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UK: WSTA calls for licensing law reform

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The UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association has called on the Government to reduce the level of regulation on the country's wine and spirit trade.

The WSTA said yesterday (11 January) that it had submitted evidence to the Better Regulation Commission, a body set up to advise the UK government on regulation across the economy. The commission has begun reviewing the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003, which set fresh guidelines on alcohol licensing across the UK.

The WSTA said it had helped "hundreds of businesses" across the wine and spirit trade to understand how the new regime would affect them and said it continued to lobby the Government to make changes to the legislation.

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: "The complexity of the forms and process, the huge increases in licence fees, particularly the hidden costs of obtaining a licence, and the inconsistency with which local authorities are interpreting the Act have all added significant bureaucracy and cost to businesses.

"We have heard many examples of businesses being given contradictory advice by different local authorities, much of it at odds with the statutory guidance.

"The Government should learn lessons from the way the Act was implemented and make changes to clarify the guidance and make improvements to the Act at the earliest opportunity."


Sectors: Spirits, Wine

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