News item

VRA 1984 alert

The Government's department for culture, media and sport issued a letter on 24 August stating that the Video Recordings Act 1984 is no longer enforceable in UK courts.

This follows after it emerged that the then British Government failed to notify the European Commission under the Technical Standards and Regulations Directive of the existence of the new Act.

The Directive establishes a 'standstill period' of three months during which member states must notify draft legislation to the Commission and other EU members before it can take legal effect.

The omission 25 years ago means that the classification and labelling requirements detailed in the VRA 1984 cannot be enforced until the situation is rectified.

Brandon Cook, age restricted sales lead officer for the Trading Standards Institute, said he was 'flabbergasted' and added: ‘Trading standards officers will continue to work with retailers to encourage compliance with the spirit of the law.

‘The legislation was there to inform consumers and protect young people and children. We would expect responsible businesses to continue to follow the law as it was until the new legislation is in place.’