Knife retail legislation: BHETA continues to lobby government

Lakeland shared its roadmap with BHETA members

The BHETA is continuing to lobby the British government on legislation relating to the retail of bladed items.

The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has approached Simon Eglington of the Tackling Crime Unit at the Home Office in reference to the ongoing Offensive Weapons Act 2019 consultation.

The purpose of the lobbying is to reiterate the need for urgent advice ahead of any actual legislation to enable suppliers to put all legal requirements in place in a timely manner. BHETA has drawn attention to the fact that notwithstanding Covid, it is concerning that since initial responses to the Offensive Weapons Act Draft Statutory Guidance to the Home Office in October 2019, the industry is yet to receive any response from government – even general guidance on potential timing. 

Having now heard indirectly that spring 2021 is the most likely date for implementation of new legislation, BHETA has asked for an urgent update on the revised statutory guidance to be released to the industry as soon as possible. 

This would be to ensure that manufacturers, importers, suppliers and retailers had sufficient time to address labelling and process changes.

BHETA and the leading industry suppliers set up a supplier/retailer steering group to identify collaborative initiatives that could contribute to responsible and safe knife retailing. Following initial meetings, consensus has been reached on the approach to roll-out Challenge 25 packaging and POS to include knives and bladed items. BHETA is also supporting the Metropolitan Police Knife Retailing group, hosting meetings with its representatives and attending meetings at New Scotland Yard, physically and virtually.

Commenting on its latest approach, BHETA’s Chief Executive Officer, Will Jones said: “With all that has happened in 2020, delay to implementation is understandable and prudent in the light of the pandemic, but BHETA is now asking for an update on the latest thinking.  While I appreciate the reasons for delay, suppliers and retailers do need time to implement any legislative changes to packaging and point of sale, so it is vital the industry receives timely government advice.”

BHETA regularly lobbies on subjects affecting housewares, small electricals, DIY and garden members. It also provides member training and retail networking events, up to the minute data on market opportunities compliance advice. To find out more, contact Nicola Adams at the BHETA Member Services Team on 07946 078566, or alternatively, email on na@bheta.co.uk