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Community and Ancillary Sellers Notices

Who would benefit from CANs?

If you have a very good memory you may recall us writing some time ago, back in November 2014 in fact, about Community and Ancillary Seller’s Notices (CANs) which were inserted into the Deregulation Bill 2014.

The Bill received Royal Assent in March 2014 and became the Deregulation Act 2015. Since then various provisions within the Act have come into force on numerous implementation dates which impact upon licensing.

These include the increase in the number of Temporary Event Notices permitted and removing the requirement to report the loss or theft of a Premises or Personal Licence to the Police.

The same cannot be said for CANs which have not yet been introduced and will not be until such time as S.67 of the Deregulation Act 2015 is brought into force. Currently no date is proposed for its implementation and so you would be forgiven for forgetting what CANs were all about. They have risen to the surface again following the appointment of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 and consideration of them in their Report published in April of this year.

To refresh your memories the intention of CANs was to deregulate the serving of small quantities of alcohol by community premises and some small businesses (mainly B&Bs). The general consensus amongst the authorities that responded to the Select Committee’s call for evidence was that introducing CANs would make an already complex system even more complicated and even harder for those trying to work with interpreting the Licensing Act 2003. Those authorities, that is, who could remember what CANs were.

Some authorities made alternative suggestions, such as an exemption for community and ancillary premises from the ‘current normal application system’ perhaps only having to notify the Police and EHO for example rather than all of the Responsible Authorities – and including perhaps hairdressers who serve a ‘free’ glass of bubbly with your demi-perm.

The Committee ‘sympathised with the view that CANs might make an already complex system even more difficult to understand’ and they were concerned that CANs could ‘open up the licensing system to abuse’.

After consideration the Committee recommended that S.67 of the Deregulation Act 2015 which relates to CANs should be repealed, although interestingly no alternatives were suggested.

It remains to be seen if the recommendation will be followed.

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