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Licence to purchase chemicals - A show of hands of who would obtain one...


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#31 Steve

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:51 PM

I was thinking about this again last night after my reply.
The documents specify that businesses are excluded from this regulation. A quick off the shelf limited business set up costs about £50, with annual return filing costing £15. Any license that is more expensive than this and more hassle that filling in a couple of forms once a year would surely be a 2nd choice to just setting up a non-trading company. You could even register for VAT and save 20% on your chemicals!

15 years ago when I started getting into pyrotechnics, you couldn't just go on eBay and buy hazardous chemicals, I usually had to buy them from somewhere under a made up business name. If this regulation come into force, that may be the way to buy chemicals again.


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#32 digger

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:10 AM

I was thinking about this again last night after my reply.
The documents specify that businesses are excluded from this regulation. A quick off the shelf limited business set up costs about £50, with annual return filing costing £15. Any license that is more expensive than this and more hassle that filling in a couple of forms once a year would surely be a 2nd choice to just setting up a non-trading company. You could even register for VAT and save 20% on your chemicals!

15 years ago when I started getting into pyrotechnics, you couldn't just go on eBay and buy hazardous chemicals, I usually had to buy them from somewhere under a made up business name. If this regulation come into force, that may be the way to buy chemicals again.

 

Yep that is true, It has allready been mentioned on related threads.

 

Its an easy way around it, but unfortunately many people will be scared off by it also.


Phew that was close.

#33 wayne

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:07 PM

Yes, its not going to stop terrorists or any naughty individual getting up to mischief with the prohibited chemicals, we can all agree on that.  

 

But do bear in mind, if and when this come into force, just think what will happen if you are caught in possession of these prohibited chemicals without the necessary licencing?  

 

At the moment, there is no legislation on ownership of these chemicals so if you are caught with them and you can give a good reason to own them there's little they can do!  

 

However, just imagine that if licencing was in force and you we're happily buying chemicals from "under the counter" or with a made up company without a license and then you get caught in possession...what do you think the outcome of that would be?  Even the made up company is not going to save you here!  Yes, a company set up that has a legitimate need for the chemicals would be ok, but not something you've set up just for the purpose of circumnavigating the licensing.

 

All, please think about what you're talking about here.  If you want to get stung, please feel free to ignore any potential licencing and do not associate your activities with the UKPS.  As a society, we expect that our members follow the regulations, we cannot accept anything else.

 

Obviously we are still talking hypothetically here as these regulations are still at the consultation stage, but rather than trying to discuss ways to circumnavigate them, how about just suggesting ways to deal with them??

 

As for the cost, it has been suggested to me that the HO are aiming for <£40 for a 3 year license. This is all speculation at this stage, but its definitely in the right area.

 

Sorry for sounding righteous on this but unfortunately when it comes to legislation, the society can only ever follow the rule of law...or even potentials ones for that matter.



#34 phildunford

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:59 PM

Yes, its not going to stop terrorists or any naughty individual getting up to mischief with the prohibited chemicals, we can all agree on that. 

 

Why should we even countenance new legislation then if we all agree it's not fit for purpose!

 

I do agree that if this should come into force we all need to comply, none of us want to end up in prison. However if HSE agree with the above statement (& I bet they do in private) then this can only be control for controls sake...


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#35 wayne

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:30 PM

Why should we even countenance new legislation then if we all agree it's not fit for purpose!

 

I do agree that if this should come into force we all need to comply, none of us want to end up in prison. However if HSE agree with the above statement (& I bet they do in private) then this can only be control for controls sake...

 

Let be honest, the HO and the HSE are not a bunch of thicko's!  They understand that it can't possibly stop illegal activity but they do know that if persons are caught with chemicals without licencing they can then prosecute!  This can't be said at the moment.

 

All, don't fear this, they're not after the likes of us, they are after the terrorists types out there.  Yes, it may mean we have the hassle of licensing, but just think of the benefits.  It adds even more legitimacy to our experimentation and allows us correct access to chemicals that are up to press, difficult to obtain.  The benefits are there with the only downside of a small cost and slight additional hassle.

 

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see the fuss.  I probably look at things like this objectively and don't instantly see it as a erosion of our freedoms.



#36 Steve

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:23 PM

I'll say this. If there is a licensing introduced, I'd start selling the likes of ammonium perchlorate, dark aluminium powder, potassium chlorate etc which I currently don't sell over concerns regarding supplying the public with such materials.

 

Wayne, I may have wandered off track with what I was typing, but the company suggestion was supposed to be in reply to how much would be a sensible price to pay. £50 initially + £15 per annual renewal.


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#37 martyn

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:37 PM

I'll say this. If there is a licensing introduced, I'd start selling the likes of ammonium perchlorate, dark aluminium powder, potassium chlorate etc which I currently don't sell over concerns regarding supplying the public with such materials.

That's good to know Steve.

Although, you may find that as licence holders and legitimate users, some enthusiasts may bypass the middle men and possibly club together and buy from chemical wholesalers, who presumably would then be prepared to supply them, given an order of sufficient value.

Just a thought.



#38 digger

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:43 PM

Wayne

 

I am sorry to have to disagree with your analysis of this legislation with respect to "Made up companies"

 

Clearly this legislation has no remit with respect to companies FACT. If a company is set up to do pyrotechnic R&D (or for that matter any purpose requiring these chemicals) then no law has been broken for possession of these chemicals without a license FACT. There is no need for any company to actually make any money ever to satisfy this exemption FACT (a breakthrough need never be made). So why would anyone who wanted to circumvent the legislation say the company has any other purpose than pyrotechnic research?

 

A company may be prosecuted under health and safety legislation if people and property have been put at risk, so this does not mean that setting up a company means people can be irresponsible, as clearly other laws do apply including MSER as you know.

 

This just shows that this legislation is next to worthless for the purpose for which it is intended.

 

I am not against sensible legislation that does not put unnecessary hurdles in place which discourage innovation and experimentation.

 

In my day job I work in a field that has a large deficit of skilled people. I was inspired as a youth by much of the chemistry I could do at home without having to acquire umpteen licences (which would have put my parents off). I am thankful for all of the inspirational people I met when I was younger who were not burdened by having to ensure a licence was in place before showing me how a rocket motor worked or how to copper plate a nail.

 

Most of the engineers and scientists I meet are now in their 40's at the youngest and are mainly in their 50's. If we are to actually make anything of value in this country in the future (rather than just moving money around, which can be done anywhere) we need to inspire the next generation without being too encumbered or it just won't happen.

 

Lets hope that I am completely wrong and that this is not just the thin end of the wedge.

 

This truly saddens me.

 

Of course I won't break the law.

 

Rant over 


Edited by digger, 23 January 2014 - 12:06 AM.

Phew that was close.

#39 Guest_PyroPDC_*

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:02 AM

as a business this don't apply to me but i would say any sort of licensing to stop terrorism is a bad idea (but only because of what has already been said) it wont work so whats the point. the only thing that worries me is how long until that £30 / £40 turns to £100 and when a few more chemicals get added to that list. i remember when firework licensing used to be cheap. we used to get 4 years really cheap and now its been reduced to maximum 1 year only costing a lot more. 

 

then add to this a black powder registration and of course this still don't give any person permission to make anything as the HSE could still say your using the chemicals to produce an illegal item.

 

i do agree its got to be easier to regulate the sellers rather than the buyers.

 

but im sure the UKPS will be keep any eye on this regulation.



#40 wayne

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 07:40 AM

Clearly this legislation has no remit with respect to companies FACT. If a company is set up to do pyrotechnic R&D (or for that matter any purpose requiring these chemicals) then no law has been broken for possession of these chemicals without a license FACT. There is no need for any company to actually make any money ever to satisfy this exemption FACT (a breakthrough need never be made). So why would anyone who wanted to circumvent the legislation say the company has any other purpose than pyrotechnic research?

 

I totally agree, if a company is set-up to conduct pyrotechnic R&D then I would consider this a valid company.  That said, if it could be argued that it was only set-up to circumvent licencing then you could become unstuck.  It could be argued both ways, so why not just get a licence?

 

My main point is, if licencing came into force and it was reasonable cost, why is everyone that bothered!  As I've said previously, if you want to do something as innocuous as fishing, do you just get your rod and go fishing?  Well you could, but get ready for large fines if the bailiff catches you!  Dependent where you fish, it requires many licenses and they are £30-40 per year.  I don't see many anglers up in arms about all the licenses and I don't think its held many children back from joining the sport.  I remember having my local club license when I was 7!

 

Anyway, we're still talking about something that may never happen, so let just see what comes.  We've already submitted our response and the consultation is closed so its now in their hands.


Edited by wayne, 23 January 2014 - 07:41 AM.


#41 digger

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:03 AM

I totally agree, if a company is set-up to conduct pyrotechnic R&D then I would consider this a valid company.  That said, if it could be argued that it was only set-up to circumvent licencing then you could become unstuck.  It could be argued both ways, so why not just get a licence?

 

Fortunately there is a burden of proof required within law and as far as I am aware innocence is still the state until proved otherwise, so argued does not cut it. Evidence is required and "he said she said" is very rarely useful as evidence alone so you would have to be pretty stupid to come unstuck when only rudimentary records would be required.

 

 

 

I also agree if licensing is a reasonable cost (less than £45 every three years) and is also easily accessible to all then there should not be a problem for most here, and that is fine. However after speaking to suppliers the feeling is that 70% to 80% of people who want to do a few experiments without getting into the hobby, will simply not bother as they will not want to spend the £45 to buy £10 of chemicals. That is a great loss of inspired people, this is not just a pyrotechnics issue but also a general chemistry issue.

 

 

I'll say this. If there is a licensing introduced, I'd start selling the likes of ammonium perchlorate, dark aluminium powder, potassium chlorate etc which I currently don't sell over concerns regarding supplying the public with such materials.

 

Steve I understand your sentiment, but the legislation states that they can add any chemical they like at any time they want to the list, so this strategy would not last for long.


Edited by digger, 23 January 2014 - 09:06 AM.

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Phew that was close.

#42 Mortartube

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:38 PM

Setting up a made up company is fraught with pitfalls. If you asked your mate to hand you one of those chemicals and he had an accident, you're legally required employers liability insurance would probably be claimed on. If you had an incident that caused damage with one of those chemicals (imagine a flood and the water table became contaminated with something nice like Barium salts) you are now a company and could be pursued through the courts for negligence and cleanup costs etc. I know these seem to be dramatic scenarios but they have every potential to become real nightmares in the event of a mishap with your company.


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#43 starseeker

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:09 PM

Let be honest, the HO and the HSE are not a bunch of thicko's!  They understand that it can't possibly stop illegal activity but they do know that if persons are caught with chemicals without licencing they can then prosecute!  This can't be said at the moment.

 

 

I find this a bit hard to believe,

Surely if the police arrest a suspected terrorist,find a stash of incriminating evidence including chemicals they can hammer them?

If the CPS are quite happy to hammer home experimenters including confiscation of legally held chemicals then you would have thought somebody who was up to no good would be shafted.


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#44 Vic

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:58 PM

I find this a bit hard to believe,

Surely if the police arrest a suspected terrorist,find a stash of incriminating evidence including chemicals they can hammer them?

If the CPS are quite happy to hammer home experimenters including confiscation of legally held chemicals then you would have thought somebody who was up to no good would be shafted.

 

That sounds awfully familiar to me, and I am not going to go away, sorry wayne.


Edited by Vic, 23 January 2014 - 10:06 PM.

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#45 digger

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:22 PM

Setting up a made up company is fraught with pitfalls. If you asked your mate to hand you one of those chemicals and he had an accident, you're legally required employers liability insurance would probably be claimed on. If you had an incident that caused damage with one of those chemicals (imagine a flood and the water table became contaminated with something nice like Barium salts) you are now a company and could be pursued through the courts for negligence and cleanup costs etc. I know these seem to be dramatic scenarios but they have every potential to become real nightmares in the event of a mishap with your company.

 

 

I understand that I may not have towed the party line with my point of view. It is clearly designed to make people think.

 

However, what do you think would happen if the same things you describe happened if you were a private individual who happened to have a licence? the difference is you would be personally sued instead of being sued as a company. At least if you had a limited liabilty company you may not lose your house.


Edited by digger, 23 January 2014 - 10:33 PM.

Phew that was close.




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