Home authority principle

The Home Authority Principle is supported by local authority food and trading standards services throughout the UK.

A local authority acting as a home or originating authority will place special emphasis on the legality of goods and services originating within its area.

It aims to prevent infringements by offering advice and guidance at source in order to maintain high standards of public protection at minimum cost.

The Principle underpins the principles of free trade 'in fit products and services' and acknowledges that local priorities need to be considered in the context of national and European obligations.

Primary authority

Although local authorities aim to apply trading standards and environmental health legislation in a similar way in similar circumstances, businesses have reported that this is not always the case.

Concerns included contradictory advice, wasted resources and duplicated efforts, augmented by the lack of an effective means of resolving disputes when councils disagree.

By helping to ensure consistency, the Primary Authority scheme will create greater confidence for businesses, regulators and the communities they serve.