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The Trade Descriptions Act 1968

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The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 List of acts
 Selected UK Acts and Regulations
    Wills and probate
 
Crown Copyright Acknowledged
CONTENTS

Trade Descriptions Act 1968

1968 CHAPTER 29

Prohibition of false trade descriptions

1. Prohibition of false trade descriptions

2.Trade description

3.False trade description

4. Applying a trade description to goods

5. Trade descriptions used in advertisements

6. Offer to supply

Power to define terms and to require display, etc. of information

7. Definition orders

8. Marking orders

9. Information etc. to be given in advertisements

10. Provisions supplementary to sections 8 and 9

Misstatements other than false trade descriptions

11.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12. False representations as to royal approval or award, etc

13. False representations as to supply of goods or services

14. False or misleading statements as to services etc

15. Orders defining terms for purposes of section 14

Prohibition of importation of certain goods

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

17. Restriction on importation of goods bearing infringing trade marks

Provisions as to offences

18. Penalty for offences

19. Time limit for prosecutions

20. Offences by corporations

21. Accessories to offences committed abroad

22. Restrictions on institution of proceedings and admission of evidence

23. Offences due to fault of other person

Defences

24. Defence of mistake, accident, etc

25. Innocent publication of advertisement

Enforcement

26. Enforcing authorities

27. Power to make test purchases

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

29. Obstruction of authorised officers

30. Notice of test and intended prosecution

31. Evidence by certificate

Miscellaneous and supplemental

32. Power to exempt goods sold for export, etc

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

34. Trade marks containing trade descriptions

35. Saving for civil rights

36. Country of origin

37. Market research experiments

38. Orders

39. Interpretation

40. Provisions as to Northern Ireland

41. Consequential amendments and repeals

42.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

43. Short title and commencement

SCHEDULE 1: CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

SCHEDULE 2

 

An Act to replace the Merchandise Marks Acts 1887 to 1953 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 on 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; to enable the Parliament of Northern Ireland to make laws relating to merchandise marks; and for purposes connected with those matters.

[30th May 1968]

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 Words of enactment omitted under authority of Statute Law Revision Act 1948 (c. 62), s. 3

C2 Act modified by S.I. 1977/1140, reg. 12(2)

C3 Act excluded (E.W.S.) by S.I. 1985/1271, reg. 11 and (N.I.) by S.R. 1978/342, reg. 9(2)

Act excluded (E.W.S.) by Weights and Measures Act 1985 (c. 72, SIF 131), s. 48(4), Sch. 11 para. 21(2)

C4Act restricted by Energy Conservation Act 1981 (c. 17, SIF 44:3), s. 19(2)

Act restricted by S.R. 1987/407, reg. 10

Act restricted (6.11.1995) by S.R. 1995/382, reg. 9

C5Act extended by Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52, SIF 107:1), s. 80(1)

C6Act applied (1.1.1995) by S.I. 1994/3142, reg. 18(5)

Act applied (1.1.1995) by S.I. 1994/3144, reg. 9(11)(15) (as amended (30.10.2005) by S.I. 2005/2759, reg. 2(12))

Act applied (30.10.2005) by The Medicines (Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products for Human Use) Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/2750), reg. 10(5) (with Sch. 6)

Commencement Information

I1Act wholly in force at 30.11.1968 see s. 43(2).

Prohibition of false trade descriptions

1 Prohibition of false trade descriptions

(1)F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F2(2)Sections 2 to 4 shall have effect for the interpretation of expressions used in this Act ]

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 1(1) repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(a), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

F2S. 1(2) substituted (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1), Sch. 2 para. 9 (with savings in reg 28(2)(3))

2Trade description

(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—

F1(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)section 2 of the M1Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act 1928 (as amended by the M2Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Amendment Act 1931) or any corresponding enactment of the Parliament of Northern Ireland;

(c)the M3Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964;

(d)the M4Agriculture and Horticulture Act 1964 [F2or any Community grading rules within the meaning of Part III of that Act];

(e)the M5Seeds Act (Northern Ireland) 1965;

(f)the M6Horticulture Act (Northern Ireland) 1966;

[F3(g)The Consumer Protection Act 1987;]

[F4(h)the Plant Varieties Act 1997;]

[F5any statement made in respect of, or mark applied to, any material in pursuance of Part IV of the M7Agriculture Act 1970, any name or expression to which a meaning has been assigned under section 70 of that Act when applied to any material in the circumstances specified in that section] . . . F6 any mark prescribed by a system of classification compiled under section 5 of the M8Agriculture Act 1967 [F7and any designation, mark or description applied in pursuance of a scheme brought into force under section 6(1) or an order made under section 25(1) of the Agriculture Act 1970]

(5)Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provisions of this section,

[F8(a)]where provision is made under [F9the Food Safety Act 1990] or the [ F10Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991][F11or the Consumer Protection Act 1987] 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.

[F12(b) where by virtue of any provision made under Part V of the Medicines Act 1968 (or made under any provisions of the said Part V as applied by an order made under section 104 or section 105 of that Act) anything which, in accordance with this Act, constitutes the application of a trade description to goods is subject to any requirements or restrictions imposed by that provision, any particular description specified in that provision, when applied to goods in circumstances to which those requirements or restrictions are applicable, shall be deemed not to be a trade description.]

[F13(c)where any description of a veterinary medicinal product is required to be applied to the product by an authorisation for the product granted under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2006, that description, when applied to the product, shall be deemed not to be a trade description.]

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 2(4)(a) repealed by European Communities Act 1972 (c. 68), s. 4, Sch. 3 Pt. III

F2Words inserted by European Communities Act 1972 (c. 68), s. 4, Sch. 4 para. 4(2)

F3S. 2(4)(g) inserted by Consumer Safety Act 1978 (c. 38), s. 7(8) and as substituted by Consumer Protection Act 1987 (c. 43, SIF 109:1), s. 48(1), Sch. 4 para. 2(1)(a)

F4S. 2(4)(h) inserted (8.5.1998) by 1997 c. 66, s. 51(4); S.I. 1998/1028, art.2.

F5Words substituted (1.1.1974) by Agriculture Act 1970 (c. 40), s. 87(3)

F6Word repealed by Agriculture Act 1970 (c. 40), s. 6(4), Sch. 5 Pt. V

F7Words added by Agriculture Act 1970 (c. 40), s, 6(4)

F8Word "(a)" inserted by Medicines Act 1968 (c. 67, SIF 84), s. 135(1), Sch. 5 para. 16

F9Words “the Food Safety Act 1990” substituted (E.W.S.) by Food Safety Act 1990 (c. 16, SIF 53:1, 2), s. 59(1), Sch. 3 para. 6

F10Words in s. 2(5)(a) substituted (N.I.) (21.5.1991) by S.I. 1991/762 (N.I. 7), art. 51(1), Sch. 2 para.8; S.R. 1991/175, art. 2(1)

F11Words substituted by Consumer Protection Act 1987 (c. 43, SIF 109:1), s. 48(1), Sch. 4 para. 2(1)(b) for words inserted by Consumer Safety Act 1978 (c.38, SIF 109:1), s. 7(8)

F12Para. (b) inserted by Medicines Act 1968 (c. 67, SIF 84), s. 135(1), Sch. 5 para. 16

F13S. 2(5)(c) added (1.10.2006) by The Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2006 (S.I. 2006/2407), reg. 44(3), Sch. 9 Pt. 1 para. 2 (with reg. 3)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 2(5) amended (14.2.1989) by Medicines Act 1968 (c. 67), s. 135(1), Sch. 5 para. 16

Marginal Citations

M11928 c. 19.

M21931 c. 40.

M31964 c. 14.

M41964 c. 28.

M51965 c. 22 (N.I.)

M61966 c. 15 (N.I.)

M71970 c. 40

M81967 c. 22.

3False trade description

(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.

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 3(1) amended (1.1.1975) by Hallmarking Act 1973 (c. 43), s. 1(4)

4 Applying a trade description to goods

(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

(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.

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 4 extended (1.1.1975) by Hallmarking Act 1973 (c. 43), s. 1(7) (b)

5 Trade descriptions used in advertisements

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 5 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(b), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3), Sch. 3 para. 1)

6 Offer to supply

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 6 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(c), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

Power to define terms and to require display, etc. of information

7 Definition orders

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 7-10 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(d), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

8 Marking orders

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 7-10 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(d), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

9 Information etc. to be given in advertisements

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 7-10 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(d), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

10 Provisions supplementary to sections 8 and 9

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 7-10 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(d), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

Misstatements other than false trade descriptions

11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 11 repealed by Consumer Protection Act 1987 (c. 43, SIF 109:1), s. 48(3), Sch. 5

12 False representations as to royal approval or award, etc

(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.

[F1(3)A person shall not be guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or (2) by reason of doing anything that is a commercial practice unless the commercial practice is unfair.

In this subsection “commercial practice” and “unfair” have the same meaning as in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.]

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 12(3) added (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1), Sch. 2 para. 10 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

13 False representations as to supply of goods or services

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 13-15 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(e), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

14 False or misleading statements as to services etc

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 13-15 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(e), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

15 Orders defining terms for purposes of section 14

F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 13-15 repealed (26.5.2008) by The Consumer Protection for Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1277), reg. 30(1)(3), Sch. 2 para. 8(e), Sch. 4 Pt. 1 (with savings in reg. 28(2)(3))

 
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