Published: 17 May 2017
Q: I have been reading lots in the news recently about the changes to the Licensing Act 2003 resulting from the Immigration Act 2016 and the Policing and Crime Act 2017. Whilst I am aware of the changes which have been implemented, I have found an amended copy of the Guidance to the Licensing Act 2003. The changes are not marked on the document and I wondered if there is anything, in addition to the changes brought about by the new legislation, which I should be aware of?
A: The main changes to the s.182 Guidance can be summarised as follows:
(1) Following the changes from the Immigration Act 2016, the outline of the Licensing Objectives now refers to immigration crime under the section regarding the prevention of crime and disorder. Immigration crime is now mentioned in the sections regarding applications, transfers of premises licences and reviews. There is further guidance on when an individual is required to provide proof of the entitlement to work within the UK when applying for a new premises licence, transfer of a premises licence or personal licence and the circumstances in which a licence may lapse;
(2) The Guidance clarifies that an individual who applies for a premises licence for a music venue who does not intend to sell alcohol or late night refreshment would not be prohibited from applying for a licence on the grounds of their immigration status however, they would still commit AN offence under the Immigration Acts if they work illegally in the UK;
(3) From 1 April 2017 businesses which sell alcohol (retailers or trade buyers) need to ensure that the wholesalers they purchase alcohol from have been approved by the HMRC Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme. They will need to check the unique registration number of the wholesaler against the HMRC online database unless an exemption applies;
(4) Chapter 3 contains a new section on late night refreshment exemptions and further guidance on licensing vessels, vehicles and movable structures;
(5) The Guidance clarifies that a Temporary Event Notice given may be subsequently withdrawn by giving notice to the Licensing Authority to that effect no later than 24 hours before the beginning of the event period specified in the TEN. Otherwise the TEN will be included in the limit for the calendar year, even if the event does not go ahead. The previous Guidance did not impose a 24 hour deadline to withdraw the Notice;
(6) The section regarding psychoactive substances has been removed;
(7) There is an acknowledgment that the Home Office favours PASS cards as a form of acceptable ID in addition to other recognised forms;
(8) The list of crimes which the guidance states should be taken particularly seriously has been updated to add licensed premises used for the illegal purchase and consumption of alcohol by minors and immigration crime;
(9) Chapter 12 is a new chapter dedicated to the Summary Review Process. The Policing and Crime Act 2017 has made changes to this process with regard to a premises licence holder’s right to object to any interim steps imposed only once unless there is a change in circumstances and a requirement for the Licensing Authority to consider how long interim steps will remain in place; and
(10) The section regarding appeals confirms that on an appeal against a decision made by a Licensing Authority, the Court is not entitled to consider whether the licence holder should have been convicted of an immigration offence, whether they should have been required to pay an immigration penalty or whether they should have been granted by the Home Office permission to be in the UK. Separate rights of appeal exist in relation to those matters and they should not be considered on a licensing appeal.
The list is not exhaustive however it provides a summary of the main changes to the guidance.
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