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Trading Schemes

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what definition his Department uses for a participant in a trading scheme in its publication The Trading Scheme Guide; what the basis in legislation is for (a) the description of a participant contained in the guide, (b) the key test as to who is not a participant applied in the guide and (c) the test of independence of a participant applied in the guide; and if he will make a statement. (278138)

[holding answer 4 June 2009]: In issuing guidance the Department is not providing a definitive interpretation of the legislation as that is a matter for the courts. The Department provides guidance on statues in order to help business and consumers to understand whether a particular law applies to them or to their circumstances. This guidance is not a statement of the law, but is simply the Department’s view of its meaning.

The section of the Trading Schemes Guide referred to attempts to describe the nature of the organiser and participant relationship in trading schemes which are subject to the regime as set out in part XI of the Fair Trading Act 1973, section 118 (1) (3) and (4). In this context, the relevant definition of “participant” is that in the Fair Trading Act 1973, section 118(8). The legislation regulating trading schemes include Part XI of the Fair Trading Act 1973 amended by the Trading Schemes Act 1996, the Trading Schemes Regulations 1997, Trading Scheme (Exclusion) Regulations 1997, Trading Schemes (Exclusion) (Amendment) Regulations 1997. The guide covers this legislation.