Clause 19 - Enforcement by local weights and measures authorities

Part of Tobacco and Vapes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:00 pm ar 9 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 3:00, 9 Mai 2024

Clauses 19, 20 and 21 relate to the enforcement requirements of local weights and measures authorities in England and Wales. Clause 19 places the duty to enforce the tobacco and vaping measures in England and Wales on local weights and measures authorities. For England and Wales,

“local weights and measures authorities” means local authority trading standards.

The clause provides local authority trading standards with the power to use the investigatory powers under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to conduct their enforcement activity. The investigatory powers are comprehensive and include the power to purchase products, observe a business, enter premises with or without a warrant, inspect products, test equipment, require the production of documents, seize goods, seize documents as evidence, break open containers and require assistance from persons on the premises. The existing regulatory regime for tobacco enforcement provides for local authority trading standards to use the same investigatory powers, which are considered to be effective, and thus clause 19 provides continuity with the current enforcement approach, ensuring enforcement of this new legislation at the local level.

Clause 20 provides a requirement for local authority trading standards in England to consider yearly a programme of enforcement, and the potential design of such a programme of enforcement, for offences under part 1 of the Bill. A programme of enforcement includes at least one of the following: investigations of complaints regarding alleged offences, prosecutions in respect of such offences, and/or other measures intended to reduce the incidence of such offences. The clause is important to the Bill, as it reconfirms what local authority trading standards should consider as appropriate to enforce the tobacco and vapes regulations.

Clause 21 makes the same provision for programmes of enforcement in Wales as is made for England under clause 20. I commend clauses 19, 20, and 21 to the Committee.