About trading standards
Trading Standards protects consumers and businesses in East Sussex (excluding Brighton & Hove). We ensure fair trading in the County by:
- ensuring compliance with government consumer protection legislation
- offering advice and support to businesses and consumers
- undertaking inspections and monitoring of goods and services, both physical and online
- investigating offences and prosecuting offenders in the most serious cases.
Under a National Government funded initiative, consumer and general business advice is provided by fully trained staff at the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on behalf of Trading Standards.
Their helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm – contact them on 0808 223 1133 or by email using this online form.
Some of the areas we are responsible for include:
- advertising and description of goods or services
- safety of consumer goods
- estate and lettings agents
- food labelling, including composition and allergen requirements
- weights and measures equipment, including weighbridges
- counterfeit and illegal goods
- animal health & welfare, relating to farmed animals
- petroleum and explosives licensing
- illegal tobacco
- rogue trading
- doorstep crime
- environmental claims
- underage sales.
Information for consumers
We are not able to:
- demand refunds, replacements or apologies from traders or close them down
- take court action on your behalf
- pursue an unjustifiable complaint
- divulge trader information.
Information for businesses
There are over 15,000 business premises in East Sussex, both operating online and from physical premises. These include farms, wholesalers, importers, manufacturers and retail businesses (consisting of both national chains and local retailers).
We operate an intelligence led and risk assessed approach to interventions with businesses, and will try and reduce the impact of our work as much as possible whilst ensuring businesses can comply with all legal requirements.
We carry out inspections and check online websites and other online selling platforms, carrying out sampling and testing where necessary to ensure products are safe and legal.
Read about how we approach enforcing the law :
Who we work with
We work closely with a wide range of other agencies and organisations, including:
- Citizens Advice – to provide first line consumer advice
- Defra – for farmed animal health and welfare and food labelling support
- Food Standards Agency – for food safety
- Department of Health – public health, healthier food choices and tobacco control
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – for support on explosives and fireworks storage and licensing
- Sussex Police – for work on crime reduction and assisting each other during operations
- National Trading Standards Scams Team – to identify and support victims of scams
- West Sussex Trading Standards Service – for any investigations into local authority buildings not complying with energy performance requirements.
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