Our trading standards team helps to protect residents from unscrupulous traders and consumer issues and help to ensure that businesses comply with the law.

You can email us at trading.standards@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

Business advice

Business Companion is a free-to-use website which provides information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation. The advice covers a wide range of topics and has been updated to reflect changes to legislation following UK’s departure from the EU.

Primary Authority is a means for businesses to receive assured and tailored advice on meeting regulations such as environmental health and trading standards through a single point of contact. This ensures start-ups get it right at the outset and enables all businesses to invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures, knowing that the resources they devote to compliance are well spent. If you are interested in a partnership, please email us at trading.standards@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

View our Enforcement Policy.

Consumer advice

The Citizens Advice consumer service provides consumer advice and information for residents and shoppers. You can complain/enquire online or call 0808 223 1133. Calls from mobile and landlines are free.

Alternatively, visit the Portsmouth Citizens Advice Bureau.

Age-restricted sales

Illegal tobacco

It might not seem a big deal – but it is bad news for our community

Kids:  People who sell illegal tobacco don’t care if they sell to kids, getting them hooked on a lethal addiction that kills one in two lifetime smokers.

Crime: It brings crime into our neighbourhoods – fuelling human trafficking, the drugs trade and loan sharks.

If someone is offering cheap tobacco in shops, pubs and clubs, from private houses or on the street, there’s usually a reason. It isn’t duty free or a new brand. It’s smuggled or fake.

We work with trained tobacco detection dogs to sniff out illegal tobacco at premises across the city, often based on information provided by members of the public or other businesses.

Report illegal tobacco to us anonymously on via Keep It Out, where you can also find more information about illegal tobacco.

Product safety and recalls

Product safety regulations require that new and used consumer products placed on the market in Great Britain must be safe, with the responsibility for ensuring that safety being borne by businesses across the supply chain. Producers and distributors have a duty to notify local authorities when they become aware they have placed on the market, or distributed, an unsafe product. Further details about your responsibilities can be found at Product safety advice for businesses – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Key changes to product safety markings are already in place, with the CE mark being gradually replaced by a new UKCA mark. The UKCA marking must be used from 1 January 2023. More information: Using the UKCA marking – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Consumer and businesses should keep up to date with the latest product recalls via the CTSI website Product recalls and safety notices | CTSI.

We encourage you to register your home appliances so that you are notified about any recalls which affect you, simply visit Register My Appliance.

For businesses, the Publicly Available Specification PAS7100 provides practical guidance to help ensure you act promptly and effectively to protect public safety should a consumer product be found to be unsafe. PAS7100 is free to download and helps businesses monitor their product and to put product safety incident plans in place, so they are prepared to deal with any product safety incident that may arise. PAS 7100 – Supporting Better Product Recalls | BSI (bsigroup.com)

Loan sharks

Loan sharks are illegal moneylenders who often charge very high interest rates. You can check if a company is authorised to lend money and report loan sharks anonymously.

Read more about low-cost loans and further help for people in financial hardship.

Junk mail and sales calls

To help reduce unsolicited telephone calls and junk mail, try signing up to both the Mail Preference Service and the Telephone Preference Service.


Scams can have devastating consequences – both financial and psychological.

Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams.

Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Completing the Friends Against Scams awareness session and help to raise awareness throughout your community.

Anybody can join Friends Against Scams and make a difference in their own way. You can become a friend, a SCAM champion, give organisational support and also a Scam Marshal. Find about more by visiting the Friends Against Scams.

Visit Action Fraud for advice on how to identify and avoid scams. They can take the form of letters, emails, scratch cards or text messages, and will often promise you the chance to win vast amounts of money, a luxury holiday, or a miracle health cure.

To report a scam, phone Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.