Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970

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Published: 2015-01-22

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Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970

c i e
AT 2 of 1970

CONSUMER PROTECTION (TRADE

DESCRIPTIONS) ACT 1970

Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Index


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 3

c i e
CONSUMER PROTECTION (TRADE DESCRIPTIONS)

ACT 1970

Index Section Page

Prohibition of false trade descriptions 5

1 Prohibition of false trade descriptions ......................................................................... 5
2 Trade description ............................................................................................................ 6
3 False trade description ................................................................................................... 7
4 Applying a trade description to goods ........................................................................ 7
5 Trade descriptions used in advertisements ................................................................ 8
6 Offer to supply ................................................................................................................ 8
Power to define terms and to require display, etc., of information 8

7 Definition orders ............................................................................................................. 8
8 Marking orders................................................................................................................ 9
9 Information, etc, to be given in advertisements ......................................................... 9
10 Provisions supplementary to sections 8 and 9.......................................................... 10
Misstatements other than false trade descriptions 11

11 [Repealed] ...................................................................................................................... 11
12 False representations as to royal approval or award, etc ........................................ 11
13 False representations as to supply of goods or services .......................................... 11
14 False or misleading statements as to services, etc .................................................... 11
15 Orders defining terms for purposes of section 14 .................................................... 12
Prohibition of importation of certain goods 12

16 Prohibition of importation of goods bearing false indication of origin ................ 12
17 [Repealed] ...................................................................................................................... 13
Provisions as to offences 13

18 Penalty for offences ...................................................................................................... 13
19 Time limit for prosecutions ......................................................................................... 13
20 Offences by corporations ............................................................................................. 13
21 Accessories to offences committed abroad ............................................................... 14
22 Restrictions on institution of proceedings and admission of evidence ................. 14
23 Offences due to fault of other person......................................................................... 15
Defences 16

Index Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 4 AT 2 of 1970 c

24 Defence of mistake, accident, etc ................................................................................ 16
25 Innocent publication of advertisement ..................................................................... 16
Enforcement 16

26 Enforcing authority ...................................................................................................... 16
27 Power to make test purchases .................................................................................... 17
28 Power to enter premises and inspect and seize goods and documents ............... 17
29 Obstruction of authorised officers ............................................................................. 19
30 Notice of test and intended prosecution ................................................................... 19
31 Evidence by certificate ................................................................................................. 20
Miscellaneous and supplemental 20

32 Power to exempt goods sold for export, etc ............................................................. 20
33 Compensation for loss, etc, of goods seized under s 28 .......................................... 21
34 Trade marks containing trade descriptions .............................................................. 21
35 Saving for civil rights ................................................................................................... 22
36 Country of origin .......................................................................................................... 22
37 Market research experiments ..................................................................................... 22
38 Orders ............................................................................................................................ 23
39 Interpretation ................................................................................................................ 24
40 Consequential amendments and repeals .................................................................. 24
41 [Repealed] ...................................................................................................................... 24
42 Short title and commencement ................................................................................... 24
SCHEDULE 1 25

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS 25
SCHEDULE 2 25

ENDNOTES 27

TABLE OF LEGISLATION HISTORY 27
TABLE OF RENUMBERED PROVISIONS 27
TABLE OF ENDNOTE REFERENCES 27

Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 1


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 5

c i e
CONSUMER PROTECTION (TRADE DESCRIPTIONS)

ACT 1970

Received Royal Assent: 30 September 1970
Passed: 17 November 1970
Commenced: 1 March 1971
AN ACT
to replace the Merchandise Marks Acts 1898 to 1955 by fresh
provisions prohibiting misdescriptions of goods, services, accommodation and
facilities provided in the course of trade; to prohibit false or misleading
indications as to the price of goods; to confer power to require information or
instructions relating to goods to be marked on or to accompany the goods or to
be included in advertisements; to prohibit the unauthorised use of devices or
emblems signifying royal awards; and for purposes connected with those
matters.
GENERAL NOTE:
The maximum fines in this Act are as increased by the Fines Act
1986 and by the Criminal Justice (Penalties, Etc.) Act 1993 s 1.
Prohibition of false trade descriptions
1 Prohibition of false trade descriptions

[1968/1]
(1) Any person who, in the course of a trade or business —
(a) applies a false trade description to any goods; or
(b) supplies or offers to supply any goods to which a false trade
description is applied;
shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be guilty of an offence.
(2) Sections 2 to 6 of this Act shall have effect for the purposes of this section
and for the interpretation of expressions used in this section, wherever
they occur in this Act.
Section 2 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 6 AT 2 of 1970 c

2 Trade description

[1968/2]
(1) A trade description is an indication, direct or indirect, and by whatever
means given, of any of the following matters with respect to any goods
or parts of goods, that is to say —
(a) quantity, size or gauge;
(b) method of manufacture, production, processing or reconditioning;
(c) composition;
(d) fitness for purpose, strength, performance, behaviour or accuracy;
(e) any physical characteristics not included in the preceding
paragraphs;
(f) testing by any person and results thereof;
(g) approval by any person or conformity with a type approved by
any person;
(h) place or date of manufacture, production, processing or
reconditioning;
(i) person by whom manufactured, produced, processed or
reconditioned;
(j) other history, including previous ownership or use.
(2) The matters specified in subsection (1) of this section shall be taken —
(a) in relation to any animal, to include sex, breed or cross, fertility
and soundness;
(b) in relation to any semen, to include the identity and characteristics
of the animal from which it was taken and measure of dilution.
(3) In this section “quantity” includes length, width, height, area, volume,
capacity, weight and number.
(4) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provisions of this section, the
following shall be deemed not to be trade descriptions, that is to say, any
description or mark applied in pursuance of —
(a) the Seeds Act, 1921;
(b) [Repealed]1

(c) the Plant Varieties and Seeds Act, 1964 (an Act of Parliament);
(d) the Agriculture and Horticulture Act, 1964 (an Act of Parliament);
(e) the Seeds Act (Northern Ireland), 1965 (an Act of the Parliament
of Northern Ireland);
(f) the Horticulture Act (Northern Ireland), 1966 (an Act of the
Parliament of Northern Ireland);
(g) Part II of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (an Act of
Parliament);2

Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 3


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 7

(h) Part II of the Consumer Protection Act 1991;3

and any statement made in respect of, or mark applied to, any material
in pursuance of the Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act 1975 and any name or
expression to which a meaning has been assigned under section 4 of that
Act when applied to any material in the circumstances specified in that
section.4

(5) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provisions of this section,
where provision is made under the Food Act 1996 or Part II of the
Consumer Protection Act 1991, or any corresponding provision having
effect in any part of the United Kingdom, prohibiting the application of a
description except to goods in the case of which the requirements
specified in that provision are complied with, that description, when
applied to such goods, shall be deemed not to be a trade description.5

3 False trade description

[1968/3]
(1) A false trade description is a trade description which is false to a material
degree.
(2) A trade description which, though not false, is misleading, that is to say,
likely to be taken for such an indication of any of the matters specified in
section 2 of this Act as would be false to a material degree, shall be
deemed to be a false trade description.
(3) Anything which, though not a trade description, is likely to be taken for
an indication of any of those matters and, as such an indication, would
be false to a material degree, shall be deemed to be a false trade
description.
(4) A false indication, or anything likely to be taken as an indication which
would be false, that any goods comply with a standard specified or
recognised by any person or implied by the approval of any person shall
be deemed to be a false trade description, if there is no such person or no
standard so specified, recognised or implied.
4 Applying a trade description to goods

[1968/4]
(1) A person applies a trade description to goods if he —
(a) affixes or annexes it to or in any manner marks it on or
incorporates it with —
(i) the goods themselves, or
(ii) anything in, on or with which the goods are supplied; or
(b) places the goods in, on or with anything which the trade
description has been affixed or annexed to, marked on or
incorporated with, or places any such thing with the goods; or
Section 5 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 8 AT 2 of 1970 c

(c) uses the trade description in any manner likely to be taken as
referring to the goods.
(2) An oral statement may amount to the use of a trade description.
(3) Where goods are supplied in pursuance of a request in which a trade
description is used and the circumstances are such as to make it
reasonable to infer that the goods are supplied as goods corresponding to
that trade description, the person supplying the goods shall be deemed
to have applied that trade description to the goods.
5 Trade descriptions used in advertisements

[1968/5]
(1) The following provisions of this section shall have effect where in an
advertisement a trade description is used in relation to any class of
goods.
(2) The trade description shall be taken as referring to all goods of the class,
whether or not in existence at the time the advertisement is published —
(a) for the purpose of determining whether an offence has been
committed under paragraph (a) of section 1(1) of this Act; and
(b) where goods of the class are supplied or offered to be supplied by
a person publishing or displaying the advertisement, also for the
purpose of determining whether an offence has been committed
under paragraph (b) of the said section 1(1).
(3) In determining for the purposes of this section whether any goods are of
a class to which a trade description used in an advertisement relates
regard shall be had not only to the form and content of the advertisement
but also to the time, place, manner and frequency of its publication and
all other matters making it likely or unlikely that a person to whom the
goods are supplied would think of the goods as belonging to the class in
relation to which the trade description is used in the advertisement.
6 Offer to supply

[1968/6]
A person exposing goods for supply or having goods in his possession for
supply shall be deemed to offer to supply them.
Power to define terms and to require display, etc., of information
7 Definition orders

[1968/7]
Where it appears to the Board —
(a) that it would be in the interest of persons to whom any goods are
supplied; or
Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 8


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 9

(b) that it would be in the interest of persons by whom any goods are
exported and would not be contrary to the interest of persons to
whom such goods are supplied in the Isle of Man;
that any expressions used in relation to the goods should be
understood as having definite meanings, the Board may by order
assign such meanings either —
(i) to those expressions when used in the course of a trade or
business as, or as part of, a trade description applied to the
goods; or
(ii) to those expressions when so used in such circumstances
as may be specified in the order;
and where such a meaning is so assigned to an expression it shall
be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have that meaning
when used as mentioned in paragraph (i) or, as the case may be,
paragraph (ii) of this section.6

8 Marking orders

[1968/8]
(1) Where it appears to the Board necessary or expedient in the interest of
persons to whom any goods are supplied that the goods should be
marked with or accompanied by any information (whether or not
amounting to or including a trade description) or instruction relating to
the goods, the Board may, subject to the provisions of this Act, by order
impose requirements for securing that the goods are so marked or
accompanied, and regulate or prohibit the supply of goods with respect
to which the requirements are not complied with; and the requirements
may extend to the form and manner in which the information or
instruction is to be given.7

(2) Where an order under this section is in force with respect to goods of any
description, any person who, in the course of any trade or business,
supplies or offers to supply goods of that description in contravention of
the order shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be guilty of an
offence.
(3) An order under this section may make different provision for different
circumstances and may, in the case of goods supplied in circumstances
where the information or instruction required by the order would not be
conveyed until after delivery, require the whole or part thereof to be also
displayed near the goods.
9 Information, etc, to be given in advertisements

[1968/9]
(1) Where it appears to the Board necessary or expedient in the interest of
persons to whom any goods are to be supplied that any description of
Section 10 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 10 AT 2 of 1970 c

advertisements of the goods should contain or refer to any information
(whether or not amounting to or including a trade description) relating
to the goods the Board may, subject to the provisions of this Act, by
order impose requirements as to the inclusion of that information, or of
an indication of the means by which it may be obtained, in such
description of advertisements of the goods as may be specified in the
order.8

(2) An order under this section may specify the form and manner in which
any such information or indication is to be included in advertisements of
any description and may make different provision for different
circumstances.
(3) Where an advertisement of any goods to be supplied in the course of any
trade or business fails to comply with any requirement imposed under
this section, any person who publishes the advertisement shall, subject to
the provisions of this Act, be guilty of an offence.
10 Provisions supplementary to sections 8 and 9

[1968/10]
(1) A requirement imposed by an order under section 8 or section 9 of this
Act in relation to any goods shall not be confined to goods manufactured
or produced in any one country or any one of a number of countries or to
goods manufactured or produced outside any one or more
countries unless —
(a) it is imposed with respect to a description of goods in the case of
which the Board is satisfied that the interest of persons in the Isle
of Man to whom goods of that description are supplied will be
sufficiently protected if the requirement is so confined; and9

(b) the Board is satisfied that the order is compatible with the
international obligations of the Isle of Man.10

(2) Where any requirements with respect to any goods are for the time being
imposed by such an order and the Board is satisfied, on the
representation of persons appearing to it to have a substantial interest in
the matter, that greater hardship would be caused to such persons if the
requirements continued to apply than is justified by the interest of
persons to whom such goods are supplied, the power of the Board to
relax or discontinue the requirements by a further order may be
exercised without the consultation and notice required by section 38(3) of
this Act.11

Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 11


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 11

Misstatements other than false trade descriptions
11 [Repealed]
12

12 False representations as to royal approval or award, etc

[1968/12]
(1) If any person, in the course of any trade or business gives, by whatever
means, any false indication, direct or indirect, that any goods or services
supplied by him or any methods adopted by him are or are of a kind
supplied to or approved by Her Majesty or any member of the Royal
Family, he shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be guilty of an
offence.
(2) If any person, in the course of any trade or business, uses, without the
authority of Her Majesty, any device or emblem signifying the Queen’s
Award to Industry or anything so nearly resembling such a device or
emblem as to be likely to deceive, he shall, subject to the provisions of
this Act, be guilty of an offence.
13 False representations as to supply of goods or services

[1968/13]
If any person, in the course of any trade or business, gives, by whatever means,
any false indication, direct or indirect, that any goods or services supplied by
him are of a kind supplied to any person he shall, subject to the provisions of
this Act, be guilty of an offence.
14 False or misleading statements as to services, etc

[1968/14]
(1) It shall be an offence for any person in the course of any trade or
business —
(a) to make a statement which he knows to be false; or
(b) recklessly to make a statement which is false;
as to any of the following matters, that is to say —
(i) the provision in the course of any trade or business of any
services, accommodation or facilities;
(ii) the nature of any services, accommodation or facilities
provided in the course of any trade or business;
(iii) the time at which, manner in which or persons by whom
any services, accommodation or facilities are so provided;
(iv) the examination, approval or evaluation by any person of
any services, accommodation or facilities so provided; or
(v) the location or amenities of any accommodation so
provided.
Section 15 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 12 AT 2 of 1970 c

(2) For the purposes of this section —
(a) anything (whether or not a statement as to any of the matters
specified in the preceding subsection) likely to be taken for such a
statement as to any of those matters as would be false shall be
deemed to be a false statement as to that matter; and
(b) a statement made regardless of whether it is true or false shall be
deemed to be made recklessly, whether or not the person making
it had reasons for believing that it might be false.
(3) In relation to any services consisting of or including the application of
any treatment or process or the carrying out of any repair, the matters
specified in subsection (1) of this section shall be taken to include the
effect of the treatment, process or repair.
(4) In this section “false” means false to a material degree and “services”
does not include anything done under a contract of service.
15 Orders defining terms for purposes of section 14

[1968/15]
Where it appears to the Board that it would be in the interest of persons for
whom any services, accommodation or facilities are provided in the course of
any trade or business that any expressions used with respect thereto should be
understood as having definite meanings, the Board may by order assign such
meanings to those expressions when used as, or as part of, such statements as
are mentioned in section 14 of this Act with respect to those services,
accommodation or facilities; and where such a meaning is so assigned to an
expression it shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have that meaning
when so used.13

Prohibition of importation of certain goods
16 Prohibition of importation of goods bearing false indication of origin

[1968/16]
(1) Where a false trade description is applied to any goods outside the Isle of
Man and the false indication, or one of the false indications, given, or
likely to be taken as given, thereby is an indication of the place of
manufacture, production, processing or reconditioning of the goods or
any part thereof, the goods shall not be imported into the Isle of Man.
(2) If the Board is satisfied that, having regard to the special circumstances
of any trade, difficulties would arise if this section applied to goods of
any particular class or description and that public interests in the Isle of
Man would not be materially prejudiced by exempting such goods from
the operation of this section, it may, by order, direct that this section shall
not apply to such goods.14

Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 17


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 13

(3) For the purposes of this section and for the avoidance of doubt it is
hereby declared that goods removed from the United Kingdom to the
Isle of Man shall be deemed to be imported into the Isle of Man.
17 [Repealed]
15

Provisions as to offences
18 Penalty for offences

[1968/18]
A person guilty of an offence under this Act for which no other penalty is
specified shall be liable —
(a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £5,000; and
(b) on conviction on information, to a fine or imprisonment for a term
not exceeding two years or both.
19 Time limit for prosecutions

[1968/19]
(1) No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be commenced after
the expiration of three years from the commission of the offence or one
year from its discovery by the prosecutor, whichever is the earlier.
(2) A court of summary jurisdiction may hear a complaint for an offence
under this Act if the complaint was made at any time within twelve
months from the commission of the offence.16

(3) Subsection (2) of this section does not apply where —
(a) the offence was committed by the making of an oral statement; or
(b) the offence was one of supplying goods to which a false trade
description is applied, and the trade description was applied by
an oral statement; or
(c) the offence was one where a false trade description is deemed to
have been applied to goods by virtue of section 4(3) of this Act
and the goods were supplied in pursuance of an oral request.
20 Offences by corporations

[1968/20]
(1) Where an offence under this Act which has been committed by a body
corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent and
connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any
director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body
corporate, or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity,
he as well as the body corporate shall be guilty of that offence and shall
be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Section 21 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 14 AT 2 of 1970 c

(2) In this section “director”, in relation to any body corporate established
by or under any enactment for the purpose of carrying on under public
ownership any industry or part of an industry or undertaking, being a
body corporate whose affairs are managed by the members thereof,
means a member of that body corporate.
21 Accessories to offences committed abroad

[1968/21]
(1) Any person who, in the Isle of Man assists in or induces the commission
in any other country of an act in respect of goods which, if the act were
committed in the Isle of Man, would be an offence under section 1 of this
Act shall be guilty of an offence, except as provided by subsection (2) of
this section, but only if either —
(a) the false trade description concerned is an indication (or anything
likely to be taken as an indication) that the goods or any part
thereof were manufactured, produced, processed or
reconditioned in the Isle of Man; or
(b) the false trade description concerned —
(i) consists of or comprises an expression (or anything likely
to be taken as an expression) to which a meaning is
assigned by an order made by virtue of section 7(b) of this
Act, and
(ii) where that meaning is so assigned only in circumstances
specified in the order, the trade description is used in those
circumstances.
(2) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under subsection (1) of this
section if, by virtue of section 32 of this Act, the act, though committed in
the Isle of Man, would not be an offence under section 1 of this Act had
the goods been intended for despatch to the other country.
(3) Any person who, in the Isle of Man, assists in or induces the commission
outside the Isle of Man of an act which, if committed in the Isle of Man,
would be an offence under section 12 of this Act shall be guilty of an
offence.
22 Restrictions on institution of proceedings and admission of evidence

[1968/22]
(1) Where any act or omission constitutes both an offence under this Act and
an offence contained in or having effect by virtue of Part IV of the
Weights and Measures Act 1989 —
(a) proceedings for the offence shall not be instituted under this Act,
except by virtue of section 23, without the service of such a notice
as is required by section 60(2) of that Act, nor after the expiration
Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 23


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 15

of the period mentioned in paragraph (3) of the said section 60(2);
and
(b) sections 28, 29 and 30(1) and (2) of that Act shall, with the
necessary modifications, apply as if the offence under this Act
were an offence under Part IV of that Act or any instrument made
thereunder.17

(1A) Where any act or omission constitutes both an offence under this Act and
an offence under the food and drugs legislation, evidence on behalf of
the prosecution concerning any sample procured for analysis shall not be
admissible in proceedings for the offence under this Act unless the
relevant provisions of that legislation have been complied with.18

(1B) In subsection (2) —
“the food and drugs legislation
” means the Food Act 1996 and the Medicines Act
2003 and any instrument made under them;
“the relevant provisions
” means —
(i) in relation to the Food Act 1996, section 25 and regulations
made under it;
(ii) in relation to the Medicines Act 2003, so much of Schedule 1
to that Act as is applicable to the circumstances in which
the sample was procured;
or any provision replacing any of those provisions by virtue of
section 17 of the Food Act 1996 or paragraph 21 of Schedule 1 to
the Medicines Act 2003.19

(2) The Board may by order provide that in proceedings for an offence
under this Act in relation to such goods as may be specified in the order
(other than proceedings for an offence falling within the preceding
provisions of this section) evidence on behalf of the prosecution
concerning any sample procured for analysis shall not be admissible
unless the sample has been dealt with in such manner as may be
specified in the order.20

23 Offences due to fault of other person

[1968/23]
Where the commission by any person of an offence under this Act is due to the
act or default of some other person that other person shall be guilty of the
offence, and a person may be charged with and convicted of the offence by
virtue of this section whether or not proceedings are taken against the first-
mentioned person.
Section 24 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 16 AT 2 of 1970 c

Defences
24 Defence of mistake, accident, etc

[1968/24]
(1) In any proceedings for an offence under this Act it shall, subject to
subsection (2) of this section, be a defence for the person charged to
prove —
(a) that the commission of the offence was due to a mistake or to
reliance on information supplied to him or to the act or default of
another person, an accident or some other cause beyond his
control; and
(b) that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all diligence
to avoid the commission of such an offence by himself or any
person under his control.
(2) If in any case the defence provided by the last foregoing subsection
involves the allegation that the commission of the offence was due to the
act or default of another person or to reliance on information supplied by
another person, the person charged shall not without leave of the court,
be entitled to rely on that defence unless, within a period ending seven
clear days before the hearing, he has served on the prosecutor a notice in
writing giving such information identifying or assisting in the
identification of that other person as was then in his possession.
(3) In any proceedings for an offence under this Act of supplying or offering
to supply goods to which a false trade description is applied it shall be a
defence for the person charged to prove that he did not know, and could
not with reasonable diligence have ascertained, that the goods did not
conform to the description or that the description had been applied to the
goods.
25 Innocent publication of advertisement

[1968/25]
In proceedings for an offence under this Act committed by the publication of an
advertisement it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove that he is a
person whose business it is to publish or arrange for the publication of
advertisements and that he received the advertisement for publication in the
ordinary course of business and did not know and had no reason to suspect that
its publication would amount to an offence under this Act.
Enforcement
26 Enforcing authority

It shall be the duty of the Board to enforce the provisions of this Act and of any
order made under this Act.21

Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 27


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 17

27 Power to make test purchases

[1968/27]
An authorised officer may make such purchases of goods and, with the
authority of the Board, secure the provision of such services, accommodation or
facilities, as may appear expedient for the purpose of determining whether or
not the provisions of this Act and any order made thereunder are being
complied with.22

28 Power to enter premises and inspect and seize goods and documents

[1968/28]
(1) An authorised officer may, at all reasonable hours and on production, if
required, of his credentials, exercise the following powers, that is
to say —
(a) he may, for the purpose of ascertaining whether any offence
under this Act has been committed, inspect any goods and enter
any premises other than premises used only as a dwelling;
(b) if he has reasonable cause to suspect that an offence under this
Act has been committed, he may, for the purpose of ascertaining
whether it has been committed, require any person carrying on a
trade or business or employed in connection with a trade or
business to produce any books or documents relating to the trade
or business and may take copies of, or of any entry in, any such
book or document;
(c) if he has reasonable cause to believe that an offence under this Act
has been committed, he may seize and detain any goods for the
purpose of ascertaining, by testing or otherwise, whether the
offence has been committed;
(d) he may seize and detain any goods or documents which he has
reason to believe may be required as evidence in proceedings for
an offence under this Act;
(e) he may, for the purpose of exercising his powers under this
subsection to seize goods, but only if and to the extent that it is
reasonably necessary in order to secure that the provisions of this
Act and of any order made thereunder are duly observed, require
any person having authority to do so to break open any container
or open any vending machine and, if that person does not comply
with the requirement, he may do so himself.23

(2) An authorised officer seizing any goods or documents in the exercise of
his powers under this section shall inform the person from whom they
are seized and, in the case of goods seized from a vending machine, the
person whose name and address are stated on the machine as being the
proprietor’s or, if no name and address are so stated, the occupier of the
premises on which the machine stands or to which it is affixed.24

Section 28 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 18 AT 2 of 1970 c

(3) If a justice of the peace, on a complaint in writing and on oath —
(a) is satisfied that there is reasonable ground to believe either —
(i) that any goods, books, or documents which a duly
authorised officer has power under this section to inspect
are on any premises and that their inspection is likely to
disclose evidence of the commission of an offence under
this Act; or
(ii) that any offence under this Act has been, is being or is
about to be committed on any premises; and
(b) is also satisfied either —
(i) that admission to the premises has been or is likely to be
refused and that notice of intention to apply for a warrant
under this subsection has been given to the occupier; or
(ii) that an application for admission, or the giving of such a
notice, would defeat the object of the entry or that the
premises are unoccupied or that the occupier is
temporarily absent and it might defeat the object of the
entry to await his return,
the justice may by warrant under his hand, which shall continue
in force for a period of one month, authorise an authorised officer
to enter the premises, if need be by force.25

(4) An authorised officer entering any premises by virtue of this section may
take with him such other persons and such equipment as may appear to
him necessary; and on leaving any premises which he has entered by
virtue of a warrant under the preceding subsection he shall, if the
premises are unoccupied or the occupier is temporarily absent, leave
them as effectively secured against trespassers as he found them.26

(5) If any person discloses to any person —
(a) any information with respect to any manufacturing process or
trade secret obtained by him in premises which he has entered by
virtue of this section; or
(b) any information obtained by him in pursuance of this Act,
he shall be guilty of an offence unless the disclosure was made in or for
the purpose of the performance by him or any other person of functions
under this Act.
(5A) Subsection (5) does not apply to disclosure for a purpose specified in
section 34(2)(a), (b) or (c) of the Consumer Protection Act 1991.27

(6) If any person who is not an authorised officer purports to act as such
under this section he shall be guilty of an offence.28

(7) Nothing in this section shall be taken to compel the production by an
advocate of a document containing a privileged communication made by
Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 29


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 19

or to him in that capacity or to authorise the taking of possession of any
such document which is in his possession.
29 Obstruction of authorised officers

[1968/29]
(1) Any person who —
(a) wilfully obstructs an authorised officer acting in pursuance of this
Act; or29

(b) wilfully fails to comply with any requirement properly made to
him by an authorised officer under section 28 of this Act; or30

(c) without reasonable cause fails to give an authorised officer so
acting any other assistance or information which he may
reasonably require of him for the purpose of the performance of
his functions under this Act,31

shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine
not exceeding £1,000.
(2) If any person, in giving any such information as is mentioned in the
preceding subsection, makes any statement which he knows to be false,
he shall be guilty of an offence.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a person to
answer any question or give any information if to do so might
incriminate him.
30 Notice of test and intended prosecution

[1968/30]
(1) Where any goods seized or purchased by an authorised officer in
pursuance of this Act are submitted to a test, then —
(a) if the goods were seized, the authorised officer shall inform the
person mentioned in section 28(2) of this Act of the result of the
test;32

(b) if the goods were purchased and the test leads to the institution of
proceedings for an offence under this Act, the authorised officer
shall inform the person from whom the goods were purchased, or,
in the case of goods sold through a vending machine, the person
mentioned in section 28(2) of this Act, of the result of the test;33

and shall, where as a result of the test proceedings for an offence under
this Act are instituted against any person, allow him to have the goods
tested on his behalf if it is reasonably practicable to do so.34

(2) No proceedings for an offence under this Act, other than an offence
under section 28(5) or 29, shall be instituted by an authorised officer
unless he has given to the Attorney General notice of the intended
Section 31 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 20 AT 2 of 1970 c

proceedings and either a period of twenty-eight days has elapsed since
the giving of the notice or the Attorney General has before the end of that
period issued a certificate under this section.35

(3) A notice under subsection (2) of this section must be accompanied by a
summary of the facts on which the charges are to be founded.
(4) A certificate of the Attorney General that a notice under subsection (2) of
this section was given on a date specified in the certificate and was
accompanied by the summary required under subsection (3) of this
section shall be conclusive evidence that the notice was given on that
date and was accompanied by such a summary; and any document
purporting to be such a certificate and to be signed by the Attorney
General shall be deemed such a certificate, unless the contrary is
shown.36

31 Evidence by certificate

[1968/31]
(1) The Board may by regulations provide that certificates issued by such
persons as may be specified by the regulations in relation to such matters
as may be so specified shall, subject to the provisions of this section, be
received in evidence of those matters in any proceedings under this
Act.37

(2) Such a certificate shall not be received in evidence —
(a) unless the party against whom it is to be given in evidence has
been served with a copy thereof not less than seven days before
the hearing; or
(b) if that party has, not less than three days before the hearing,
served on the other party a notice requiring the attendance of the
person issuing the certificate.
(3) For the purposes of this section any document purporting to be such a
certificate as is mentioned in this section shall be deemed to be such a
certificate unless the contrary is shown.
Miscellaneous and supplemental
32 Power to exempt goods sold for export, etc

[1968/32; SI1962/170]
(1) In relation to goods which are intended —
(a) for despatch to a destination outside the Isle of Man, Great Britain
and any designated country within the meaning of section 68(2) of
the Weights and Measures Act 1989; or
(b) for use as stores within the meaning of the Customs and Excise
Management Act 1986 in a ship or aircraft on a voyage or flight to
Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 33


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 21

an eventual destination outside the Isle of Man and the United
Kingdom; or
(c) for use by Her Majesty’s forces or by a visiting force within the
meaning of any of the provisions of Part I of the Visiting Forces
Act 1952 (an Act of Parliament), as it has effect in the Isle of Man,
or
(d) for industrial use or constructional use,
section 1 applies as if the matters specified in section 2(1)(a) were omitted
from the matters included in section 2(1).
(2) If the Board by order specifies for the purposes of this section, with
respect to any description of goods, any other of the matters specified in
section 2(1), section 1 shall apply, in relation to goods of that description
which are intended for despatch to a destination outside the Isle of Man,
the United Kingdom and any other country specified for the purpose in
the order, as if the matters so specified were also omitted from those
included in section 2(1).
(3) In this section, in relation to any goods —
“industrial use
” means the use of those goods in the manufacture of, or for
incorporation in, goods of a different description in the course of
carrying on a business;
“constructional use
” means the use of those goods in constructional work (or, if
the goods are explosives within the meaning of the Dangerous Goods Act
1928, in mining, quarrying or demolition work) in the course of carrying
on a business.38

33 Compensation for loss, etc, of goods seized under s 28

[1968/33]
(1) Where, in the exercise of his powers under section 28 of this Act, an
authorised officer seizes and detains any goods and their owner suffers
loss by reason thereof or by reason that the goods, during the detention,
are lost or damaged or deteriorate, then, unless the owner is convicted of
an offence under this Act committed in relation to the goods, the
Treasury shall be liable to compensate him for the loss so suffered.39

(2) Any disputed question as to the right to or the amount of any
compensation payable under this section shall be determined by
arbitration under the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1976.40

34 Trade marks containing trade descriptions

[1968/34]
The fact that a trade description is a trade mark, or part of a trade mark, does
not prevent it from being a false trade description when applied to any goods,
except where the following conditions are satisfied, that is to say —
Section 35 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 22 AT 2 of 1970 c

(a) that it could have been lawfully applied to the goods if this Act
had not been passed; and
(b) that on the day this Act is passed the trade mark either is
registered under the said Trade Marks Act, 1938, or is in use to
indicate a connection in the course of trade between such goods
and the proprietor of the trade mark; and
(c) that the trade mark as applied is used to indicate such a
connection between the goods and the proprietor of the trade
mark or, in the case of a registered trade mark, a person licensed
to use it; and41

(d) that the person who is the proprietor of the trade mark is the same
person as, or a successor in title of, the proprietor on the day this
Act is passed.42

35 Saving for civil rights

[1968/35]
A contract for the supply of any goods shall not be void or unenforceable by
reason only of a contravention of any provision of this Act.
36 Country of origin

[1968/36]
(1) For the purposes of this Act goods shall be deemed to have been
manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a
treatment or process resulting in a substantial change.
(2) The Board may by order specify —
(a) in relation to any description of goods, what treatment or process
is to be regarded for the purposes of this section as resulting or
not resulting in a substantial change;
(b) in relation to any description of goods different parts of which
were manufactured or produced in different countries, or of
goods assembled in a country different from that in which their
parts were manufactured or produced, in which of those countries
the goods are to be regarded for the purposes of this Act as
having been manufactured or produced.43

37 Market research experiments

[1968/37]
(1) In this section “market research experiment
” means any activities
conducted for the purpose of ascertaining the opinion of persons (in this
section referred to as “participants”) of —
(a) any goods; or
(b) anything in, on or with which the goods are supplied; or
Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Section 38


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 23

(c) the appearance or any other characteristic of the goods or of any
such thing; or
(d) the name or description under which the goods are supplied.
(2) This section applies to any market research experiment with respect to
which the following conditions are satisfied, that is to say —
(a) that any participant to whom any goods are supplied in the
course of the experiment is informed, at or before the time at
which they are supplied to him, that they are supplied for such a
purpose as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, and

(b) that no consideration in money or money’s worth is given by a
participant for the goods or any goods supplied to him for
comparison.
(3) Neither section 1 nor section 8 of this Act shall apply in relation to goods
supplied or offered to be supplied, whether to a participant or any other
person, in the course of a market research experiment to which this
section applies.
38 Orders

[1968/38]
(1) Any order made under this Act shall not take effect until the same shall
have been approved by resolution of Tynwald.
(2) Any order made under the preceding provisions of this Act which relates
to any agricultural, horticultural or fishery produce, whether processed
or not, food, feeding stuffs or ingredients of food or feeding stuffs,
fertilisers or any goods used as pesticides or for similar purposes shall
only be made after the Board has consulted with the Department of
Environment, Food and Agriculture.44

(3) The following provisions shall apply to the making of an order under
section 7, 8, 9, 15, 16 or 36 of this Act, except in the case mentioned in
section 10(2) thereof, that is to say —
(a) before making the order the Board shall consult with such
organisations as appear to it to be representative of interests
substantially affected by it and shall publish, in such manner as it
thinks appropriate, notice of its intention to make the order and of
the place where copies of the proposed order may be obtained;
and45

(b) the order shall not be made until the expiration of a period of
twenty-eight days from the publication of the notice and may then
be made with such modifications (if any) as the Board thinks
appropriate having regard to any representations received by it.46

Section 39 Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 24 AT 2 of 1970 c

39 Interpretation

[1968/39]
(1) The following provisions shall have effect, in addition to sections 2 to 6
of this Act, for the interpretation in this Act of expressions used therein,
that is to say —
“advertisement
” includes a catalogue, a circular and a price list;
“authorised officer
” (except in section 28(3)(a)) means a duly authorised officer
of the Board;47

“the Board
” means the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading;48

“goods
” includes ships and aircraft, things attached to land and growing crops;
“inspector
” [Repealed]49

“premises
” includes any place and any stall, vehicle, ship or aircraft; and
“ship
” includes any boat and any other description of vessel used in navigation.
(2) For the purposes of this Act, a trade description or statement published
in any newspaper, book or periodical or in any film or sound or
television broadcast or in a programme included in a cable programme
service (within the meaning of Part 1 of the Broadcasting Act 1993) shall
not be deemed to be a trade description applied or statement made in the
course of a trade or business unless it is or forms part of an
advertisement.50

40 Consequential amendments and repeals

[1968/41]
(1) The enactments mentioned in Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect
subject to the amendments specified in that Schedule.
(2) [Repealed]51

41 [Repealed]
52

42 Short title and commencement

[1968/43]
(1) This Act may be cited as the Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions)
Act, 1970.
(2) This Act shall come into operation when the Royal Assent thereto has
been by the Governor announced to Tynwald and a certificate thereof
has been signed by the Governor and the Speaker of the House of Keys,
but shall take effect on such day as the Governor may by order appoint,
being a day not earlier than the expiration of the period of three months
beginning with the day on which the same comes into operation.53

Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Schedule 1



c AT 2 of 1970 Page 25

Schedule 1

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

Section 40(1) [Sch 1 amended by Road Traffic Act 1985 Sch 9, and amends the
following Act —
Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act 1931 q.v.]
Schedule 2
54

Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970 Endnotes


c AT 2 of 1970 Page 27

ENDNOTES

Table of Legislation History

Legislation Year and No Commencement






Table of Renumbered Provisions

Original Current






Table of Endnote References

1
Para (b) repealed by Agricultural (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 Sch. 2
Para (g) substituted by Consumer Protection Act 1991 Sch 4. 3
Para (h) substituted by Consumer Protection Act 1991 Sch 4. 4
Subs (4) amended by Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act 1975 s 23. 5
Subs (5) amended by Consumer Protection Act 1991 Sch 4 and by Food Act 1996 Sch
4. 6
S 7 amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 7
Subs (1) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 8
Subs (1) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 9
Para (a) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 10
Para (b) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 11
Subs (2) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 s 7 and Sch 2. 12
S 11 repealed by Consumer Protection Act 1991 Sch 5. 13
S 15 amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 14
Subs (2) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 s 7 and Sch 2. 15
S 17 repealed by Trade Marks Act 1994 (P) (as applied by SI1996/729). 16
Subs (2) amended by Summary Jurisdiction Act 1989 Sch 6. 17
Subs (1) substituted by Food Act 1996 Sch 4. 18
Subs (1A) inserted by Food Act 1996 Sch 4. 19
Subs (1B) substituted by Medicines Act 2003 Sch 3. 20
Subs (2) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 21
S 26 substituted by Consumer Protection Act 1991 Sch 4.
Endnotes Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions) Act 1970


Page 28 AT 2 of 1970 c

22
S 27 amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2 and by Fair Trading
(Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 23
Subs (1) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 24
Subs (2) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 25
Subs (3) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 26
Subs (4) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 27
Subs (5A) inserted by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 s 19. 28
Subs (6) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 29
Para (a) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 30
Para (b) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 31
Para (c) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 32
Para (a) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 33
Para (b) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 34
Subs (1) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 35
Subs (2) amended by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 36
Subs (4) amended by Law officers Act 2014 s 5. 37
Subs (1) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 38
S 32 substituted by Consumer Protection Act 1991 Sch 4. 39
Subs (1) amended by Treasury Act 1985 Sch 2 and by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act
2001 Sch 2. 40
Subs (2) amended by Statute Law Revision Act 1997 Sch 1. 41
Para (c) amended by Trade Marks Act 1994 (Parliament) (as applied by SI1996/729). 42
S 34 amended by Trade Marks Act 1994 (Parliament) (as applied by SI1996/729). 43
Subs (2) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2. 44
Subs (2) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2 and by SD155/10 Sch
3. 45
Para (a) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 s 7 and Sch 2. 46
Para (b) amended by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 s 7 and Sch 2. 47
Definition of “authorised officer” inserted by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001
Sch 2. 48
Definition of “the Board” inserted by Board of Consumer Affairs Act 1981 Sch 2 and
amended by SD579/98. 49
Definition of “inspector” repealed by Fair Trading (Amendment) Act 2001 Sch 2. 50
Subs (2) amended by Broadcasting Act 1993 Sch 4. 51
Subs (2) repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1983 Sch 2. 52
S 41 repealed by Consumer Protection Act 1991 Sch 5. 53
ADO (whole Act) 1/3/1971 (GC107/70). 54
Sch 2 repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1983 Sch 2.