Laws on street trading to change

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Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
Business, Community, Politics
Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has published his response to the consultation on proposed changes to the law on street trading. A joint consultation with the UK Government and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales was published in 2012 seeking views on changes to the Street Trading (NI) Act 2001 and the Pedlars Acts 1871 and 1881. Following the consultation, Minister Storey has now confirmed that he plans to make changes to the application procedures for street trading licences, which are granted by local councils and the type of street trading allowed. Minster Storey explained, “Under our street trading law pedlars can only trade door to door. The new changes will mean this restriction will be removed, enabling pedlars to trade beyond house to house selling. However, a new power will allow councils to designate areas as unsuitable for pedlars to carry out trading.” Changes to the Pedlars Acts, which apply throughout the United Kingdom, will also include the introduction of a new police character check and the removal of the residency requirement. The changes are needed to bring the law in Northern Ireland into line with the European Services Directive. The Directive is designed to make it easier for traders to do business anywhere within the European Union and came into effect in December 2009. Similar changes are being made to the law in England, Wales and Scotland. Outlining some of the planned changes, Minister Storey said, “While it is clear that the law on street trading in Northern Ireland must be brought into line with European Union law, I have considered carefully the responses to the consultation and in particular the concerns of local councils, who are responsible for issuing licences to street traders in Northern Ireland. “The changes to current street trading law must be made to comply with the Directive but I consider that councils must continue to have some control over where pedlars are allowed to trade in their areas. “I believe that these changes will bring the law in Northern Ireland into compliance with EU law, continue to protect legitimate traders and ensure the public is protected from illegal street trading. I expect the new regulations will come into force in 2015.” The online consultation ran from November 2012 to April 2013. The Department for Social Development (DSD) received a total of 56 responses to the consultation, many of them from local councils. The full DSD response to the consultation can be viewed on the Department’s website at
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