The independent trade body, Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS), has entered into a Primary Authority partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards.

Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards will provide tailored advice and guidance for VLS and its’ members, to help them remain compliant with relevant regulation and legislation, as well as supporting VLS in the escalation of any cases to local Trading Standards authorities.

Since its formation in 2005, VLS has escalated several cases to Trading Standards, to ensure that enforcement action was taken to bring products into compliance with their own stated technical specifications and performance claims.

Most cases investigated by VLS are resolved by direct discussion between VLS and the Named Party. However, in some cases, if the Named Party fails to provide the evidence required to bring the product into compliance or take the necessary action, VLS has escalated the case to Trading Standards authorities which are locally situated to the Named Party.

In this proactive move, VLS will now work in partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards who will advise VLS on the correct course of action to take and engage with the Trading Standards local to the Named Parties of a complaint. This move is expected to expedite matters and ensure swift action.

Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards will review all of VLS’ advice and guidance issued so it becomes endorsed, supported and approved by Trading Standards.

Through the use of a Primary Authority relationship, other Trading Standards authorities are expected to follow the advice laid down by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards.

Along with a Primary Authority relationship with VLS, Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards currently has partnerships with ExxonMobil, Shell, British Gas and other trade associations such as the Association of Convenience Stores. They are one of the leading authorities in the country and one of the few with the resources to deal with specialist areas such as this. Their strategic relationship forms a joint service established to provide Trading Standards within both counties.  This includes the Buckinghamshire Council area where VLS is based.

Andrew Goddard, Chairman of VLS said: “At VLS our objective is always to work with Named Parties to resolve complaints. However, in cases of continued non-compliance, the VLS Board has and will take action to raise cases with Trading Standards to protect end users. Motor factors, mechanics and motorists alike must all have confidence that lubricant products really can deliver what they claim. This relationship with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards will effectively underwrite our work at VLS and ensure that decisions are enforceable.”