NFRN Primary Authority Scheme

Get “Assured Advice” from Islington Council on the Tobacco Display Ban and age restricted products.

In May 2015, the NFRN announced the launch of its Primary Authority Scheme, in partnership with the London Borough of Islington.

The scheme allows members in England and Wales to benefit from clear and consistent advice on the Tobacco Display Ban and age restricted products produced by trading standards officers at Islington council. Member’s local trading standards officers are required to defer to the guidance – known as “Assured Advice” – issued by Islington when dealing with members of the NFRN Scheme. Members are therefore protected from excessive or changing local interpretations of the law and regulations.

For example, in the run up to the introduction of the Tobacco Display Ban, concerns were expressed by many members about the font that could be used on shelf labelling and price lists. While some trading standards officials took the view that only the Helvetica font could be used, others including Islington, accept the use of either Helvetica or Arial fonts. In this case, therefore, NFRN scheme members would be allowed to use Arial font even if their local trading standards team disagreed. The advice issued by Islington would take precedence over the views of the local trading standards team.

Members of the scheme can also seek advice from Islington Council via either NFRN Connect or our dedicated email address – primary.authority@nfrn.org.uk

It is intended that the scheme will be extended to cover other areas of concern in due course. When additional Assured Advice becomes available we will contact you again with details of the new advice and the steps you will need to take to be covered by it.

How to register

The Assured Advice only covers members who register for the scheme and for legal reasons we cannot automatically register members. If you have received an email inviting you to join the scheme, please use the link provided within it to sign up. Alternatively, download the Primary Authority Scheme Registration Form and once completed, send to: NFRN Primary Authority Scheme, Yeoman House, Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0HF

FAQ

This is a short list of our most frequently asked questions. For more information, or if you need support, please email primary.authority@nfrn.org.uk

What is Primary Authority?

Primary Authority is a government scheme intended to allow groups of, in our case, retailers, to appoint one local authority to provide all members of the scheme with advice on agreed areas of regulation.

Who is our Primary Authority?

The NFRN has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the London Borough of Islington.

What role does the NFRN have in the scheme?

The NFRN is not a legal party to the scheme, but is acting only as co-ordinator. Member queries and issues will be forwarded through the NFRN, who will also maintain the register of scheme members.

What does the scheme cost to join?

The NFRN will meet the costs of the scheme.

How do I join the scheme?

If the NFRN has your email address you will have been sent an email invitation. Please click on the link in the email and complete the requested details to register.

Members without email addresses can download the NFRN Primary Authority Scheme registration form and once completed, send to: NFRN Primary Authority Scheme, Yeoman House, Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0HF

What areas of regulation are covered?

Initially the scheme will provide guidance – called “Assured Advice” on the Tobacco Display Ban and on age restricted products. This will be expanded over time.

What is “Assured Advice”

This is advice provided by the Primary Authority that has to be adhered to by local trading standards officers.

What if Trading Standards disagrees with the Assured Advice?

Local trading standards officers can take up their concerns with the Primary Authority but cannot change or ignore the Assured Advice if they disagree with it.

How do Trading Standards know I'm part of the scheme?

They will be informed by the BRDO, the government department that administers Primary Authority nationally.