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Trading standards

If you are a business or venue, find out what to do on our coronavirus outbreak business advice page, including:

  • how to help prevent spread of COVID-19
  • what to do if you have a suspected or confirmed case amongst your workforce
  • new legislation to enforce closure
  • businesses and other venues subject to further social distancing measures
  • report a business or venue that is open when it should be closed
  • get advice for your business
  • business support including business rate relief and grants

We are reminding residents to beware of COVID-19 scams

Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends.

National Trading Standards are warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in Coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.

Communities are also being urged to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals. While there are genuine groups of volunteers providing help during self-isolation, there have been reports of criminals preying on residents – often older people or people living with long-term health conditions – by cold-calling at their homes and offering to go to the shops for them. The criminals often claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money. There are genuine charities providing support, so consumers should be vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.

More detail on the types of scams can be found at Trading Standards - Beware of COVID 19 scams.

If you see anything suspicious, report it to Action Fraud or to speak to someone for advice, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service.

People are being encouraged to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete the online modules, visit Friends Against Scams.

We help businesses trade fairly and comply with current legislation. 

We also help and advise consumers to protect themselves when buying services and shopping. 

Contact Citizens Advice to report a scam or a problem with a trader or product. You don’t need to call us directly, they will send details of your report to Bedford Borough Council Trading Standards on your behalf.

Get in contact with Citizens Advice

Trading with the EU

The new Trade Co-operation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU came into force on 31 December 2020. Businesses need to be aware of the new regulations and required paperwork for the movement of goods to and from the UK and the EU.

See information about the agreement here.

Areas of law covered by trading standards

The information below covers some of the areas that fall under the remit of trading standards although this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Goods and services such as home improvements, and how they are sold; the descriptions applied to properties being offered for sale
  • Rogue traders, misleading advertisements including credit adverts and unlicensed trading
  • Descriptions applied to precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum
  • Holiday descriptions and timeshare companies
  • Price indications including reductions, sales promotions and price comparisons
  • The labelling and composition of cosmetics, textiles and furnishings
  • Sales of mis-described or un-roadworthy vehicles and traders pretending to sell vehicles as private individuals
  • Sale of food past its use by date, food composition and general food labelling
  • The safety of toys and other household goods
  • Illegal sales of alcohol, cigarettes, fireworks, knives and other age restricted products to young people
  • Weights and measures including sales in markets, pubs and any other establishment selling goods by measure
  • Animal health and welfare, and animal disease containment
  • Petroleum Storage