Revised Code of Conduct for Real Estate Agents

The Minister with responsibility for Commercial Affairs, the Hon. Albert Isola MP, has issued a revised Code of Conduct for Real Estate Agents (REAs) in response to recommendations made by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and having considered stakeholder feedback.

This Code is a significant evolution of the previous Code of Conduct in place since October 2015 and provides further best-practice guidance and clarity to REA industry. The Code’s objective is to ensure a level playing field for all REAs in Gibraltar and to afford an optimum level of protection for their clients. Departures by REAs from the Code may be considered by the OFT when investigating matters which may be harming consumer interests.

You can find a copy of the new Code of Conduct here.

Consumer Rights Awareness


‘Black Friday’ is coming up and sees the commencement of the most intense annual period of consumer spending which continues with the run-up to Christmas and the annual January sales thereafter. In light of this the OFT is issuing the following guidance and recommendations to local consumers with a view to minimising disappointments during the festive season.

Remember your statutory rights

Any goods that you buy, whether in the high street or online must fit the description given, be of satisfactory quality and suitable for purpose. If they are not you may be entitled to refunds, repairs or replacements.

Shop around for the best prices in town

Look around for the best price before you buy. Refund and return policies are not obligatory and you may not be able to return an item just because you have found a cheaper price elsewhere.

Check if retailers have refund and return policies

Refund policies are only obligatory where goods are not as described, are of unsatisfactory quality and/or are not suitable for purpose. Many retailers nevertheless offer additional refund and return policies which differ from store to store. Make sure you check whether refunds, exchanges or credit notes are available and how long you have to make use of these. Remember, you do not automatically have the right to return unwanted purchases.


Many goods will come with a free warranty which offer consumers protection in addition to their statutory rights. Make sure you read the terms and conditions and follow instructions to validate your manufacturer’s warranty. Please note however that manufacturer’s warranties may not nec-essarily be applicable to goods sold in Gibraltar. You should therefore ask the retailer what war-ranty applies locally to each good.

Keep your receipts

If you wish to return your goods or make a claim against a retailer you will need proof of your purchase, so keep your receipts. You may also use any relevant bank and credit card statements where necessary.

Gift receipts

If buying a gift for a loved one ask for a gift receipt. These enable the recipient of the gift to exercise their rights to return the goods or make a claim against the retailer if something is wrong with the goods without revealing the price of the item.

Gift vouchers

Gift vouchers are a popular present, however you need to be aware of the terms and conditions of each voucher, often found in small print. If a voucher has an expiry date this information should be communicated to you.

Act promptly if something is wrong

Check your purchases at the store or as soon as you get them home if they have been delivered. If something is wrong you will need to act promptly if you wish to exercise your statutory right reject the goods and claim a full refund.

Repairs or replacements

If goods are naturally defective (as opposed to being misused or suffering from normal wear and tear) and you’ve had them for some time, you may still be entitled to a free repair, like for like replacement or partial refund.

Do your online shopping in time

Retailers have up to 30 days to deliver goods unless otherwise agreed, so it's worth doing your online shopping early to ensure your goods arrive in time for Christmas. If you want your goods to arrive before Christmas make sure this is guaranteed by the retailer.

Remember your additional online shopping rights

In addition to your statutory rights, consumers also have additional protection when shopping online. In most cases consumers will have a 14 working day cancellation period, from delivery, to change their mind and get a full refund, including the basic delivery charges. You may be asked to cover the reasonable costs of return carriage but these must be made clear in the terms and conditions of sale.

January sales

Remember you have exactly the same rights on sale items as you do on full price goods. If a reduction is offered as a result of a fault that is pointed out to you however you will not be able to make a claim for this fault later.

We hope that you will find these tips useful and that they will help you avoid any unfortunate surprises during the festive season. Should you nevertheless encounter any problems or have doubts about your consumer rights please visit our 'Consumer protection' page or contact the OFT’s Consumer Protection Team:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 20071700

Developing AML/CFT regulation for REAs and HVDs

HM Government of Gibrlatar has issued a press release in relation to the OFT's developing AML/CFT regulation for real estate agents (REAs) and High Value Goods Dealers.

The new AML/CFT Guidance Notes for REAs and HVDs, the new Sample REA Customer Due Diligence Forms and HM Government of Gibraltar's 2018 AML/CFT National Risk Assessment can be downloaded from our website's 'AML/CFT' section.

'Black Friday', Christams & January Sales

‘Black Friday’ is coming up and sees the commencement of the most intense annual period of consumer spending which continues with the run-up to Christmas and the annual January sales thereafter. In light of this the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is issuing a Consumer Information Notice giving guidance and recommendations to local consumers with a view to minimising disappointments during the festive season.

Halloween: Costumes and related items

Halloween is growing in popularity and increasingly consumers are making more purchases for the occasion. The Office of Fair Trading is therefore issuing the following guidance to help consumers avoid potentially dangerous halloween products.

For any further guidance do not hesitate to contact the OFT's Consumer Protection team: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AML Newsletters

The National Coordinator for Anti-Money Laundering and the Combatting of Terrorist Financing in Gibraltar has recently issued two newsletters to raise awareness of the following matters:

  1.  4MLD and Amendments to POCA - This newsletter covers amendments made to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2015 (POCA) as well the introduction and amendments to secondary legislation made since late 2016; and
  2. Gibraltar Based Non-Profit Organisations & the Risk of Abuse From Terrorist Funding - This newsletter highlights the threats and vulnerabilities that local NPO's face and how they may be abused to finance or materially support terrorism.

You can find full copies of the newsletters in the AML/CFT section of our website.


OFT attendance at CTSI conference

The OFT's Chief Executive Officer and Senior Consumer Protection Enforcer attended this year's Chartered Trading Standards Institute conference held in Harrogate, United Kingdom.

The Conference was well attended by many trading standards professionals throughout the UK and therefore proved to be a great opportunity to liaise with and learn from other professionals in relation to a multitude of consumer protection matters. The experience gained at the conference will no doubt guide and focus the OFT's future approach to dealing with consumer matters in Gibraltar and will allow the office to rely on the contacts made to assist it in doing so.


Website updates

We have updated the Business Licensing Authority section of our website to assist applicants with the process of obtaining a business licence. The site now gives easier to follow guidance about what is required by the BLA to process applications effectively.

We have also created a new AML/CFT section for our website which gives information about the OFT's new anti-money laundering/countering terrorist financing responsibilities.

Check them out!  


Best practice guidance for caterers

One of the responsibilities of the OFT, as set out in section 7 of the Fair Trading Act 2015, is to promote good business practices which may affect consumer interests and to give information and advice in this regard.

The OFT has received several complaints from consumers about issues they have had with restaurants / caterers regarding deposits, service charges and food description. Whereas the OFT has approached some restaurants / caterers individually in order to address any areas of specific concern, it has also decided to approach the local restaurant / catering industry generally with a view to raising awareness of these issues and providing best practice guidance with the objective of reducing complaints against this sector. It is hoped that this will ensure that all businesses within this sector are operating legally and on a level playing field with each other.

Restaurants have been sent a letter containing the new guidance and copies have also been circulated to the Gibraltar Federation of small Buisnesses and the Chamber of Commerce.

Read the guidance.


New awareness about hiring builders

As part of its on-going work, the OFT's Consumer Protection team has identified, through complaints received and through its own investigations, that consumers are unintentionally leaving themselves exposed at the time of selecting builders to carry out work in their homes. Consumers can often mitigate the risks of contracting with a rogue trader by asking the right questions.

For this reason the Consumer Protection team has created easy to follow guidance notes raising awareness of various issues that consumers may want to bear in mind at the time of hiring a builder.

If in doubt please also feel free to contact our Consumer Protection team directly (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

You can find a copy of the new guidance here.

CP Enforcers commence inspections programme

As part of the Office of Fair Trading’s inspections programme, the Consumer Protection Enforcers (CPEs) will this week be visiting traders in Main Street to submit notices of inspections. During these rounds of inspections the CPEs will be looking out for any issues relating to:

  • Price display
  • Shop notices
  • Business licences

The CPE’s will be issuing guidance notes during first visits to assist traders with their compliance requirements. Should any trader wish to discuss any of these items or any other consumer related matter please get in touch with our Consumer Protection Team on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New licensing guidance notes

Continuing our commitment to assisting with the setting up of businesses locally we have prepared new guidance notes for those wishing to apply for a new business licence. These are easy to read and understand and should make the process for applying for anew licence simple to understand. The Guidance notes also contains the new and expanded Approved Goods List produced in partnership with HM Customs. If you nevertheless still require any assistance with the set up of your new business please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to assist you.

Issue of Business Licences Relating to Trade in Tobacco

On 5th April 2016, the Hon Neil Costa MP issued a Ministerial Direction to the Business Licensing Authority in respect of the exercise of its functions under the Fair Trading Act 2015 when considering business licence applications relating to tobacco. The purpose of the Direction is to assist and guide the Business Licensing Authority on the position that Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar takes on this issue in the public interest.

A Press Release in respect of the Ministerial Direction can be read here.


Restricted Premises and Issue of Premises Waiver

On 9th February 2016 the Hon Neil Costa MP issued a Ministerial Direction to the Business Licensing Authority in relation to its functions in respect of restricted premises and the issue of premises waivers.

A Press Release in respect of the Ministerial Direction was issued on 23rd February 2016, the contents of which you can read here.



Revised business licensing forms

Continuing our commitment to ensuring that applying for a business licences is as easy for applicants as possible, we have once again revised and updated the business licensing forms. You can find all the new forms and our guidance notes on how to complete and submit these here.

The OFT would like to take the opportunity to remind those persons wishing to start up their new business that the OFT's Single Point of Contact is ready and waiting to assist them in establishing their new business and provide guidance in relation to carrying out all necessary registrations with the various HM Government of Gibraltar Departments. Find out more about this useful new service here or e-mail your query to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Online licence renewal issues

We have identified that our online system is having problems processing Business Licence renewals through the eGov website where licence-holders are using the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.

In order to avoid these issues we would therefore recommend that licence-holders use either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox internet browsers to renew their licences.

We apologise for any inconvenience this unforeseen technical glitch has caused. If you nevertheless continue to experience problems please do not hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and successful 2016.

Small Business Saturday

Gibraltar will be staging its third consecutive ‘Small Business Saturday’ tomorrow Saturday the 12th of December. Organised by the Ministry of Business and Employment, the event will take place along Main Street and its adjacent streets with participating shops offering discounts, special offers or gifts! 

There will also be festive fun for all the family which will include fair attractions, arts & crafts, free bouncy castles and other fun activities for children along the entirety of the city centre!

Find the poster with all the information here.

Segways and Drones

Segways and Drones have grown in popularity recently and their dropping prices means that they are becoming more accessible for purchase by the general public. As these items may be attractive Christmas gifts for consumers in Gibraltar, the Office of Fair Trading, in conjunction with HM Customs, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, would like to raise public awareness regarding these products to avoid any disappointments over the festive season.

You can find our full Press Release here.

You can find a useful FAQ about buying a drone from the Civil Aviation Authority here.

New business licensing forms and guidance notes

Having listened to feedback received in relation to the business licensing forms we have prepared new, easier to use forms with the aim of both assisting businesses with their applications and making it easier for the public to interpret notices published in relation to these. With regard to the former we have also created step-by-step guidance notes which will explain the application process and the information that is required to complete the forms. We trust that these will be of great assistance to many. You can find all the new forms and our guidance notes here.

Online Access to all the Business Forms

All forms and applications relating to the licensing and registration requirements of your business can now be downloaded for free from our website. This includes forms for the Department of Employment, Income Tax Office, Development and Planning Commission, HM Customs and the OFT. Just visit the Single Point of Contact section.

Business Licences

Any person wishing to trade in Gibraltar, be it wholesale or retail, or to provide a service in Gibraltar must hold a valid business licence unless the business is regulated by another enactment. Find out more about the Business Licencing Authority and download copies of the licence application forms.