BAMF urge fight against piecemeal London Bill THE House of Lords committee that is looking into the London Local Authorities Bill has urged the Government to find a national solution to the regulation of the market in secondhand goods.

A follow-up to the Kent Act, which has meant antiques dealers having to register and deal with more red tape, the London Local Authorities Bill is the latest in more than a dozen pieces of separate local legislation aimed at tackling the problem of stolen and counterfeit goods.

As reported in ATG two weeks ago, the British Art Market Federation have campaigned vigorously against this piecemeal approach, calling for nationwide rules instead.

Although all parties concerned support the call, there has been a general acceptance that Whitehall is a long way off from proceeding with a public bill, and both police and trading standards believe that piecemeal progress is better than nothing.

However, BAMF chairman Anthony Browne argues that interested parties could put up more of a fight for a national policy.

While recognising that, with the precedent of the Kent Act, the Lords committee had little choice but to support the Bill, Mr Browne was heartened by their support for his cause.

Committee chairman Lady McIntosh said: “The committee is strongly of the opinion that the Government should accelerate its consultation process on the case for public legislation to regulate the market in secondhand goods.”

And Mr Browne was equally pleased by the committee’s call for dealers to have to register only once, rather than separately in every jurisdiction where they operate.

“The strong logic of a unilateral approach clearly impressed the committee and underlines once again that the Government should act now to ensure appropriate public legislation proceeds,” Mr Browne told ATG.

BY IVAN MACQUISTEN