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Principle of the Pedlars Act PDF Print E-mail


The Principle of the Pedlars Act, the law and legislation for Street Trading

How  interpretation is made about pedlars under Street Trading regulations obtained by local authority Acts in Westminster, Newcastle, London, Medway, Leicester, Liverpool, Maidstone, Northern Ireland, Bournemouth & Manchester.

The generic description of street trader applies to both licensed and certified traders in the street.

There is however some confusion about regulating street trading which can lead to wrongful summons for prosecution of law abiding pedlars.                                                        

The following is intended to assist clarification of the various points of law in a proper context.

The lawful activity of a street trader is applied equally to a 'certified pedlar' and to a 'licensed street trader' - both are authorised to "sell or expose goods for sale" but there is an identifiable difference.
One is mobile, the pedlar, and the other, the licensed street trader is limited to a static pitch.

All the above Acts have the same textual qualification to the exemption for pedlary as follows:
"The following are not street trading for the purposes of this part of this Act - trading by a person acting as a pedlar under the authority of a pedlar's certificate granted under the 1871 Pedlars Act - if the trading is carried out only by means of visits from house to house".
This is one of several other exemptions from regulation for types of trade that are not Street Trading for the purposes of legislation.
The textual amendment is not a definition of pedlary, it is only an exemption explaining what trading activities are not regulated as Street Trading (others include newspaper sellers, roundsmen etc).
The definition/description/activity of a pedlar is found only in the Pedlars Act. The above exemption is not a definition.

In the example of London:
The LLA Act regulates licensed street trading from a static pitch.
The Pedlars Act allows for a certified pedlar who "goes" about trading, therefore from place to place within any part of the UK.
The LLA Act in 1990 exempted all pedlary.
In 1994 LLA Act the exemption remained.
In 2004 LLA Act appears to alter the exemption for pedlary to allow for trading only from one place to another to prevent static trading.

“Town to town or to other men’s houses” [Pedlars Act]  and “only by means of visits from house to house” [LLA Act] have the same meaning and simply distinguish mobile means from static means of trading.

There is no regulation for door to door selling below £35 [Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Section 6].
A licence to sell door to door is neither available from the LA nor required by law.
A certificate to sell door to door is not required by law.
Therefore a certificate must be for another purpose other than for door to door selling and trading.
That purpose lies in the principle of the Pedlars Act.
The principle is to provide lawful Authority to act as a travelling pedestrian trader within any part of the UK.
With this understanding the Pedlars Act remains consistent with all these private Acts.

When the first of these Acts [Westminster 1999] was introduced, the promoters gave evidence to Parliament that "genuine pedlars would not be affected by the bill".
That statement remains to be implemented.

admin at
17 July 2011



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