EU Ship Recycling Regulation

15 January 2014

The regulation, which came into force on 30 December 2013, brings in the requirements of the 2009 Hong Kong Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The new Recycling Ship Regulation will apply to large seagoing vessels flying the flag of a Member State. The intention of the regulations is to reduce the negative impact of ship recycling, which is often carried in South Asia with few measures in place to protect the environment or the workers.

Tax disc changes

9 January 2014

In his Autumn Statement (at the end of 2013), the Chancellor announced that the issue of paper Vehicle Excise Licence discs is to cease from 1 October 2014. The police and DVLA will instead rely on the computerised register. At the same time, the 10% premium for buying a six-monthly tax disc will be halved and a new option of paying by monthly direct debit, also with a 5% premium, will be introduced. The government will also consider whether to reform VED “over the medium term”.

MPs report on local authority parking enforcement

9 January 2014

In October 2013, a leading group of MPs said that, while it is right that parking charges should be determined locally, it is hard to justify fines that substantially exceed penalties for more serious offences such as speeding.

Closure of DVLA local offices

9 January 2014

All 39 DVLA local offices have now closed, with the services they offered having been transferred to DVLA Swansea or to Post Office branches.

New test for diesel particulate filters

17 December 2013

With effect from February 2014, tests for diesel cars and lorries are to be tightened up to ensure that vehicles still have a critical exhaust filter if one was originally fitted as standard.

Change to collective redundancy consultation period

16 December 2013

As from 6 April 2013, the collective consultation period for redundancies involving 100 or more employees at one establishment was reduced from a 90-day minimum to 45 days. The minimum consultation period for redundancies of between 20 and 99 employees remains unchanged at 30 days.

New DSEAR ACOP

12 December 2013

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a new updated Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) on the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR), combining five existing ACOPs on the subject, and focusing on issues ranging from plant design and operation through to maintenance.

Driver CPC Directive consultation

12 December 2013

The European Commission opened a consultation in the summer of 2013 to assess how effectively Directive 2003/59/EC (on the initial qualification and periodic training of HGV or PCV drivers) has met its objectives and what specific action and measures may need to be adopted to improve its effectiveness.

Time Limited Reduced Pollution Certificate

5 December 2013

The Government has introduced a new “Time Limited” Reduced Pollution Certificate for type approved Euro-VI heavy goods vehicles that are registered before 31 December 2013.