciliation of postage accounts including Royal Mail, UK Mail and DHL. Amendments where necessary.
  • Update internal systems with various cost prices.
  • Charge and allocate Import Duty Taxes to relevant customers.
  • Weekly for 10 people. To include starters, leavers, processing hours, payments, pension scheme deductions, holidays. Calculate and pay PAYE and NI payments. Year end reconciliation.
  • Quarterly VAT return reconciliation and payment.
  • Calculating weekly flash forecasts, monthly management accounts and cashflow forecasting.
  • Credit Control, this is a small but important function as most of our business does not have debtors.
  • Petty cash management.
  • Other adhoc duties as required.

You will have knowledge and experience of;

  • Xero Accounting or similar cloud based accounting software.
  • MS Office including Word and Excel.
  • Online payment systems i.e. Paypal, Transferwise
  • 5 years’ of working in a similar function.
  • A strong understanding of accounting principles and concepts.
  • Accurate data entry, record keeping and PC’s.

The position will be based around 20-30 hours per week over 5 days. We are negotiable on starting times.

 

PLEASE NOTE THIS POSITION HAS NOW BEEN FILLED

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National Trading Standards – Safety of products: due diligence

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

If you are a wholesaler or retailer the steady rise in counterfeit and illegal products available in the UK makes purchasing products increasingly complex.

The implications of purchasing or supplying products that are unsafe are far reaching and in some cases the results can be fatal. With this in mind how can you be sure that products are what they say they are and do what they say they can do?

Many consumer protection laws include ‘strict liability’ offences where it does not matter that the person accused did not intend to break the law. In order to create a balance of fairness specific due diligence defences are normally included in strict liability consumer protection laws.

To use this defence a person must prove that they took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid an offence being committed.

Due diligence principles

These broad principles have been drawn from past views of the courts on what due diligence involves:

  • sitting back and doing nothing is unlikely to enable a person to create a defence
  • the nature of the necessary action will depend upon the individual circumstances
  • taking reasonable steps or precautions involves setting up a system of control that has regard to the risks involved
  • all reasonable steps or precautions should be taken; the defence fails where there was a reasonable step or precaution that could have been taken but was not
  • what is reasonable depends on the particular circumstances; one factor will be size of the business concerned
  • the control system must cover all aspects of the business affected by the legislation
  • due diligence means ensuring the proper operation of the system
  • the operation of the system should be kept under review and be amended as necessary

Any due diligence system should be written down so that it can be followed and any issues raised should be coordinated in one department or section, or by one person who has overall responsibility for the system.

A formal quality management system, though only mandatory where you manufacture products such as gas appliances, electrical appliances, cosmetics or personal protective equipment, may be of value in supporting a defence of due diligence. Further advice on quality management systems is available from the Association of British Certification Bodies.

To reduce the risk of purchasing unsafe products always buy from a reputable source and follow the golden rule: if it looks too good to be true, take extra care.

CE marking

There is a legal requirement for certain products to be marked with this when placed on the market in the European Union (EU). CE marking is a key indicator of a product’s compliance with EU legislation and enables the free movement of products within the European market. By affixing the CE mark on a product a manufacturer is declaring conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking. This may mean that there are more than one set of legal requirements that apply to a product.

CE marking may be achieved in two different ways:

  • examination by notified conformity assessment bodies. This means that the manufacturer must use a notified body (such as BSI – the British Standards Institution) to test or review the product to enable the application of the CE mark
  • self-declaration. This does not require any independent testing or review and it is therefore the manufacturer’s own statement that they believe the product meets the relevant regulations

It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to carry out the conformity assessment, to set up the technical file (including test reports and risk assessments), to issue the EC declaration of conformity and to affix the CE mark. There is no visual difference between a mandatory or self-declared CE mark and so a small business or consumer cannot tell whether the product has been tested or not. Therefore distributors must take care and must verify the presence of both the CE mark and the necessary supporting documentation.

CE mark

If a product requires a CE mark but does not have one, it is illegal to place it on the market in any of the EU member states, including the UK. However, do remember that not all products sold in the EU need to bear CE marking, so distributors must have a basic knowledge of the legal requirements. You should know what products must bear the CE mark and the accompanying documents required and should be able to identify products that are clearly not in compliance.

More information about CE marking is available on the GOV.UK website.

Test reports

So how do you, as a distributor, know that the CE mark has been affixed correctly or that the item is safe to be sold in Europe? A formal test report is the best way to verify compliance to a safety standard. There are three basic types of report available:

  • an in-house report, which means the product was tested by the manufacturer
  • a third party report, which means the product was tested by someone else
  • a third party test report issued by an accredited laboratory

All three of these are valid methods of demonstrating safety. However, the accredited test report gives a far higher degree of confidence that the tests have been carried out correctly by competent laboratory staff.

Schemes such as the Kitemark certification can demonstrate that the product has met the applicable standard and that the manufacturer has effective quality control processes in place. In addition both the factory and the product are audited on an ongoing basis to ensure the products that have the mark are safe.

To meet your due diligence requirements:

  • buy from a reputable supplier and always obtain an invoice
  • make sure the product / packaging is marked with the name and address of the manufacturer or importer
  • keep all invoices
  • ask to see proof that the product is safe (a test certificate or declaration of conformity)
  • inform your supplier about any safety complaints you receive about the product

Key legislation

Consumer Protection Act 1987

General Product Safety Regulations 2005

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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We are hiring! – Job – Warehouse Team Member – Administrator

Warehouse Team Member – Administrator

Reporting Relationship:  Warehouse Supervisor

This is a varied role in a fast-paced environment. You will be working in a close-knit team, so team working is an essential part of your job. There may be times when you will be working alone so self-motivation is required. You will need to be computer literate and know your way around a stock / inventory system.

You will be the required to assist in all aspects of the warehouse operation. The main duties will be;

  • Customer Service, including answering the Storeship main line, allocate calls quickly professionally and efficiently,
  • Respond to Customer Support Tickets in a timely manner. Either to be able to sort out issues, allocate to correct Team Member or co-ordinate with Warehouse Supervisor,
  • Produce Job Sheets from Customer requests and forward to Warehouse Supervisor e.g. Barcoding, Labelling and / or Amazon FBA requests etc,
  • Re-charging Customers for work completed. Barcoding, labels FBA requests etc,
  • Check returned Job Sheets for work requested versus work completed and then allocate payments to customer accounts for Barcoding, Labelling and / or Amazon FBA etc
  • Obtain quotations for customer postage enquiries and relay back to Customer,
  • Arrange transport of bulk orders for customers including “Booking In” requests,
  • Audit various Postage, Courier and Pallet Haulage Supplier Invoices and reconcile against Storeship Customer Orders and Charges. Investigate discrepancies and ensure billing is accurate,
  • Assisting in raising claims for Loss of Goods in Transit,
  • Reconcile Packaging Purchase Invoices against Storeship Database rates,
  • Book deliveries in to “Goods In” diary,
  • To pick orders accurately, package items to customer requirements and dispatch timely.
  • Light kitting, order preparation.
  • Any other duties as assigned by a senior member of staff.

You will need to have a positive attitude and a good sense of humour. The work can be quite physically demanding at times, with lifting of parcels that can be up to 20kgs, so a good state of health is required.

You will need a wide range of skills for this position including, accurate and professional data entry skills, excellent communication skills as this position requires the job holder to communicate with various departments ensuring swift and efficient responses to enquiries. Be vigilant and maintain company security and health and safety standards

Key skills include:

  • Communication,
  • Motivation,
  • Accuracy,
  • Efficiency,
  • Computer and scanning devices literacy,
  • Customer Service.

Qualifications and experience

  • Work experience in a warehouse environment is desirable but more importantly an enthusiastic approach and a mature attitude and a willingness to learn is imperative.
  • Computer literacy, as demonstrated by previous experience and Storeship data entry test,
  • Experience of Customer Service, clear and efficient telephone manner,
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships,
  • Effective communication skills both verbal and written.

This is a full-time permanent position. Hours are 37.5 per week + benefits + ongoing development. Additional hours may be required to meet deadlines.

PLEASE NOTE THIS POSITION HAS NOW BEEN FILLED

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WTM – Interview Shortlist Questions

Thank you for applying for the position of Team Member - Bookkeeper.
The response has been overwhelming! We now need to ask you the following questions to take the recruitment process further.
Please complete the form in full.
Please check your answers before submitting.
These questions and this stage of the recruitment process will close on Friday 29th March @ 4pm.
Successful candidates will be notified by Monday 1st April 2019 for interview the following week.
Thank you

Thank you for taking the time in completing this form. Due to the number of applications we will contact successful candidates only.

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