Business Advice

Business Advice

Tobacco Vapes Bill  

The Government has introduced the new Tobacco and Vapes Bill.

It contains:

  • New powers to restrict vape flavours, packaging and change how vapes are displayed in shops to protect children.
  • ‘On the spot’ fines to be introduced to clamp down on underage sales of tobacco and vaping products of £100
  • It will also no longer be legal to give free samples of vapes to under 18s.

Additionally, the government has committed to ban the sale and supply of disposable vapes from April 2025 under separate environmental legislation.

The full announcement can be found at  Smokefree generation one step closer as Bill introduced - GOV.UK (

Draft legislation on disposable vapes 

Defra’s draft regulations for single-use vapes have now been published. The Environmental Protection (Single-use Vapes) (England) Regulations 2024 draft SI - GOV.UK (

E-Bikes and E-Scooters Fire Safety Advice

E-bikes and e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular. Most are powered by lithium-ion batteries which can be charged in the home. The use of these batteries in a wide range of household products is becoming increasingly common.

It is important when charging e-bikes and e-scooters, you do so safely to avoid a risk of a fire starting and putting your families and homes at risk.

With an increased use of e-bikes and e-scooters, comes a corresponding fire safety concern associated with their charging and storage. The use of these products is expected to continue to rise. Some fire services and fire investigators have seen a rise in e-bike and e-scooter battery fires.

Currently there is limited data relating to the number of fires, but London Fire Brigade reported 8 fires caused by e-bikes and e-scooters in 2019. This rose to twenty-four in 2020 and fifty-nine by December 2021.

On occasions batteries can fail catastrophically, they can ‘explode’ and/or lead to a rapidly developing fire. For media stories go to: BBC News and Sky News of the 27 July 2023 and the Chronicle of the 31 July 2023. 

For further information go to NFCC and to  access the OPSS safety poster (pdf 203 kb).  

Pricing Survey

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has now reviewed the way a range of grocery retailers displayed their prices in-store to assess whether they were clear, accurate and matched the price people were charged at the till.

The review looked at the price marking practices of 139 grocery stores in England and Wales, including supermarket chains, symbol convenience stores (small, independent retailers that operate under a symbol brand name), variety stores and independent food stores.

The CMA conducted on-site inspections and looked at a sample of products – such as fresh fruit and vegetables and products on promotion. During inspections at some stores, the CMA found examples where the retailer was displaying inaccurate prices or failed to display prices at all for certain products. Failing to provide clear and accurate pricing information for products on sale is a breach of consumer law.

Overall, the majority of issues were found at independent food stores and symbol convenience stores. The most common types of issues seen were missing prices, conflicting prices (instances where prices indicated on products conflicted with those shown on shelf edge labels) and prices not being displayed sufficiently close to products.

There were also issues with prices not being clearly legible, the selling price being obscured, and multibuy promotion labels that didn’t specify the price of the items individually.

The percentage of pricing errors found at each type of store were:

Supermarkets: 4.2%
Symbol convenience stores: 14.4%
Variety stores: 5.6%
Independent food stores: 7.8%
Overall, 60% of the errors resulted in a higher price being charged at the till. Further breakdowns by store type can be found in the report. For further detail go to CMA. To access a Poster (pdf 2.6 mb)

Proposed Ban on Wet Wipes

On the 22 April 2024 the Government will introduce new world-leading legislation to ban wet wipes containing plastic. Defra intend to bring forward the legislation for England ahead of summer recess, with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales following by the autumn as part of an aligned approach to bring the ban into force.

Wet wipes containing plastic break down into microplastics over time, which research shows can be harmful to human health and disrupt our ecosystems – with a recent survey showing an average of 20 wet wipes were found per 100 metres of beach surveyed across the UK.

Once in our water environment, wet wipes containing plastic can accumulate biological and chemical pollutants, increasing the risk of harm to the animals and humans who encounter them. Banning them will reduce plastic and microplastic pollution and reduce the volume of microplastics entering wastewater treatment sites when wrongly flushed – meaning our beaches and waterways will benefit from the ban.

EU Exit

Updated guidance on the latest changes can be found on   

Illegal Activity

The job of the Trading Standards Service is to protect consumers and legitimate businesses in Newcastle upon Tyne. To do this we enforce government legislation, provide advice for businesses, deal with thousands of consumer complaints and business enquiries every year and investigate and prosecute offenders.

To report someone you suspect of selling illegal goods please:

We have over 8,000 business premises in Newcastle and these include farms, importers, multinational chains and independent start-ups. Before you get started on a new venture, or if you just want to make sure you're doing the right thing, Trading Standards can advise you on the legal requirements of compliance.

Guidance for businesses can be found at Business Companion which offers information on basics of the law, through to in-depth assistance. If you have a specific query, please contact us directly. 

Dealers in second-hand goods within Newcastle must register with the authority under the City of Newcastle upon Tyne Act 2000.

For more information on the work we do, please see our Business Service Plan page. 


The Trading Standards service with the aim of providing updates on our work, produces a newsletter twice a year. To access a copy of our newsletter go to High Standard (pdf 783 kb).


Trading Standards service, Directorate of City Operations, Neighbourhoods and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Email:   

Did you know?

Trading Standards have duties of enforcement in over 200 pieces of legislation including the licensing of dangerous wild animals, the safety of bicycles and fireworks and the pricing of goods. 

Operation CeCe which is a HMRC sponsored operation delivered by National Trading Standards through local authorities is now fully implemented and achieving significant results across Newcastle.  In 2021-2022 we seized some 611,514 suspected alleged cigarettes together with 194.84 Kg's of suspected alleged Hand Rolling Tobacco. In  2022-2023 we seized some 584,220 suspected illegal cigarettes and 166.15 Kg's of suspected illegal Hand Rolling Tobacco.  

In 2023-2024 we seized some 544,210 suspected illegal cigarettes and 171.5 Kg's of suspected illegal Hand Rolling Tobacco.  

When unlicensed premises are found to be selling illegal tobacco and alcohol, they are at risk of prosecutions as well as the possibility of a Closure Order under the provisions of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. To see where Closure Orders have been applied for by  Northumbria Police and granted on 3 premises in Newcastle go to the Chronicle of the 26 June 2023 and Tyne Tees of the 26 June 2023.    

Since 2021 as part of Operation Joseph which is delivered on behalf of the Government by the National Trading Standards Board, we have seized and removed from the market some 79,400 non-compliant and illegal vaping products. To see an article related to this work go to the Chronicle of the 15 December 2023. 

Need more information?

Trading Standards, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH

0808 2231133


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