Consumer Rights Bill (HC Bill 3)

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Power to seize documents required as evidence

29 (1) The officer may seize and detain documents.

(2) An officer seizing documents under this paragraph from premises which are
occupied must produce evidence of the officer’s identity and authority to an
5occupier of the premises before seizing them.

(3) The officer need not comply with sub-paragraph (2) if it is not reasonably
practicable to do so.

(4) An officer seizing documents under this paragraph must take reasonable
steps to—

(a) 10inform the person from whom they are seized that they have been
seized, and

(b) provide that person with a written record of what has been seized.

(5) In determining the steps to be taken under sub-paragraph (4), an officer
exercising a power under this paragraph in England and Wales or Northern
15Ireland must have regard to any relevant provision about the seizure of
property made by—

(a) a code of practice under section 66 of the Police and Criminal
Evidence Act 1984, or

(b) a code of practice under Article 65 of the Police and Criminal
20Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (SI 1989/1341 (NI 12)SI 1989/1341 (NI 12)),

(as the case may be).

(6) This paragraph does not confer any power on an officer to seize from a
person any document which the person would be entitled to refuse to
produce—

(a) 25in proceedings in the High Court on the grounds of legal
professional privilege, or

(b) in proceedings in the Court of Session on the grounds of
confidentiality of communications.

(7) In sub-paragraph (6) “communications” means—

(a) 30communications between a professional legal adviser and the
adviser’s client, or

(b) communications made in connection with or in contemplation of
legal proceedings or for the purposes of those proceedings.

(8) Documents seized under this paragraph may not be detained—

(a) 35for a period of more than 3 months beginning with the day on which
they were seized, or

(b) where the documents are reasonably required to be detained for a
longer period by the enforcer for the purposes of the proceedings for
which they were seized, for longer than they are required for those
40purposes.

Power to decommission or switch off fixed installations

30 (1) The power in sub-paragraph (2) is available to an officer of a domestic
enforcer acting pursuant to the duty in regulation 37(1)(a)(ii) or (b)(ii) of the
Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/3418SI 2006/3418).

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(2) The officer may decommission or switch off any fixed installation (as
defined in those Regulations) or part of such an installation.

Power to break open container etc

31 (1) The officer may, for the purpose of exercising any of the powers in
5paragraphs 28 to 30, require a person with authority to do so to—

(a) break open any container,

(b) open any vending machine, or

(c) access any electronic device in which information may be stored or
from which it may be accessed.

(2) 10Where a requirement under sub-paragraph (1) has not been complied with,
the officer may, for the purpose of exercising any of the powers in
paragraphs 28 to 30

(a) break open the container,

(b) open the vending machine, or

(c) 15access the electronic device.

(3) Sub-paragraph (1) or (2) applies if and to the extent that the exercise of the
power in that sub-paragraph is reasonably necessary for the purposes for
which that power may be exercised.

(4) In this paragraph “container” means anything in which goods may be
20stored.

Power to enter premises with warrant

32 (1) A justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorising an officer of an
enforcer to enter premises if satisfied, on written information on oath given
by such an officer, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that—

(a) 25condition A or B is met, and

(b) condition C, D or E is met.

(2) Condition A is that on the premises there are—

(a) products which an officer of the enforcer has power to inspect under
paragraph 25, or

(b) 30documents which an officer of the enforcer could require a person to
produce under paragraph 27.

(3) Condition B is that, on the premises—

(a) in the case of a domestic enforcer, there has been or is about to be a
breach of the enforcer’s legislation,

(b) 35in the case of an EU enforcer, there has been or is about to be a
Community infringement as defined in section 212 of the Enterprise
Act 2002, or

(c) in the case of an EU enforcer, there has been a failure to comply with
a measure specified in paragraph 20(3)(b), (c) or (d).

(4) 40Condition C is that—

(a) access to the premises has been or is likely to be refused, and

(b) notice of the enforcer’s intention to apply for a warrant under this
paragraph has been given to the occupier of the premises.

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(5) Condition D is that it is likely that products or documents on the premises
would be concealed or interfered with if notice of entry on the premises were
given to the occupier of the premises.

(6) Condition E is that—

(a) 5the premises are unoccupied, or

(b) the occupier of the premises is absent, and it might defeat the
purpose of the entry to wait for the occupier’s return.

(7) In the application of this paragraph to Scotland—

(a) the reference in sub-paragraph (1) to a justice of the peace is to be
10read as a reference to a sheriff, and

(b) the reference in that sub-paragraph to information on oath is to be
read as a reference to evidence on oath.

(8) In the application of this paragraph to Northern Ireland—

(a) the reference in sub-paragraph (1) to a justice of the peace is to be
15read as a reference to a lay magistrate, and

(b) the reference in that sub-paragraph to written information is to be
read as a reference to a written complaint.

Entry to premises under warrant

33 (1) A warrant under paragraph 32 authorises an officer of the enforcer to enter
20the premises at any reasonable time, using reasonable force if necessary.

(2) A warrant under that paragraph ceases to have effect at the end of the period
of one month beginning with the day it is issued.

(3) An officer entering premises under a warrant under paragraph 32 may be
accompanied by such persons, and may take onto the premises such
25equipment, as the officer thinks necessary.

(4) If the premises are occupied when the officer enters them, the officer must
produce the warrant for inspection to an occupier of the premises.

(5) Sub-paragraph (6) applies if the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is
temporarily absent.

(6) 30On leaving the premises the officer must—

(a) leave a notice on the premises stating that the premises have been
entered under a warrant under paragraph 32, and

(b) leave the premises as effectively secured against trespassers as the
officer found them.

35Power to require assistance from person on premises

34 (1) If an officer of an enforcer has entered premises under the power in
paragraph 23(1) or under a warrant under paragraph 32, the officer may
require any person on the premises to provide such assistance or
information as the officer reasonably considers necessary.

(2) 40Sub-paragraph (3) applies if an officer of a domestic enforcer has entered
premises under the power in paragraph 23(1) or under a warrant under
paragraph 32 for the purposes of the enforcement of—

(a) the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006 (SI
2006/659), or

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(b) the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations (Northern
Ireland) 2011 (SR 2011/331SR 2011/331).

(3) The officer may, in particular, require any person on the premises to provide
such information as the person possesses about the name and address of the
5packer and of any importer of a package which the officer finds on the
premises.

(4) In sub-paragraph (3) “importer”, “package” and “packer” have the same
meaning as in—

(a) the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006 (see
10regulation 2), in the case of a domestic enforcer in Great Britain, or

(b) the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations (Northern
Ireland) 2011 (see regulation 2), in the case of a domestic enforcer in
Northern Ireland.

Definitions for purposes of this Part

35 15In this Part of this Schedule—

  • “goods” has the meaning given by section 2(8);

  • “occupier”, in relation to premises, means any person an officer of an
    enforcer reasonably suspects to be the occupier of the premises;

  • “premises” includes any stall, vehicle, vessel or aircraft;

  • 20“product” means—

    (a)

    goods,

    (b)

    a service,

    (c)

    digital content, as defined in section 2(9),

    (d)

    immovable property, or

    (e)

    25rights or obligations.

Part 5 Provisions supplementary to Parts 3 and 4

Offence of obstruction

36 (1) A person commits an offence if the person—

(a) 30intentionally obstructs an enforcer or an officer of an enforcer who is
exercising or seeking to exercise a power under Part 4 of this
Schedule in accordance with that Part,

(b) intentionally fails to comply with a requirement properly imposed
by an enforcer or an officer of an enforcer under Part 4 of this
35Schedule, or

(c) without reasonable cause fails to give an enforcer or an officer of an
enforcer any other assistance or information which the enforcer or
officer reasonably requires of the person for a purpose for which the
enforcer or officer may exercise a power under Part 4 of this
40Schedule.

(2) A person commits an offence if, in giving information of a kind referred to
in sub-paragraph (1)(c), the person—

(a) makes a statement which the person knows is false or misleading in
a material respect, or

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(b) recklessly makes a statement which is false or misleading in a
material respect.

(3) A person who is guilty of an offence under sub-paragraph (1) or (2) is liable
on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(4) 5Nothing in this paragraph requires a person to answer any question or give
any information if to do so might incriminate that person.

Offence of purporting to act as officer

37 (1) A person who is not an officer of an enforcer commits an offence if the
person purports to act as such under Part 3 or 4 of this Schedule.

(2) 10A person who is guilty of an offence under sub-paragraph (1) is liable on
summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(3) If section 85(1) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders
Act 2012 comes into force on or before the day on which this Act is passed—

(a) section 85 of that Act (removal of limit on certain fines on conviction
15by magistrates’ court) applies in relation to the offence in this
paragraph as if it were a relevant offence (as defined in section 85(3)
of that Act), and

(b) regulations described in section 85(11) of that Act may amend or
otherwise modify sub-paragraph (2).

20Access to seized goods and documents

38 (1) This paragraph applies where anything seized by an officer of an enforcer
under Part 4 of this Schedule is detained by the enforcer.

(2) If a request for permission to be granted access to that thing is made to the
enforcer by a person who had custody or control of it immediately before it
25was seized, the enforcer must allow that person access to it under the
supervision of an officer of the enforcer.

(3) If a request for a photograph or copy of that thing is made to the enforcer by
a person who had custody or control of it immediately before it was seized,
the enforcer must—

(a) 30allow that person access to it under the supervision of an officer of
the enforcer for the purpose of photographing or copying it, or

(b) photograph or copy it, or cause it to be photographed or copied.

(4) Where anything is photographed or copied under sub-paragraph (3), the
photograph or copy must be supplied to the person who made the request
35within a reasonable time from the making of the request.

(5) This paragraph does not require access to be granted to, or a photograph or
copy to be supplied of, anything if the enforcer has reasonable grounds for
believing that to do so would prejudice the investigation for the purposes of
which it was seized.

(6) 40An enforcer may recover the reasonable costs of complying with a request
under this paragraph from the person by whom or on whose behalf it was
made.

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(7) References in this paragraph to a person who had custody or control of a
thing immediately before it was seized include a representative of such a
person.

Notice of testing of goods

39 (1) 5Sub-paragraphs (3) and (4) apply where goods purchased by an officer of a
domestic enforcer under paragraph 21 are submitted to a test and as a
result—

(a) proceedings are brought for a breach of, or under, the enforcer’s
legislation or for the forfeiture of the goods by the enforcer, or

(b) 10a notice is served by the enforcer preventing a person from doing any
thing.

(2) Sub-paragraphs (3) and (4) also apply where goods seized by an officer of a
domestic enforcer under paragraph 28 are submitted to a test.

(3) The enforcer must inform the relevant person of the results of the test.

(4) 15The enforcer must allow a relevant person to have the goods tested if it is
reasonably practicable to do so.

(5) In sub-paragraph (3) “relevant person” means the person from whom the
goods were purchased or seized or, where the goods were purchased or
seized from a vending machine—

(a) 20the person whose name and address are on the vending machine as
the owner of the machine, or

(b) if there is no such name and address on the machine, the occupier of
the premises on which the machine stands or to which it is fixed.

(6) In sub-paragraph (4) “relevant person” means—

(a) 25a person within sub-paragraph (5),

(b) in a case within sub-paragraph (1)(a), a person who is a party to the
proceedings, and

(c) in a case within sub-paragraph (1)(b), a person with an interest in the
goods.

30Appeals against detention of goods and documents

40 (1) This paragraph applies where goods or documents are being detained as the
result of the exercise of a power in Part 4 of this Schedule.

(2) A person with an interest in the goods or documents may apply for an order
requiring them to be released to that or another person.

(3) 35An application under this paragraph may be made in England and Wales or
Northern Ireland—

(a) to any magistrates’ court in which proceedings have been brought
for an offence as the result of the investigation in the course of which
the goods or documents were seized,

(b) 40to any magistrates’ court in which proceedings have been brought
for the forfeiture of the goods or documents or (in the case of seized
documents) any goods to which the documents relate, or

(c) if no proceedings within paragraph (a) or (b) have been brought, by
way of complaint to a magistrates’ court.

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(4) An application under this paragraph may be made in Scotland by summary
application to the sheriff.

(5) On an application under this section, the court or sheriff may make an order
requiring goods to be released only if satisfied that condition A or B is met.

(6) 5Condition A is that—

(a) no proceedings have been brought—

(i) for an offence as the result of the investigation in the course
of which the goods or documents were seized, or

(ii) for the forfeiture of the goods or documents or (in the case of
10seized documents) any goods to which the documents relate,
and

(b) the period of 6 months beginning with the date the goods or
documents were seized has expired.

(7) Condition B is that—

(a) 15proceedings of a kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (6)(a) have been
brought, and

(b) those proceedings have been concluded without the goods or
documents being forfeited.

(8) A person aggrieved by an order made under this paragraph by a
20magistrates’ court, or by the decision of a magistrates’ court not to make
such an order, may appeal against the order or decision—

(a) in England and Wales, to the Crown Court;

(b) in Northern Ireland, to a county court.

(9) An order made under this paragraph by a magistrates’ court may contain
25such provision as the court thinks appropriate for delaying its coming into
force pending the making and determination of any appeal.

(10) In sub-paragraph (9) “appeal” includes an application under section 111 of
the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 or Article 146 of the Magistrates’ Courts
(Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (SI 1981/1675 (NI 26)SI 1981/1675 (NI 26)) (statements of case).

30Compensation

41 (1) This paragraph applies where an officer of an enforcer has seized and
detained goods under Part 4 of this Schedule for a purpose within paragraph
19(5)(a) or 20(5)(a).

(2) An enforcer must pay compensation to any person with an interest in the
35goods in respect of any loss or damage caused by the seizure and detention,
if the condition in sub-paragraph (3) or (4) that is relevant to the enforcer is
met.

(3) The condition that is relevant to a domestic enforcer is that—

(a) the goods have not disclosed a breach of the enforcer’s legislation,
40and

(b) the power to seize and detain the goods was not exercised as a result
of any neglect or default of the person seeking the compensation.

(4) The condition that is relevant to an EU enforcer is that—

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(a) the goods have not disclosed a Community infringement or a failure
to comply with a measure specified in paragraph 20(3)(b), (c) or (d),
and

(b) the power to seize and detain the goods was not exercised as a result
5of any neglect or default of the person seeking the compensation.

(5) Any dispute about the right to or amount of any compensation payable
under this paragraph is to be determined—

(a) in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, by arbitration, or

(b) in Scotland, by a single arbitrator appointed by the parties or, if there
10is no agreement between the parties as to that appointment, by the
sheriff.

Meaning of “goods” in this Part

42 In this Part of this Schedule “goods” does not include a document.

Part 6 15Exercise of enforcement functions by area enforcers

Interpretation of this Part

43 In this Part, “area enforcer” means—

(a) a local weights and measures authority in Great Britain,

(b) a district council in England, or

(c) 20a district council in Northern Ireland.

Investigatory powers

44 (1) Sub-paragraphs (3) to (6) apply in relation to an area enforcer’s exercise, in
accordance with this Schedule, of a power in Part 3 or 4 of this Schedule.

(2) Sub-paragraphs (3) to (6) also apply in relation to an area enforcer’s exercise
25of an investigatory power—

(a) conferred by legislation which, by virtue of a provision listed in
paragraph 10 of this Schedule, the area enforcer has a duty or power
to enforce, or conferred by legislation under which such legislation is
made, or

(b) 30conferred by legislation listed in the second column of the table in
paragraph 11 of this Schedule,

for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been a breach of that
legislation or of any notice issued by the area enforcer under that legislation.

(3) A local weights and measures authority in England or Wales may exercise
35the power in a part of England or Wales which is outside that authority’s
area.

(4) A local weights and measures authority in Scotland may exercise the power
in a part of Scotland which is outside that authority’s area.

(5) A district council in England may exercise the power in a part of England
40which is outside that council’s district.

(6) A district council in Northern Ireland may exercise the power in a part of
Northern Ireland which is outside that council’s district.

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Civil proceedings

45 (1) Sub-paragraphs (4) to (7) apply in relation to civil proceedings which may
be brought by an area enforcer under—

(a) Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002,

(b) 5Schedule 3 to this Act,

(c) legislation which, by virtue of a provision listed in paragraph 10 of
this Schedule, the area enforcer has a duty or power to enforce,

(d) legislation under which legislation mentioned in paragraph (c) is
made, or

(e) 10legislation listed in the second column of the table in paragraph 11 of
this Schedule.

(2) Sub-paragraphs (4) to (7) also apply in relation to an application for
forfeiture which may be made by an area enforcer, in circumstances where
there are no related criminal proceedings,—

(a) 15under section 16 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987, or

(b) under legislation which, by virtue of a provision listed in paragraph
10 of this Schedule, the area enforcer has a duty or power to enforce.

(3) In sub-paragraphs (4), (5), (6) and (7), the reference to civil proceedings
includes a reference to an application mentioned in sub-paragraph (2).

(4) 20A local weights and measures authority in England or Wales may bring civil
proceedings in respect of conduct in a part of England or Wales which is
outside that authority’s area.

(5) A local weights and measures authority in Scotland may bring civil
proceedings in respect of conduct in a part of Scotland which is outside that
25authority’s area.

(6) A district council in England may bring civil proceedings in respect of
conduct in a part of England which is outside that council’s district.

(7) A district council in Northern Ireland may bring civil proceedings in respect
of conduct in a part of Northern Ireland which is outside that council’s
30district.

Criminal proceedings

46 (1) A local weights and measures authority in England or Wales may bring
proceedings for a consumer offence allegedly committed in a part of
England or Wales which is outside that authority’s area.

(2) 35In sub-paragraph (1) “a consumer offence” means—

(a) an offence under legislation which, by virtue of a provision listed in
paragraph 10 of this Schedule, a local weights and measures
authority in England or Wales has a duty or power to enforce,

(b) an offence under legislation under which legislation within
40paragraph (a) is made,

(c) an offence under legislation listed in the second column of the table
in paragraph 11 of this Schedule in relation to which a local weights
and measures authority is listed in the corresponding entry in the
first column of the table as an enforcer,

(d) 45an offence originating from an investigation into a breach of
legislation mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c), or

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(e) an offence described in paragraph 36 or 37 of this Schedule.

(3) A district council in England may bring proceedings for a consumer offence
allegedly committed in a part of England which is outside that council’s
district.

(4) 5In sub-paragraph (3) “a consumer offence” means—

(a) an offence under legislation which, by virtue of a provision listed in
paragraph 10 of this Schedule, a district council in England has a
duty or power to enforce,

(b) an offence under legislation under which legislation within
10paragraph (a) is made,

(c) an offence originating from an investigation into a breach of
legislation mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b), or

(d) an offence described in paragraph 36 or 37 of this Schedule.

(5) A district council in Northern Ireland may bring proceedings for a consumer
15offence allegedly committed in a part of Northern Ireland which is outside
that council’s district.

(6) In sub-paragraph (5) “a consumer offence” means—

(a) an offence under legislation which, by virtue of a provision listed in
paragraph 10 of this Schedule, a district council in Northern Ireland
20has a duty or power to enforce,

(b) an offence under legislation under which legislation within
paragraph (a) is made,

(c) an offence originating from an investigation into a breach of
legislation mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b), or

(d) 25an offence described in paragraph 36 or 37 of this Schedule.

Section 77

SCHEDULE 6 Investigatory powers: consequential amendments

Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (c. 29)1968 (c. 29)

1 The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 is amended as follows.

2 30In section 26 (enforcing authorities) after subsection (1) insert—

(1A) For the investigatory powers available to a local weights and
measures authority for the purposes of the duty in subsection (1), see
Schedule 5 to the Consumer Rights Act 2014.

3 Omit section 27 (power to make test purchases).

4 35Omit section 28 (power to enter premises and inspect and seize goods and
documents).

5 Omit section 29 (obstruction of authorised officers).

6 Omit section 30 (notice of test and intended prosecution).

7 Omit section 33 (compensation for loss, etc of goods seized under section 28).

8 (1) 40Section 40 (provisions as to Northern Ireland) is amended as follows.