Trading standards body urges caution on reintroduction of imperial markings
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has urged caution and no rushed decisions concerning the UK Government's announcement that it intends to study the economic impacts of reintroducing imperial markings.
CTSI called for a full consultation and impact assessment on this matter in September last year. It welcomed the opportunity to provide the necessary expert opinion from the trading standards profession for any study into the issue.
CTSI recognises the vital importance of getting consumer protection right, and the units we use to weigh and measure goods are a keystone element of the system.
There are several concerns about the reintroduction of imperial units among the trading standards profession, which regulates weights and measures. These include questions about trading standards service capacity to enforce new regulations due to the 50% budget cuts experienced over the past decade. There would also be demands for new consumer education about the units, which have not been taught as primary units of measurement in school curriculums since 1974.
CTSI Chief Executive, John Herriman, said: "While we recognise the UK Government's desire to identify opportunities afforded by the exit from the EU and also the importance of business and consumer choice, it is important that we look at the realities of implementation, enforcement, and their impact on consumers, business and the economy as a whole. This is why CTSI called for a consultation last September, and why we welcome the opportunity to inform the study.
"CTSI believes the proposal risks creating additional complexities for business and consumers, creating uncertainty in the economy which undermines the Government's goals for economic growth. Our considered view is that it is better to focus on ensuring stability in the marketplace for businesses and consumers than focus on the unit measures under which goods are sold. This would be a better route to supporting market growth rather than risk creating confusion and additional costs at multiple levels."
Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
CTSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk
CTSI Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org, 01268 582240