Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Sixth Report


Memorandum from the Department of Trade and Industry


REGULATIONS 2001 (S.I. 2001/1701)

1. The Committee has requested the Department to submit a memorandum on the following points:—

    (a)  Given the length and complexity of these Regulations, is the Department satisfied that responsible persons (as defined in regulation 2(2)) who are small businesses will readily be able to understand the requirements which must be complied with in relation to equipment? Has the Department taken any steps to provide guidance for such persons on these matters?

    (b)  Regulation 19(2) prescribes the penalty for an offence under paragraph "11(1) or (2)" of Schedule 13. Ought not the reference have been to paragraph 11, given that it does not contain sub-paragraphs so numbered?

    (c)  Explain the reference to "this regulation" in paragraph 7(5) of Schedule 13. Should the quoted words have read "this paragraph"?

2. With regard to point (a), the Department is satisfied that small businesses will be able to understand the requirements of these Regulations.

3. Consultation with industry including small businesses has been carried out throughout the negotiation of the Directive (i.e. since the draft mandate appeared in 1996). Approximately 300 contacts in all have been consulted. A significant proportion of these include SMEs and relevant trade association.

4. A 3-month public consultation was undertaken on the draft Regulations where these contacts were again consulted. The Consultation Document was downloaded from the STRD web-site over 4,500 times during the 3-month consultation period.

5. STRD has also produced two guidance booklets to assist manufacturers with compliance with the Regulations: 'Noise emission in the environment by equipment for use outdoors. Guidance notes on the UK Regulations' (URN 01/774); and, 'A Guide for Manufacturers to the evaluation of uncertainties' (URN 00/605). The booklets are available from the STRD website or the DTI Publications Orderline.

6. In addition, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), appointed to enforce the Regulations, is currently undertaking a joint awareness campaign with the DTI to further publicise the Regulations and to get to know businesses and organisations affected by them. The VCA will also assist with compliance enquiries from manufacturers.

7. With regard to points (b) and (c) the Department accepts and regrets that these are errors and agrees with the Committee. The Department undertakes to correct the errors as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

7 August 2001

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