Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It is feared the crime-curbing measures, which insist on a paper trail of transactions in antiques in a bid to halt the distribution of stolen goods, could well put off bonafide dealers and collectors who value confidentiality in their dealings from doing business in the region.

Concern over the Kent Trading Standards initiative has led to a number of established dealers, together with legal and accounting specialists, forming the Registered Antiques Dealers Society. The association (RADS for short) is a professionally run organisation designed to project and promote individual dealers and give them a corporate voice as well as enhancing their image in general by increasing public awareness of registered dealers.

The RADS believe that (while the days of casual trading may be numbered) the legislation need not represent a hindrance to those who trade fairly and honestly. Indeed a registered antiques trade fronted by its own association could significantly increase the public image of the antiques dealer. The society will nevertheless help to smooth the path through this new legislation, offering guidance and assistance to all those who register and liaise between its members and the KTS on matters of change, as and when it occurs. In addition a telephone line will be made available giving access to professional services in accountancy and law.

Membership affords an initial free consultation with a specialist (familiar with the antiques trade) regarding compliance with the new law and thereafter preferential rates on other matters.

All members will be automatically registered and supplied with an information pack (including sample stock record sheets) in addition to a laminated copy of the RADS logo which dealers and fair organisers can display. Membership to the RADS is £35 per annum available from Diane Webster who can be contacted on 01892 511439.