Enforcement of consumer protection laws under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
Produced in partnership with Helen Simm of Browne Jacobson LLP
Enforcement of consumer protection laws under the Consumer Rights Act 2015

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Helen Simm of Browne Jacobson LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enforcement of consumer protection laws under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • Background to the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • Enforcers with access to the generic set of investigatory powers under CRA 2015
  • The generic powers for consumer law enforcement
  • Powers available without entering the traders’ premises
  • Powers available when entering the traders' premises
  • Powers available to Trading Standards officers outside their local area
  • Powers of direct and covert surveillance in consumer protection investigations
  • Relief provisions for businesses under investigation
  • Effect on existing legislation
  • more

BREXIT: As of exit day (31 January 2020), the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—introduction to the Withdrawal Agreement and Impact of Brexit on enforcement under CRA 2015 below.

Background to the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act 2015

Prior to statutory reform in 2015, regulation and enforcement of consumer protection law was piecemeal, spanning some sixty discrete pieces of legislation which delegated enforcement powers to a number of public bodies to act as enforcers.

The government carried out a review of published reports by the Public Accounts Committee in November 2011, proposals made by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) (now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) in March 2012 and various public bodies’ responses and the disjointed regime was considered counterproductive to consumer protection. As a result, the government introduced reform in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015).

CRA 2015, Pt 3 and Sch 5, Pt 1–Sch 6 introduced a consolidated generic set of investigatory powers to be applied across the catalogue of consumer protection legislation. The rules relating to enforcement took effect from 1 October 2015.

Enforcers