To ensure that all coal suppliers adhered to high standards of quality, the Coal Trade Code was established in 1962. The code set the standards that all coal suppliers must adhere to, to be acknowledged as a bona-fide, certified coal merchant.

To be a certified coal merchant, a supplier must have the best quality coal available, must prepare and deliver the fuel to a high standard, adhere to strict Weight & Measures legislation, be able to offer advice on a number of different appliances, fuel types and safety and thoroughly investigate any customer complaints.

As there are legal controls that dictate the selling and delivery of solid fuels, it is important that you source your home coal from a certified merchant. But what are the guidelines that they must follow?


Solid fuel must always be sold by specific weight in kilograms. The scales that they use to weigh the fuel must be accurate, of an approved construction for retail sale use, and have a certain required markings and stamps on them.


Fuel merchants either respond to specific orders from consumers or operate standard delivery rounds to regular customers. The fuel they sell must be sold in sacks of 25kg or multiples of 50kg; if they are delivering more than 110kg to one individual consumer, the buyer must be given a delivery note before the fuel can be unloaded.

The delivery note must contain:

  • Merchant’s name and address
  • Consumer’s name and address
  • Type of Fuel
  • Total net weight
  • Net weight in each sack
  • Number of sacks

The coal merchant’s delivery vehicle is required to display their name and address as well as a notice that states ‘all open sacks on this vehicle contain either 25kg or 50kg’.

Quality and Safety

Industry standards are put in place to ensure the quality of solid fuels, and experts can examine fuels and make sure that any descriptive terms applied are accurate. You can refer to the Solid Fuel Association (SFA) website for a number of documents on solid fuel.

If you are looking for a coal merchants in Stockport, then look no further than Pearson Fuels.