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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: Trading Standards (Local Authorities)

Trading Standards enforce the laws that govern transactions involving goods and services in the UK. The service is delivered by Local Authorities (or by the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland).

Information which can be disclosed

Any information obtained under the provisions of the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA) or the Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA).

Furthermore, any information not held for these functions but which is gathered in carrying out HMRC’s functions in relation to imported goods may be disclosed for the specific purposes set out below.

The purpose for which the information can be disclosed

Information can be disclosed for the purposes of any functions performed by Trading Standards under the provisions of legislation listed under Schedule 15 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (see IDG55220) including the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

Furthermore, any information which cannot be disclosed under the Enterprise Act, but which is gathered in carrying out HMRC’s functions in relation to imported goods may be disclosed to Trading Standards for the purposes of product safety enforcement or trade mark infringement enforcement. For example, counterfeit goods are stopped at entry into the UK under Council Regulation (EC) 1383/2003 - any that are considered to be a threat to public safety may be reported to Trading Standards.

Which part of HMRC can disclose this information?

Parts of HMRC performing functions under CEMA and VATA. In practical terms this would normally be officers performing Customs functions at the UK borders.

Procedure to follow

Those members of staff working in the relevant business areas, as above, can make disclosures to Trading Standards. Please check with your manager if in any doubt.

If you are considering making a disclosure to Trading Standards using the Enterprise Act 2002, please follow the guidance provided at IDG55200.

Legislation which allows disclosure

  • Section 91 Trade Marks Act 1994, Section 37 Consumer Protection Act 1987 and Part 9 Enterprise Act 2002.

Devolved administrations

The Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment performs the functions of Trading Standards in Northern Ireland.

Further guidance

For further guidance and assistance generally on confidentiality please contact your Data Guardian.