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01/05/2018

Alcohol (Minimum Price per Unit) (Scotland) Order 2018

Subject: Alcohol sale

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

The Alcohol (Minimum Price per Unit) (Scotland) Order 2018 [SSI 2018/135] came into force on 1 May 2018. The Order specifies the minimum price per unit for alcohol and relevant labelling for licensing conditions in Scotland. The Order specifies  the minimum price per unit for alcohol (50p) and labelling provisions.

 

27/04/2018

Cosmetics retailer fined £60k for selling dangerous skin lightening products

Subject: Regulated products/Cosmetics

Source: Chartered Trading Standards Institute

A Hackney hair and cosmetics store and its Director have been fined for selling dangerous skin lightening products.

Mr Mohammed Naeem, pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates Court to the 13 charges against him and 13 against his company Dalston Hair and Cosmetics Ltd, trading as Shaba Cosmetics. Naeem was fined £14,000 and the company £42,000. A victim surcharge was also paid by both defendants, with the full costs and fines totalling £59,793.

The skin lightening creams contained the hydroquinone, can burn the skin and cause permanent damage and discolouration. Products containing hydroquinone are banned in the EU. The fine is thought to be the largest issued in London for a breach of the cosmetics regulations.

 

27/04/2018

Institute of Licensing launches guidance on suitability of licensees in hackney and private hire trades

Subject: Transport of passengers/hackney carriages and private hire vehicles

Source: Institute of Licensing

The Institute of Licensing (IoL) has published guidance to assist local authorities making decisions about the suitability of applicants and licensees in relation to taxi and private hire driver, vehicle and operator licences. The guidance aims to ‘raise standards and consistency’ in the absence of law, and to provide better safeguards for passengers.

The guidance was produced in partnership with the Local Government Association, National Association Licensing and Enforcement Officers (NALEO) and Lawyers in Local Government.

22/04/2018

New law to ban ticket touts from using ‘bots’ to dodge security measures

Subject: Event ticket resale

Source: GOV.UK

The Government is to lay before Parliament secondary legislation to prohibit the use of online ‘bot’ programs to circumvent security measures and bulk buy more tickets than allowed by event organisers.

The legislation will create a new offence will mean touts using automated software to bulk buy tickets for resale on secondary ticketing sites.

The Government’s announcement states that its work is being bolstered by new approaches in the private sector:

* UK startup Aventus and Dutch startup Guaranteed Unique Ticketing System use blockchain technology to make it impossible to resell tickets at a higher price.

* British firm DICE is using innovative mobile technology to lock tickets to user accounts and beat the touts.

21/04/2018

ASA welcomes Criminal Behaviour Order on Errol Denton

Subject: Marketing and advertising regulation/Advertising codes

Source: Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

The ASA has welcomed the Criminal Behaviour Order and fine of a total of £2,250 handed to the operator of a website promoting unsupported medical claims about ‘dozens of safe natural alternatives’ to chemotherapy, surgery or radiotherapy for people suffering from.

Errol Denton was behind the business Live Blood Test and livebloodtest.com website and was convicted for two breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and one breach of the Food Safety Act 1990.  Mr Denton was also ordered by the Judge to pay £15,000 in costs.

In 2013, the ASA ruled that misleading and irresponsible health claims made on Errol Denton’s website breached the Advertising Codes. No evidence was provided by Denton to support the claims being made. Denton failed to respond to the complaints made against him or to comply with the ASA rulings. The ASA referred the case to National Trading Standards.

13/04/2018

High Court rules on ‘right to be forgotten’ data claims against Google

Subject: Data protection

Source: British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)

NT 1 and NT 2 v Google LLC (Information Commissioner intervening)

[2018] EWHC 799 (QB)

Two claims about the "right to be forgotten" or, more accurately, the right to have personal information "delisted" or "de-indexed" by the operators of internet search engines were heard by the High Court.

The first claimant failed in his claim for delisting of personal information from Google's search engine, as he had failed to prove the information was inaccurate and Google's processing complied with the requirements of Google, and his claim for misuse of private information also failed.

The second claim was upheld by the court because it found that some information was inaccurate and factors supporting continued accessibility were weak by comparison with those that weighed in favour of delisting. His claim for misuse of private information also succeeded.

[Original text of the case report supplied by BAILII gratefully acknowledged. Crown copyright: contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Legaleze is solely responsible for the above text which is a summary only and the full report should be read.]

 

13/04/2018

New Data Protection charges

Subject: Data protection

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) ss.18/19 and regulations made under the DPA currently require all persons who process personal data to notify (i.e. register) with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), unless they are exempt. A fee on registration fee and thereafter an annual fee is payable, currently £35 and £500 for tiers 1 and 2.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on 25 May 2018 and apply directly to all EU Member States. The GDPR does not require organisations to register with national data protection supervisory authorities in order to process personal data. However, the GDPR does require such authorities to be adequately funded. Therefore in the UK, while the existing statutory requirements to provide a notification and pay a fee to the ICO will be repealed, the new system will still require businesses to register with the ICO and pay an annual fee, subject to exemptions similar to the existing exemptions from notification.

The Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 [SI 2018/480] sets out the new system of charges and come into force on 25 May 2018 at the same time as the GDPR. However, businesses currently registered with the ICO will not need to pay the fee until their current registration period expires. There are three tiers of charges payable by data controllers:

* Tier 1 Micro Organisations [have maximums of 10 members of staff or turnover of £632,000 per annum]: £40;

* Tier 2 Small and Medium Organisations [not in tier 1 and have max. 250 members of staff or turnover of £36 million per annum]: £60; and

* Tier 3 Large Organisations: £2900).

There is a £5 discount applied to each tier for data controllers paying by direct debit. Organisations which qualify as micro organisations and pay by direct debit will

therefore be subject to the same charge as under tier 1 of the current charge structure.

12/04/2018

UK exporter charged £109K penalty for unlicensed exports of military goods

Subject: Selling and marketing/International/Export and import controls

Source: GOV.UK

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recently issued a compound penalty of £109,312.50 to a UK exporter. This related to unlicensed exports of military goods controlled by The Export Control Order 2008. No further details were given.

12/04/201

CMA publishes advice on joint ventures for businesses

CMA publishes advice for businesses thinking of, or already operating, joint ventures

Subject: Competition law

Source: Competition and Markets Authority

The CMA has published advice for businesses thinking of, or already operating, joint ventures to help them comply with competition law. This follows a recent case where two businesses in a joint venture were fined £1.7 million by the CMA for agreeing to share the market under the cover of a joint venture agreement.

The CMA’s short guide on Joint Ventures and Competition Law: dos and don’ts is for businesses that are already in, or are considering entering into, joint ventures, alliances or other forms of collaboration with another business.

The CMA’s advice urges competing businesses to make sure they collaborate legally, check they are compliant with competition law from the outset of agreements and to keep arrangements under regular review to help ensure they remain compliant. In addition to publishing the advice, the CMA is also writing directly to over one thousand regional commercial law firms to ask them to share the advice with their clients.

11/04/2018

Court of Appeal rules that software delivered electronically is not ‘goods’

Subject: Agents and distributors. Sale of goods

Source: British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)

Computer Associates UK Ltd v Software Incubator Ltd  [2018] EWCA Civ 518

Court of Appeal; Hearing dates 21-22/11/2017

The case concerned a dispute concerning the termination of an agency agreement relating to the sale of specialist commercial software. The central issue was whether the sale of software delivered electronically, rather than by a tangible medium such as a disk, could be treated as a sale of ‘goods’ for the purposes of reg. 2(1) of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 [SI 1993/3053] (the Regulations), which derived from Council Directive (EEC) 86/653. The Regulations apply to commercial agents for the sale of goods and provide for agents to be compensated on termination of the agency.

The Court of Appeal overturned a decision of the High Court and ruled that goods" within the context of the Regulations must involve tangible property. Therefore software which was supplied to customers electronically and not on any tangible medium could not be classified as ‘goods’ within the meaning of Regulation 2(1).

[Original text of the case report supplied by BAILII gratefully acknowledged. Crown copyright: contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Legaleze is solely responsible for the above text which is a summary only and the full report should be read.]

Comment: the lead judge in the Court of Appeal acknowledged that their analysis posed challenges and was concerned that such an approach might appear to be out-moded in light of technological advances. However, the court felt bound by the weight of authority (i.e. prior case law and text book commentary) on the issue.

Clearly the law is struggling to catch up with technological developments in this field. It is strongly arguable that the choice of medium, e.g. disk or download, should not determine the legal nature of what is essentially a supply of the same thing.

10/04/2018

New measures to improve SME access to government contracts

Subject: Finance and funding/Other government financial assistance

Source: GOV.UK

The Cabinet Office has announced a package of measures designed to level the playing field for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) bidding to win government contracts by making the process more transparent and accountable. To coincide with the launch, the Crown Commercial Service has issued a new Procurement Policy Note requiring contracting authorities to include standard terms on supply chain visibility. The Government’s “challenging aspiration” is that 33% of procurement spend should be with small businesses by 2022.

The measures announced seek to:

* ensure suppliers advertise subcontracting opportunities via the Contracts Finder website;

* ensure suppliers provide the government with data showing how businesses in their supply chain, including small businesses, are benefiting from suppling to central government;

* exclude suppliers from major government procurements if they cannot demonstrate fair and effective payment practices with their subcontractors;

* allow subcontractors greater access to buying authorities to report poor payment performance.

The Crown Commercial Service issued a new Procurement Policy Note 01/18: Supply Chain Visibility. PPN 01/18 applies to central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies and should be applied for new procurements commencing from 1 May 2018. As of 1 May 2018, contracting authorities tendering public contracts subject to the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015) [SI 2015/102] and valued above £5 million per year, must include provisions requiring the successful prime supplier(s) to:

* advertise on Contracts Finder, subcontract opportunities valued above minimum subcontract threshold of £25,000, which arise from the contract after contract award; this requirement does not apply to subcontracts arranged prior to contract award (i.e. where the supply chain  is established as part of the tender process);

* report on how much they spend on subcontracting, and how much they spend directly with SME and VSCE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) organisations in the delivery of the contract—the contracting authority may specify the manner and frequency of the reports ;

There are exceptions for contracting authorities to consider on a case by case basis, for example where the supplier has confirmed there will be no subcontracted spend. It also notes that contracting authorities may consider setting a higher threshold value for advertisement of subcontracting opportunities up to £100,000 in the event that the minimum threshold of £25,000 is ‘overly burdensome to suppliers’ on a particular procurement.

In addition to the above measures, the Cabinet Office and Crown Commercial Service also announced a consultation, seeking views on whether it would be appropriate to exclude suppliers from major government procurements if they cannot demonstrate a fair, effective and responsible approach to payment in their supply chain. Under provisions being consulted on, central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies tendering contracts valued over £5 million per year under the PCR 2015 would be required to assess suppliers’ approach to subcontractor payment as part of the selection process. The consultation closes at 11.45 pm on 5 June 2018.

10/04/2018

Professional viola player succeeds in acoustic shock claim

Subject: Health and safety at work/Noise

Source: British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)

Goldscheider v Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation

[2018] EWHC 687 (QB)

The claimant was a professional viola player employed in the orchestra at the defendant's Royal Opera House (ROH). He claimed damages in the High Court for personal injury, loss and damage sustained during the course of his employment on 1 September 2012. He was seated directly in front of the brass section of the orchestra during a rehearsal of Wagner's Ring Cycle. The claimant alleged that, during the afternoon rehearsal, he was exposed to noise levels which created a risk to, and resulted in injury to, his hearing, namely acoustic shock. He continued to suffer from injury which prevented his return to music. The particulars of claim pleaded, among other things, breaches of the defendant's obligations under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 [SI 2005/1643] (Noise Regulations).

The judge ruled that the defendant had breached the Noise Regulations. There had been a breach of reg 5(3)(a), in that a risk assessment had not included specific consideration of the level, type and duration of exposure, including peak sound pressure. No amendment had been made to the original risk assessment when changes had been made to the orchestral configuration following the claimant's incident. That represented a breach of reg 5(4), but one which was not causative of the events of 1 September 2012. The identified breaches of reg 5 were such as to lead to the conclusion that the risk assessment had not been a suitable or sufficient assessment of risk so as to comply with reg 5 (see [198], [199] of the judgment).

The primary duty pursuant to reg 6(1) was to be judged, not only by reference to the exposure action value (EAV), it was a general obligation to do everything reasonably practicable to remove the risk of any form of noise injury. There was no evidence to suggest the rearrangement of sections to reduce noise had been considered. Further, monitoring from the outset using hand-held noise meters in the area of the violas to provide live time readings would have been a limited physical presence in a specific area of the orchestra which could have produced an immediate reading of sound levels in the area of the complaint. That had not been done. Had they been done, the noise levels which had caused particular difficulty to the claimant and his desk partner could have been immediately identified and steps taken to remove or reduce the problem. Accordingly, the defendant had not done everything that could reasonably practicably have been done to reduce the risk of noise at the rehearsal. The only measure introduced by the defendant to reduce the claimant's exposure to noise had been the provision of personal hearing protectors. Prima facie, the defendant was in breach of reg 6(2) (see [200]-[203] of the judgment).

The judge also held although the claimant should have left the rehearsal earlier, it could not be found that, had he done so, it would have prevented the injury which he had sustained. Accordingly, the claimant's failure to leave the rehearsal before it had concluded had not contributed to his injury.

[Original text of the case report supplied by BAILII gratefully acknowledged. Crown copyright: contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Legaleze is solely responsible for the above text which is a summary only and the full report should be read.]

09/04/2018

Estate agents to be required to meet professional standards

Subject: Estate agents

Source: GOV.UK

As part of its response to the consultation “Improving the home buying and selling

Process”, the Government has announced its intention to introduce a requirement for estate agents to hold a professional qualification backed up with a programme of Continuing Professional Development.

Estate agents are currently regulated under the Estate Agents Act 1979 and enforced by a small national enforcement team, the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team. Currently there are no minimum professional standards required to practise as an estate agent. A further consultation will be carried out with regard to the creation of a mandatory professional qualification for estate agents.

The practice of seeking and accepting referral fees from conveyancers and mortgage brokers, and the case for banning them, will also be examined, particularly for new build properties.

06/04/2018

ICO fines Royal Mail Group for sending marketing emails to those who opted out

Subject: Selling and marketing/e-commerce

Source: Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined the Royal Mail Group Ltd £12,000 after sending emails to over 320,000 people, despite those people opting out of receiving direct marketing and not consenting to those emails being sent.

Royal Mail Group stated that its emails were detailing a price drop for parcels and were concerning a service, but ICO found that the emails constituted marketing, which breaches regulation 22 of the Privacy and Electric Communications Regulations. ICO has published guidance for companies carrying out marketing, which outlines the circumstances in which companies may market over the phone, by text, by email, by fax or through the post.

 

06/04/2018

New rules on ticket resale aim to protect consumers

Subject: Regulation of sale of tickets and secondary ticketing

Source: GOV.UK

New rules requiring more information from sellers on secondary ticket websites have come into force from 6 April 2018. Resellers are now required to supply the unique ticket number (UTN) to a buyer, if the event organiser specifies one, helping to identify the ticket’s seat, standing area or location, in order to better protect consumers.

Under the new rules, ticket resellers must:

* identify the location to which the ticket provides access—such as the particular seat or standing area of the venue

* disclose any restrictions around who can use the ticket or how it must be used (eg alongside ID of the original buyer)

* disclose the original price of the ticket

* reveal the details of connections they have with either the online facility on which they are selling, or the organiser of the event for which the ticket is being sold

* supply the UTN to a buyer if the event organiser specifies one

The current Trading Standards guidance requiring the disclosure of any restrictions and the original price of tickets has also been clarified in order to improve compliance by businesses.

06/04/2018

Government introduces soft drinks levy

Subject: Regulated products. Tax

Source: GOV.UK

By virtue of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/41), a sugar tax on soft drinks has been introduced in the UK with effect from 6 April 2018, to encourage leading brands to reduce the amount of sugar in drinks commonly consumed by children and the general public. Qualifying manufacturers will have to register for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, which will require them to pay a fee per litre in drinks containing 5g or more of sugar per 100ml (there is a higher fee for drinks containing 8g or more per 100ml)..

The levy applies to manufacturers and imposes an 18p tax per litre for drinks containing 5–8g of sugar per 100ml and a 24p tax per litre for drinks containing more than 8g per 100ml. Manufacturers may choose whether to reflect the charge in their prices, and leading brands such as Fanta, Ribena and Lucozade had decreased the sugar content of their drinks.

Some products will be exempt from the fee, including those with a high milk content (due to the benefit of their high calcium content) and drinks which do not contain added sugar, such as pure fruit juices.

Guidance and details of how to register are available from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy page. “Small producers” are not required to register for the levy. A producer is classed as a “Small producer” if all of the following criteria apply:

* you, and anyone connected to you, produced less than one million litres (worldwide) of liable drinks over the past 12 rolling months (including before 6 April 2018);

* you, and anyone connected to you, will not produce over one million litres of liable drinks in the next 30 days.

06/04/2018

New rules for taxation of termination payments come into force

Subject: Tax/Income tax

Source: GOV.UK

Following the announcement in the 2016 Budget that the Government would introduce rules to prevent employers from “manipulating” the system, from 6 April 2018 employers will be required to account for Income Tax and Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) on an element of all termination payments whether or not they are contractual payments.

The measure is intended to bring fairness and clarity to the taxation of termination payments by making it clear that all payments in lieu of notice (PILONs), rather than just PILONs which are provided for in the employment contract, are taxable earnings.

06/04/2018

Hampshire man fined £3,000 for allowing the dumping of waste at Firgrove Lane

Subject: Environmental control/Waste

Source:  Environment Agency

A man from Wickham in Hampshire has been fined for breaching regulations regarding the disposal of controlled waste. Photographs published by the Environment Agency  shows piles of wood and building waste in a field, with a caravan in the background.

Joe Keet was fined £3,000 with a £170 victim surcharge and £1,904.75 costs after being found guilty by magistrates of knowingly allowing the deposit of controlled waste without the correct permit, contrary to s.33(1)(a) and (6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended). This included construction and demolition waste, household clearance and commercial waste, waste wood, furniture, grab bags, black sacks of domestic waste, underlay and insulation.

Jasper Smith and Phillip Jenkins, who brought some of the waste to the site, also pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on 18 December 2017, where Mr Smith was fined £333 and Mr Jenkins £121, and they shared the £300 costs.

 

“To ensure that the right waste gets to the right place, we encourage the public and businesses to check that their waste carrier is registered on Gov.UK and to ask to see a copy of the waste transfer note for the waste. If possible take a photo of the note on your phone.

03/04/2018

Government to introduce further protections against rogue landlords

Subject: Landlords

Source: GOV.UK

The Government has made a series of consultations relating to the housing market in England and Wales, including the business practices of letting agents and managing agents. The term “letting agent” refers to persons who provide letting and management services in the private rented sector; the term “managing agent” relates to persons who provide block management services in the private leasehold sector.

In October 2017, the Secretary of State committed to the regulation of letting agents who will be required to satisfy minimum training requirements and to follow a Code of Practice. The Protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent market call for evidence ran from 18 October until 29 November 2017 looked at whether managing agents should be regulated. The Government has responded to the evidence provided and has announced that it will extend regulation to managing agents. It proposes a legally enforceable Code of Practice covering both letting and managing agents.

The Code of Practice will set minimum standards for transparency of potential conflicts of interest and financial commitments to which clients are asked to agree, service charges, communication and customer service, handling of clients’ money and dispute resolution. A Working Group will be established to develop the new regulatory model.

03/04/2018

Sea Fish (Marketing Standards) (England/Wales/Northern Ireland) Regulations 2018

Subject: Regulated products

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

The Sea Fish (Marketing Standards) (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) Regulations 2018 SI 2018/437] introduce enforcement provisions for the marketing standards of fish and aquaculture products, which are outlined in EU Regulation 1379/2013 (the CMO Regulation) on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products and its accompanying implementing legislation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Regulations will come into force on 30 April 2018.

These regulations (among other things) provide that contravening the EU common marketing standards and non-compliance with a compliance notice are offences. They revoke the Sea Fish (Marketing Standards) Regulations 1986 [SI 1986/1272] as amended.

28/03/2018

Easygroup fail to prevent use of 'EasyRoommate' by accommodation sharing service

Subject: Intellectual property/Passing off/Trade marks

Source: British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)

W3 Ltd v easyGroup Ltd [2018] EWHC 7 (Ch)

W3 Ltd used the sign '' in relation to an online service for sharing accommodation in the UK and eight other EU member states. easyGroup Ltd, which had been formed by the founder of the budget airline 'easyJet', considered that W3 Ltd (the claimant company) had infringed easyGroup Ltd's EU trade marks by use of the sign 'EasyRoommate' in relation to its online service.

The High Court ruled that:

* the EASY trade mark was and is invalidly registered in relation to "advertising" and "temporary accommodation";

* W3 had not infringed any of easyGroup's EU trade marks by use of any of the signs complained of;

* W3 was not liable for passing off;

* W3's UK trade mark was not invalid, but the specification of services must be restricted in the manner conceded by W3; and

* easyGroup had not made actionable threats against W3.

Legaleze comment: the founder of easyGroup, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is well-known for vigorous protection of the family of “easy..” trade marks and business names, particularly if used with the colour orange. However he suffered a major setback in this case. Crucially in this case, the judge found that W3 had been established in the UK in August 2000.  Although easyJet, easyEverything and easyRentaCar were in use by then and had shared characteristics, there had been relatively little use of the latter two.

[Original text of the case report supplied by BAILII gratefully acknowledged. Crown copyright: contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Legaleze is solely responsible for the above text which is a summary only and the full report should be read.]

23/03/2018

‘First ever’ successful prosecution for false company information

Subject: Business organisations/Companies House

Source: GOV.UK

A company director has been fined for deliberately falsifying information about his firms in what is thought to be the first-ever conviction of its kind.

Kevin Brewer, a businessman, incorporated John Vincent Cable Services Ltd in 2013, making the former Business Secretary Vince Cable MP a director and shareholder without his knowledge. The company was dissolved and taken off the company register after Companies House took action.

Brewer, 65, then formed another company in 2016, Cleverly Clogs Ltd, making Baroness Neville-Rolfe – the Minister with responsibility for Companies House – James Cleverly MP and an imaginary Israeli national, Ibrahim Aman, all directors and shareholders without their knowledge. Companies House dissolved the company and took it off the company register.

At Redditch Magistrates’ Court, Brewer pleaded guilty to providing false information on the company register, contrary to s.1112 of the Companies Act 2006. He was fined £1,602 and ordered to pay costs of £10,462.50 and a Victim Surcharge of £160.

21/03/2018

Gas Appliances (Enforcement) and Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2018

Subject: Regulated products

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

SI 2018/389: Provisions made provide for the enforcement in the UK of Regulation (EU) 2016/426 (the EU Gas Appliances Regulation) on appliances burning gaseous fuels, repealing Directive 2009/142/EC. The EU Gas Appliances Regulation is aimed at ensuring gas appliances and fittings entering the EU market fulfil a high level of protection for the health and safety of users. The Regulations will come into force on 21 April 2018.

21/03/2018

Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018

Subject: Regulated products

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

SI 2018/390: Provisions are made to provide for the enforcement of Regulation (EU) 2016/425 (the EU PPE Regulation) on personal protective equipment, which repeals Directive 89/686/EEC in the UK. Enforcement authorities in the UK (such as Trading Standards Authorities, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Office for Nuclear Regulation) are enabled to take action against 'economic operators' (ie manufacturers, importers and distributors) if they do not comply with the obligations in the EU PPE Regulation. The Regulations will come into force on 21 April 2018.

16/03/2018

Waste Enforcement (England and Wales) Regulations 2018

Subject: Environment/Waste

Source: GOV.UK

The Waste Enforcement (England and Wales) Regulations 2018 [SI 2018/369] will  among other things, gives waste regulation authorities and waste collection authorities in England and Wales the power by notice to require waste from a site to be removed where it has been unlawfully kept or disposed of, including waste that was initially lawfully deposited. The Regulations will come into force partly on 29 March 2018 and fully on 8 May 2018.

14/03/2018

Leading cryptocurrency exchange granted UK licence

Subject: Financial services/Cryptocurrency

Source: Financial Conduct Authority

Coinbase, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has been granted a licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company said this licence acted as an endorsement of its anti-money laundering and processing standards. Chris Hill, commercial technology partner at Kemp Little, thought the licence could give investors confidence to do business with such entities in future. Jonathan Rogers, partner at Taylor Wessing, says the demonstrable compliance Coinbase has shown to receive this licence could be an important part of cryptocurrency becoming part of the mainstream, while Bradley Rice, senior regulation lawyer at Ashurst, believes the move was 'bigger than cryptocurrencies' in its import. Nigel Rowley, managing partner at Mackrell Turner Grant, says the licence was a 'positive step' for the cryptocurrency market, but warned lawyers to remain cautious about the market.

14/03/2018

Government consults on independent school regulatory system

Subject: Education (independent schools)

Source: GOV.UK

The Department for Education is seeking views on draft versions of advice for independent school standards, a policy statement on regulatory and enforcement action and regulations relating to the provision of information by independent schools. The deadline for responses is 5 June 2018.

13/03/2018

UK ratifies Hague Agreement for industrial designs

Subject: Intellectual property/Designs

Source: Intellectual Property Office

The UK has deposited the instrument of ratification needed to join the Hague System for the international registration of industrial designs.

The UK has completed its final step in the UK joining the Hague Agreement for industrial designs. The UK instrument of ratification was deposited in Geneva today. It will come into effect three months following from today. Users will then will be able to choose design protection in the UK for international applications

The UK’s decision to join the Hague system in a national capacity is about flexibility. It is part of a wider designs modernisation programme to streamline the designs legal framework. Businesses will have a greater choice in how they register their designs internationally. They can also:

•save money on design registrations

•protect their Intellectual Property more efficiently, and

•encourage non-UK owners of designs to register their rights in the UK

The Hague Agreement allows applicants to register a design in any one of the 67 contracting parties through a single application.

Applications are filed to the International Bureau at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). It provides protection in the territories of up to 82 countries through a single international application and a single set of fees.

07/03/2018

ASA rules StubHub UK, Viagogo, Seatwave and Get Me In! misled consumers

Subject: Selling and marketing/Advertising regulation

Source: Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

Complaints against four of the biggest operators in the secondary ticketing sector have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).. The ASA warned that secondary ticketing companies must ensure their pricing is transparent by including clear and relevant information about additional fees at the start of the buying process, so a potential buyer can make an informed decision about a purchase.

07/03/2018

Guide unveiled to protect consumer product safety recalls

Subject: Regulated products

Source: GOV.UK

The first ever government backed code of practice for product safety recalls has been published. The new guidance will ‘help businesses understand what they need to do if something goes wrong with their product’ and follows recommendations from safety experts commissioned by the government.

The code of practice includes details on how a business can monitor the safety of products and plan for a recall, and how Market Surveillance Authorities such as local authority trading standards can support businesses in monitoring incidents and their implementation of corrective action. The Code of Practice, developed by BSI, is the ‘first major initiative for the new Office, launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in 2018’. It follows a recommendation by the Working Group on Products Recalls and Safety to introduce such a Code to further strengthen the UK’s already tough product safety regime.

06/03/2018

Government wrongly penalised farming company for keeper’s wildlife offences

Subject: Agriculture and farming

Source: British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)

Stody Estate Limited v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and National Farmers' Union intervening [2018] EWHC 378 (Admin)

In The High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court

[2018] EWHC 378 (Admin)

Farmers seeking a payment under the Single Payment Scheme are obliged to comply with various requirements, called "cross compliance" requirements, consisting of statutory management requirements ("SMRs") directed at conserving wildlife and keeping the land in good agricultural and environmental condition. Payments under the SPS may be reduced or excluded where there is non-compliance with the SMRs (known as "cross compliance breaches").

The claimant company owned and managed arable and grazing land and forestry. In October 2014, a keeper on the estate was convicted of criminal offences arising from the poisoning of wild birds. In September 2015, the Rural Payments Agency notified the claimant that it was to be held vicariously liable for the keeper's actions, which constituted a breach of the applicable statutory management requirements in Council Regulation (EC) 73/2009, under the European Union single farm payment scheme. It decided to apply a reduction to the estate's payment under the scheme on the basis that the killing had been an intentional breach.

The Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel decided that, although the keeper's actions had been intentional, his intention could not be attributed to the claimant. However, it concluded that some reduction was nevertheless appropriate. The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, exercising the powers of the defendant Secretary of State, concluded that the keeper's intentional acts, acting within the scope of his employment, were to be treated as those of the claimant and reduced the annual payment. The claimant sought judicial review of the decision in the High Court.

The Secretary of State had not been entitled to treat the keeper's convictions for killing wild birds on the claimant's estate, without more, as having satisfied the requirement in art 23 of the Regulation that cross-compliance breaches be the result of an act or omission directly attributable to the farmer. Some further enquiry directed at the level of fault, if any, on the part of the claimant in connection with the keeper's actions had been required. In the absence of any finding of fault, there had been no proper basis for the imposition of a penalty under art 23. It followed that there would be an order quashing that decision

[Original text of the case report supplied by BAILII gratefully acknowledged. Crown copyright: contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Legaleze is solely responsible for the above text which is a summary only and the full report should be read]

06/03/2018

Fulfillment Businesses

Subject: Tax/Value Added Tax

Source: GOV.UK

The Fulfilment Businesses (Approval Scheme) Regulations 2018 [SI 2018/299] made to set out the detailed framework of the fulfilment house due diligence scheme for fulfilment houses operating in the UK that handle imported goods on behalf of third parties located outside the EU. The Regulations will come into force on 1 April 2018 and 1 April 2019.

The Regulations were made following a consultation in 2017. The Government stated that having explored stakeholders’ views on a wider definition which would have included businesses fulfilling their own orders of imported goods, it accepted that the wider definition would have brought into scope too many businesses that are not central to the abuse.

The timetable for registration under the scheme are as follows:

1 April 2018 - 30 June 2018: registration window opens for existing fulfilment businesses;

1 July 2018 -31 March 2019: verification window for HMRC;

Note : new businesses must register 45 calendar days in advance of the date they

commence trading as a registrable fulfilment business.

1 April 2019 -the date from which fulfilment houses need to feature on the

Register to trade as a fulfilment house

05/03/2018

Cityfibre challenges lawfulness of ASA’s ruling over the term 'fibre'

Subject: Selling and marketing/Marketing and advertising regulation

Source: Cityfibre

In November 2017, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announced the conclusion of its review of ‘fibre’ broadband. In addition to new standards on broadband pricing and new guidance on broadband speed claims, the ASA commented on the current use of the term ‘fibre’ in advertising to describe both part-fibre and full-fibre broadband services.

The ASA’s announcement referred to the Government’s Digital Strategy which made clear its view that the term ‘fibre’ should only be used to describe full-fibre broadband services, and to MPs’ concerns expressed in the House of Commons about the use of the term ‘fibre’ to describe part-fibre broadband services. The ASA explained that in the light of those concerns, it had set up a review of how it interpreted the Advertising Codes when judging the use of the term ‘fibre’ to describe broadband services.

The ASA consulted ‘key stakeholders’, received a range of responses from providers of part-fibre and full-fibre broadband services, consumer organisations and other regulators and commissioned independent consumer research. In the light of the research and evidence obtained, the ASA concluded that the term “fibre” was not one of the priorities identified by consumers when choosing a broadband package, was not a key differentiator and that once educated about the meaning of fibre, participants did not believe they would change their previous purchasing decision and did not think that the word ‘fibre’ should be changed in part-fibre ads.

CityFibre has now announced that it has filed a judicial review [sic] of the ASA’s decision to allow internet services over copper-based networks to be classified as fibre.Cityfibre states that consumers are being misled into believing copper-based networks are equal to full 'fibre' broadband in terms of speed and reliability and that most broadband services, such as BT Openreach and Virgin, provide all-copper or part-copper-part-fibre networks, which offer slower download speeds, poorer upload speeds and less reliable services compared to full fibre networks.

05/03/2018

Product Safety Office issues first enforcement action

Subject: Regulated products

Source: GOV.UK

The Office for Product Safety and Standards has carried out its first enforcement action, a fine of £4,000 for timber operator Hardwood Dimensions (Holdings) Limited for breaching regulations prohibiting the importing and sale of illegally harvested timber. The company failed to check the legality of a batch of timber from Cameroon when placing it on the market to ensure it originated from legal sources.

The action is the first since the government set up the new office earlier in 2018.

Hardwood Dimensions pleaded guilty at the first hearing and was fined £4,000 plus a victim surcharge of £170 and prosecution costs of £3,273.

02/03/2018

CMA investigates suspected anti-competitive agreements by estate agents

Subject: Competition law/anti-competitive agreements

Source: GOV.UK

On 2 March 2018, the CMA announced that it has opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive arrangement(s) in the residential estate agency sector which may infringe Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998. The investigation has been launched on the basis of information received following the CMA's decision in a previous investigation into residential estate agency services, when the CMA found that six estate agents operating in the Burnham-on-Sea area had infringed competition law by taking part in a cartel agreement to fix prices in relation to the provision of residential estate agency services. A decision on whether to proceed with or close the investigation is expected in September 2018.

28/02/2018

Institute of Fundraising publishes joint guidance on GDPR

Subject: Fund raising for charities. Data protection

Source: Institute of Fundraising

The Institute of Fundraising has published a joint guidance on GDPR for fundraisers and charities, which gives an overview of fundraising methods and how personal data is likely to be used in each case. This guidance is indicative of more detailed guidance that fully prepares fundraisers ahead of GDPR coming into effect on 25 May 2018.

Reviewed and co-badged by the Information Commissioner’s Office, the guidance offers fundraisers and charities a guideline for their future work and encourages practical application of the law to real life scenarios.

The guidance is free and supported by regulators and membership bodies throughout the UK, including the Charity Commission, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the Charity Commission Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action and the Scottish Independent Fundraising Panel.

28/02/2018

Holiday firm ordered to pay £8,500 after burning waste

Subject: Environment control/Waste

Source: GOV.UK

A Lincolnshire holiday park company has been ordered to pay over £8,500 after illegally burning waste on one of their sites. Seaside Leisure Parks Ltd was convicted for burning a waste pile consisting of mattresses, sofas, and plastic chairs among other things on 4 July 2017. Following the Environment Agency investigation, Seaside Leisure Parks was convicted and ordered to pay a £5,000 fine as well as £3,496.50 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170.

The Environment Agency found that the company started a waste fire in 2017, which had to be put out by the fire service. Following this incident, the company did not take the appropriate action to remove the waste for another month, instead leaving the waste and fire residues on site. It had been previously warned for the same type of offending in 2010.

28/02/2018

Portability of Online Content Services Regulations 2018

Subject: Regulated products and services/Online content services

Source: www.legislation.gov.uk

The Portability of Online Content Services Regulations 2018 [SI 2018/249] introduce enforcement provisions in the UK relating to Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 on cross- border portability of online content services. Among other things, these provisions make certain articles of the Regulation actionable, where a breach of an obligation owed by a provider to a subscriber causes damage to the latter. The Regulations will come into force on 1 April 2018.

The UK must ensure enforcement of the provisions relating to Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 on cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market. Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 allows subscribers, temporarily present in a Member State other than the Member State of their actual and stable residence, to have access to a portable online content service in the same manner as in the Member State of residence.

23/02/2018

Consultation on updating ATOL consumer protection

Subject: Holidays and travel/Air travel

Source: GOV.UK

This consultation invites views on the Government's proposals to update the regulations which govern the Air Travel Organisers' Licencing (ATOL) scheme. It marks the final stage of consultation on the implementation of a new EU Package Travel Directive (PTD 2015), following the previous consultations on modernising ATOL (“the ATOL consultation of 2016”) published November 2016, and on updating consumer protection in the package travel sector (“the PTR consultation of 2017”) published August 2017.

The Government published in February 2017 its intent to proceed with the proposals to align the ATOL scheme with the broadened scope of the PTD 2015. The process started with the enactment of the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence Act in November 2017. The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has also consulted on the overarching proposals to update the Package Travel Regulations 1992 in line with PTD 2015.

The consultation seeks views on the proposed changes to the ATOL regulations to transpose the provisions of the PTD 2015. It complements the changes BEIS are implementing through the Package Travel Regulations 1992. The proposals will make it easier for UK businesses to trade across Europe without needing to comply with insolvency protection requirements in each member state.

The consultation period began on 23 February 2018 and will run until 23 March 2018.

28/02/2018

Payment Systems Regulator confirms plans to protect victims of payment scams

Subject: Financial services/Payment Services Regulations

Source: https://www.psr.org.uk/psr-publications/news-announcements/PSR-confirms-plans-to-protect-victims-of-payment-scams

The Payment Systems Regulator has announced the outcome of its consultation on introducing a contingent reimbursement model for victims of authorised push payment (APP) scams. APP fraud occurs when fraudsters trick victims into paying an amount due to a legitimate supplier or vendor to the fraudster by means of a cheque or bank account. The fraud often leaves the payer without remedy and cause serious loss even insolvency of the payer.

The consultation ran from November 2017 to January 2018 and gave interested partied the opportunity to provide feedback on the regulator’s plans. There was broad agreement on the need to better protect people against APP scams and reduce the harm they cause.

Following the consultation, the regulator plans to introduce a contingent reimbursement model. A payment services industry code will be in place by September 2018, paving the way for victims of APP scams to have better protection.

22/02/2018

Trader fined £180 after failing to follow HSE enforcement notice

Subject: Health and safety at work

20/02/2018

Gambling firms must do ‘better job’ after William Hill £6.2m money laundering fine

Subject: Gambling

19/02/2018

IPO consults on trade mark law changes in light of Directive

Subject: Intellectual property/trade marks

19/02/2018

Government to introduce greater flexibility to challenge ‘grossly unfair’ contract terms

Subject: Selling and marketing/contract for sale/late payment

19/02/2018

IPO consults on UK implementation of the EU Trade Secrets Directive

Subject: Intellectual property/Confidential information

15/02/2018

CAP has announced tougher gambling advertising standards

Subject: Gambling and gaming

13/02/2018

Restricted chemicals found in products sold in Europe

Subject: Regulated products/Chemicals and substances

08/02/2018

Defra consults on banning third party sales of pets in England: call for evidence

Subject: Dog breeders; Pet shops

29/01/2018

Charity trustees removed after failing to account for £92,110

Subject: Charities and voluntary sector

29/01/2018

Microbeads to be banned in Wales

Subject: Regulated products

25/01/2018

Disclosure and Barring Service updates identity checking guidelines

Subject: Employment

25/01/2018

Car breaker fined £4,000 for waste documentation offences

Subject: Environment and waste control

25/01/2018

Farmer sentenced over man electrocuted on his land

Subject: Health and Safety at Work

 

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