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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Nottingham City Council Bill [HL]


This Bill provides for the registration of second-hand goods dealers, and introduces notification requirements for the holding of occasional sales and the carrying out of squat trading in the City of Nottingham, for the purposes of reducing and detecting property crime in the city.

Part 1


Part 1 sets out the short title of the Act, provides interpretation and allows parts of the Act to come into force on different days by resolution of the Council. It lists exemptions from the requirements of the Act in relation to occasional sales, namely markets, sales of farm livestock, machinery, equipment or plant, of the contents of one or more buildings, auctions by registered dealers in second-hand goods and book sales.

Part 2


Clause 4 is the main provision dealing with the registration of dealers in second-hand goods. All such dealers except those of types listed in clause 7 must be registered to be entitled to carry out their business in the city, and if they carry out the business in premises occupied by them, the premises must also be registered. Updates to registration details must be notified to the council. Registration lasts for three years.

Clause 5 requires dealers in second-hand goods to record details of certain acquisitions and sales of such goods. The information required is the date, description of the articles, the details of the person from whom they were acquired or to whom they were sold, and for vehicles and plant, a registration number or serial number. Whether the acquisition is recorded depends on the amount for which the dealer expects to dispose of it.

• If the amount is less than £10, then the acquisition must be recorded if the article is electrically or battery powered or is a medium for storing sound, images or data.

• If the amount is less than £50, then the acquisition must also be recorded in the case of photographic, sports, equestrian, optical, gardening or boating equipment, vehicle parts, jewellery, watches, musical instruments, tools, bicycles or firearms.

• If the amount is £50 or more, then the acquisition must be recorded in every case.

The sale of articles must be recorded if the sale price is more than £100 in the case of electrically or battery powered goods, vehicles and vehicle parts, plant, jewellery, watches, photographic equipment, sports equipment, equestrian equipment, building materials, boats and boating equipment, musical instruments and gardening equipment, and £500 otherwise. All these amounts can be amended by resolution of the council.

The acquisition and sale of an article does not need to be recorded if the article is acquired outside the city and is not sold, offered for sale or kept within the city.

Records are to be kept for two years and must be produced on demand to authorised officers of the council or the police.

Clause 6 details the offences relating to dealers in second-hand goods. It is an offence to carry on a trade or business the whole or part of which consists of transactions in second-hand goods without being a registered dealer. It is an offence to fail to enter details of a relevant transaction, not to keep the details for two years, not to produce them to an authorised officer of the council or the police, and not to inform the council of changes in registration details. It is an offence to enter false details when recording a transaction, either knowingly or recklessly. It is an offence not to display a copy of the certificate of registration in a conspicuous position on the premises where the transactions are carried out. It is an offence to give false information for the purposes of recording a transaction in second-hand goods. It is an offence to purchase goods from a person under the age of 16.

Clause 7 deals with exemptions from the requirements to register and record transactions. The following classes of persons and organisations are exempt in respect of their business as such: charities, registered scrap metal dealers, registered motor salvage operators, dealers in waste paper, cardboard, textiles, plastics in bulk or second-hand clothes, those engaged in financing the acquisition of goods by means of hire purchase, conditional sale or credit sale agreements, pawnbrokers, dealers in new goods where the supply of second-hand or used goods is merely incidental, dealers in second-hand books, dealers in animals, and any class of persons excluded by resolution of the council.

Clause 8 allows existing dealers in second-hand goods four weeks to make an application for registration following the coming into force of the registration requirements.

Clause 9 allows dealers in second-hand goods to continue trading following the expiry of their certificates of registration provided that they have applied for a renewal before the date of expiry.

Part 3


Clause 10 introduces a requirement that a person (other than one exempted by Part 1) who intends to hold an occasional sale in the city, or permit an occasional sale to be held on premises of which he is the occupier, or to carry out squat trading, must notify the council of this intention at least 21 days before the sale is held or the trading commences. The notice shall specify the time and duration of the sale or trading, the premises to be used, the goods to be provided, details of every person holding or promoting the sale or carrying out the trading and a person to receive and answer complaints. For occasional sales, an estimate of the number of persons expected to attend must also be supplied. The council may serve a notice requiring this information if it has reason to believe that a sale is about to be held or trading is about to commence: the information is to be supplied within seven days (regardless of when the sale is to be held or the trading to commence). The council may also serve a notice requiring this information if it has reason to believe that a sale is being or has been held, or trading has commenced. In this latter case the information must be supplied forthwith if the sale or trading is under way, or within seven days otherwise.

Clause 11 requires holders of occasional sales other than auctions at which there is more than one seller or supplier of goods, to keep a record of details (registration numbers if registered under this or a similar Act, or names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers and whether the goods are new or second-hand otherwise) of all the sellers or suppliers.

Clause 12 requires a person holding, promoting or conducting an occasional sale or carrying out squat trading to display his name and address both at the venue and on any advertising. At the venue, the names and addresses of any other persons concerned in the holding or promotion of the sale or trading must also be displayed.

Clause 13 lists offences under Part 3, namely the contravention of any of the provisions in that Part together with the supplying of false information either knowingly or recklessly.

Part 4


Clause 14 gives authorised officers of the council and the police the power to enter premises and inspect and seize goods and documents for the purposes of ascertaining whether an offence has been committed under the Act. These provisions are based on those given to trading standards officers by section 28 (Power to enter premises and inspect and seize goods and documents) of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 in respect of offences under that Act, and additionally permit authorised officers and the police to enter dwellings if in possession of a warrant from a justice of the peace for that purpose.

Clause 15 introduces a defence of due diligence for each offence under the Act.

Clause 16 introduces an offence of obstructing an authorised officer of the council or a police officer when exercising any of the powers of the Act.

Clause 17 provides that directors, managers, secretaries or similar officers of a body corporate (or members acting as managers) shall be guilty of an offence by the body corporate if it is proved that they consented to or connived at the offence or it was attributable to their neglect.

Clause 18 restricts the right to prosecute an offence under this Act to the police and the council, unless the written consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions is obtained.

Clause 19 requires the council to publicise resolutions under this Act (other than one bringing clause 4 into force) either by serving notice of the passing of the resolution on every second-hand goods dealer registered under the Act and affected by the resolution, or by advertising it in a local newspaper, at least 28 days before the resolution comes into effect.

Clause 20 prescribes how notices under this Act may be validly served.


In the view of the Solicitor to the Nottingham City Council the provisions of the Nottingham City Council Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

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Prepared 29 April 2003