• July 24, 2024

‘Trading Standards Underfunded’

 ‘Trading Standards Underfunded’
Image: doethion

Trading Standards, the agency tasked with enforcing U.K. consumer protection laws and fair trading practices, needs more money to enforce the country’s vape legislation, according to an analysis commissioned by the Association of Convenience Stores.

The study found that the agency needs £168.34 million ($213.45 million) over five years to properly carry out its responsibilities. This figure represents a near 30 percent increase in net budgets for Trading Standards and takes into consideration the cost of enforcement officers, training, detection dogs, legal fees and product disposal.

The U.K. government previously committed to a £30 million annual enforcement top-up; however, it appears only one-third of the funding boost would have actually been assigned to Trading Standards, according to the U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA).

“The ACS-commissioned analysis shows that a huge funding boost is needed if we are to rain down on illegal vape sellers with the full force of the nation’s dedicated, but under-resourced, Trading Standards officers—a cost that the U.K. government has yet failed to meet but one that could be covered by the sector’s comprehensive licensing framework,” said UKVIA Director General John Dunne in a statement.

“It’s rare for an industry to advocate for its own regulation, but we have and will continue to call on the government to introduce a vape licensing scheme because it is what is needed to back effective enforcement and to usher in a new age of accountability for our sector.”