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Retailers to be freed from burdensome red tape

Thursday July 28th, 2011

The Government is to scrap or amend some 160 regulations that currently apply to retailers as part of its campaign to reduce red tape.

This means that almost two-thirds of the regulations governing retailers are to be dropped or reformed.

The changes are the initial results of the Government’s red tape challenge, a process that invited businesses form across a number of industry sectors to identify those rules that burden firms with unnecessary administration.

Of the 257 retail regulations, some 130 are to be dropped completely while 30 more will be simplified.

Under the proposals, more than 12 pieces of overlapping consumer rights law will be consolidated with a single new piece of legislation.

Regulations, such as the age verification on some restricted goods, and licensing for low-risk products like fly spray and toilet cleaner, are to simplified.

Symbolic cases of heavy-handed intervention, such as shops needing an alcohol licence to sell chocolate liqeurs, are to be abolished.

And antiquated legislation – the war-time Trading With The Enemy Act and its 98 linked regulations – and the rules around the safety of pencils and prams are also to go.

Announcing the results of the retail red tape challenge, Business Secretary, Vince Cable insisted that the measures were more than simply superficial.

Mr Cable said:  “We have heard these promises by successive Governments before but these first proposals from the Red Tape Challenge show that we’re serious about doing that and we are making real progress”

“But this is just the start. We still need the help of business and the public to make the rest of the Red Tape Challenge a success and free businesses to compete, create jobs and unleash a private sector-led recovery.”

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