Regulation – transport, storage and distribution sector

General regulations for the transport, storage and distribution sector

Employment legislation

People who work for you have legal rights in areas such as pay, working hours, maternity leave, disputes and dismissal. Also, all businesses have legal responsibilities in areas such as recruitment, redundancy and record-keeping. As a starting point for finding out more about employment legislation, see the Business Link guide on employing people.


Legislation exists to prevent discrimination on various grounds, including race, gender, disability and part-time working. See the Business Link guide on how to prevent discrimination and value diversity.

From 1 October 2004, Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act requires businesses to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people can access their goods or services. Find out more about the Disability Discrimination Act.

Health and safety

Regulations cover all aspects of health and safety in the workplace. For example, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 set out health and safety standards for any premises. As a starting point for finding out more information about health and safety legislation, see An Introduction to Health & Safety.

Display screens

Under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations Act 1992 businesses must minimise the risk of occupational ill-health by making sure that employees that use display screen equipment, including computer screens, have:

  • adequate training and information on how to use the equipment
  • breaks or changes of activity
  • suitable workstations
  • eye tests, as required

For more information see the guide on how to ensure your employees are operating computers safely.

Data protection

The Data Protection Act 1998 applies to businesses that keep records about their clients and other individuals. For example, you might keep a database of existing clients’ details so that you can send them marketing information. For more information on data protection and the information commissioner, have a look at managing customer data.

Advertising and marketing

Advertisements must comply with the relevant advertising standards. They are also covered by the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988. All businesses must comply with advertising rules and regulations. Businesses like advertising agencies should be particularly familiar with their requirements. For more information on advertising regulation, see the guide on how to comply with advertising standards.

Businesses that use email for marketing purposes have to comply with special regulations. Further information can be found in our guide to email marketing.

Copyright law and intellectual property

Businesses such as professional translators need to be familiar with copyright law. Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 copyright of a literary, artistic or musical work rests with the creator unless it has been agreed otherwise. Translators, as creators of a literary work – the translation text – own the copyright to it unless they have signed it over to someone else. If you run a translation business then you will need to be clear about who owns the copyright to the translations. This is particularly important if you employ staff or freelance contractors to do translation work. For more information about copyright issues have a look at the Copyright – Basic Facts section.

Intellectual property refers to the ideas that your company owns. It can include product designs, manufacturing process or your company name and logo. There are a number of ways you can protect your intellectual property, including trademarks, patents and design right. For more information read our business advice article on protecting your intellectual property.

Money laundering

The Money Laundering Regulations 2003 require “high value dealers” and certain other types of business to register with Customs and Excise. “High value dealers” are businesses that will accept cash payments of 15,000 euros (about £10,000) or more for a single transaction. In some circumstances businesses like management consultants might supply services that bring them within the scope of the regulations. Find out about the Money Laundering Regulations on the HMRC website.

Company law

Businesses providing services that involve the management and administration of companies need to be familiar with the requirements of company law. The Companies Acts 1985 and 1989 and regulations made under them exist to regulate the operation of companies. Holding companies usually take responsibility for making sure that all the companies in the group comply with the requirements of company legislation. For more information about company law, see our guides on business names & structures.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

Businesses that install and use CCTV systems may be covered by the Data Protection Act 1998. The Act is particularly likely to apply if CCTV is used to track and monitor individuals, for example in a casino. Read guidance for CCTV users and a code of practice on the Information Commissioner website.

Climate Change Levy (CCL)

The Finance Act 2002 introduced the Climate Change Levy, a tax on the use of energy in industry. It is designed to encourage the efficient use of energy and to help the UK to meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy intensive industries can benefit from an 80 per cent discount from the levy provided they agree to targets for improving their energy efficiency or reducing carbon emissions. These are known as Climate Change Agreements. Customs and Excise is the body responsible for registering business energy users and collecting the levy. For more information, see Business Link’s guide on environmental tax obligations and breaks.

Anti-competition law

The Enterprise Act 2002 strengthened competition and consumer legislation and gave the Office of Fair Trading greater powers. It introduced criminal sanctions for businesses that operate agreements to fix prices, share markets, limit production and rig bids. For more information, see the Business Link guide on price fixing, cartels, monopolies & the new Enterprise Act.

Sale and administration of general insurance products

If your business helps its customers buy insurance products or claim on them – even if that’s not your main business or you do it in a small way – then it’s likely you will need to comply with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. From 14 January 2005, it will be a criminal offence to help your customers buy or claim on insurance products without the appropriate permission from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) or arranging to become exempt. Learn more about general insurance regulation on the FSA website. You can also call the relevant FSA Contact Centre on Tel 0845 605 5525.

This document is based on Crown Copyright © 2004-2011
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