Report an incident or issue to Trading Standards

How to report illegal or undesirable trading activity to Trading Standards.

1 Coronavirus (COVID-19) incident reporting

Excessive pricing

If your complaint concerns a business selling goods at excessive and unfair prices, please report this on the Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) form below.

CMA online incident reporting form (GOV.UK) (external link)

Business track and trace

Some venues are legally required to record details of their customers, visitors and staff. They must share these with the NHS Test and Trace service, if requested, to enable action to limit the spread of the virus. A list of venues required to do this can be found on GOV.UK's Annex A: full list of settings.


New restrictions to limit the spread of infection came into force on 6 January 2021. Guidance on the regulations can be found on GOV.UK's National lockdown: stay at home.

A limited number of businesses may remain open. These are:

  • essential retail, such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail
  • businesses providing repair services, where they primarily offer repair services
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair garages and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (who may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • places of worship
  • crematoriums and burial grounds.

Reporting violations of restrictions

In West Sussex, Trading Standards are working together with Environmental Health departments in the district and borough councils to enforce the business closure requirements.

Trading Standards

Please report any of the following businesses to Trading Standards if you are aware that they have remained open in contravention of the regulations:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises) and delivery services.
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
  • Entertainment venues, such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks.
  • Animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife centres).
  • Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • Personal care facilities, such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes.
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services (for example for people who do not have it at home) and for click-and-collect services.
Report to Trading Standards

Environmental Health

If you are aware any of the following businesses have remained open in contravention of the regulations, please report them to the local district or borough Environmental Health departments:

  • Hospitality venuessuch as cafés, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs, with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
  • Accommodationsuch as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as:
    • where these act as someone’s main residence
    • where the person cannot return home
    • where they are providing accommodation or support to the homeless
    • where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.

2 Non-coronavirus (COVID-19) incident reporting

Report to Trading Standards

Information we particularly want to receive

  • Traders supplying illicit tobacco and alcohol, such as:
    • counterfeit and non-duty paid products
    • tobacco products with foreign language or missing health warnings
    • the sale of single cigarettes.
  • Traders calling on potentially vulnerable residents to offer home improvement services, such as:
    • gardening
    • roofing
    • driveway work.
  • Traders exploiting vulnerable residents by, for example, selling them overpriced or misdescribed goods or services.
  • Traders supplying age-restricted products, such as:
    • knives
    • fireworks
    • tobacco or alcohol, to young people.
  • Illegal money lending activity ('loan sharking').
  • Scam mail or phone calls targeting residents, for example, letters and phone calls claiming prize draws or lottery wins.
  • The supply of counterfeit goods.
  • Food and drink issues, including:
    • lack of or incorrect allergen information
    • fish or animal species substitution
    • false claims about place of origin.
  • The sale of illegally imported pets (popular breeds include French Bulldogs and Pugs).
  • Animal welfare complaints relating to farm animals.

Consumer advice

If you require consumer advice in connection with the matter you wish to report, you should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on Freephone 0808 223 1133 or online. They will give consumer advice and also pass the details you provide to Trading Standards.

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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.