Highland self storage businesses receive a Big Tick

Highland Council Trading Standards Service has taken part in a Scottish wide project to audit self-storage businesses and raise awareness of the Tick Box Code of Practice.

Trading Standards are working with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the Self Storage Industry Association UK (SSA UK) to encourage the highest standards and best practice across the industry. The Tick Box: Keep it Real Keep it Legal scheme helps self-storage businesses to deter criminals from using their facilities.

The initiative is focused on building stronger working relationships between self-storage facility owners and their local Trading Standards service. The scheme provides a quality assurance to storage customers that their items are in a safe and well-protected environment. As well as sending a strong message to anyone considering storing illegal products that it will not be tolerated.

Several Highland based self-storage businesses were visited in the last five months, one of which Jans based in Portree, Isle of Skye passed the audit with flying colours and was the first business to agree to sign up to the Tick Box Code of Practice. The second business to pass the audit and sign up was Ferguson Transport Ltd, Annat, Corpach.

David Mackenzie, Trading Standards Manager said, “I am delighted to present Jans with their code of practice certificate and I would like to congratulate them in passing their audit. Congratulations also to Ferguson Transport Ltd on passing their audit. Trading Standards is thrilled that we have two Highland businesses signed up to the scheme.

"Self-storage facilities can be attractive to criminals who want to operate ‘below the radar’ and store illicit goods, including counterfeit goods and unsafe consumer products. By working together, Highland businesses and Trading Standards can present a united force against criminal activity and can assist each other with information sharing and support."

26423 Trading Standars Award 001

Donnie Nicolson, Managing Director Jans Vans Ltd (left) receives Code of Practice Acceptance from David MacKenzie, Highland Council Trading Standards Manager (right).

Donnie Nicolson, Managing Director Jans commented, “We are proud to be the first self-storage business in the Highlands to pass the audit and sign up to the ‘Tick Box Code of Practice’. Jans are committed to fair trading and following the code of practice preventing the storage of counterfeit and other illicit goods. We look forward to working with Highland Council Trading Standards in the future."

Carol MacKinnon, Group Company Secretary / Financial Director, Ferguson Transport Ltd also said, “We are delighted to be participating in the Tick Box Code of Practice Scheme and look forward to working in partnership with Highland Council Trading Standards to encourage best practice across the industry."

Ferguson Transport Tick Box

Colin MacKinnon Ferguson Transport Ltd (left) and Carly Ferguson (right) receive the Tick Box Code of Practice Acceptance from Lynn Foster Senior Enforcement Officer, Highland Council Trading Standards (centre).

The Self-Storage Association (SSA) has estimated that there are around 2,050 self-storage units across the UK. In general, they operate from two types of units, namely shipping containers, and buildings with a range of small, medium, and large lockable units. In addition to this, throughout the country there may be more independent self-storage providers not currently known of.

Anecdotal evidence/intelligence has indicated that self-storage units can be a key facilitator in storing illicit goods, including counterfeit and unsafe products.

This project was built on the successful work carried out and continuing elsewhere in the UK by local authorities as part of a joint working initiative by National and London Trading Standards (NTS and LTS) and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). This work has included the launch of an industry code of practice named ‘Keep It Real. Keep It Legal. Tick Box Code of Practice’ (the Tick Box scheme). The project in Scotland has been coordinated by the Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) who have been working in partnership with the IPO and NTS.

For further information visit: https://tick-box.org.uk/

16 May 2023