Atypical Traders

Occasional Trading

Occasional trading means selling goods by retail at a premises or place not being a public road to which persons have a right of access where the persons doing so has been in occupation for less than three months.

Occasional trading does not apply in respect of

  • selling by auction by a licensed auctioneer other than a Dutch auction;
  • selling at a trade, commercial, agriculture or industrial fair or show held mainly for a purpose other than the sale of goods;
  • selling agricultural and horological produce by the producer or his employees as such;
  • selling at a place at or where he resides or carries on business or adjacent thereto;
  • selling on behalf of the State;
  • selling of ice creams, sweets, confectionary, cooked foods, fruit, non-alcohol beverages from a trade basket, trolley, or another similar device at an event to which the public are admitted whether subject to or free of charge and in the immediate vicinity of such place;
  • selling of ice cream, newspapers, periodicals, magazines or other printed matter or pious and religious objects;
  • selling of fish;
  • selling where it is shown that the profits are used for a charitable purpose and no remuneration is derived;
  • selling of medals, bank notes, or tokens;
  • selling of handcrafted goods by the makers or their spouse.

Regulations may be made which vary the above exclusions.


Occasional Trading Licence

A person may not engage in occasional trading without a licence.  The requirement does not apply to occasional trading engaged in by a person at a premises or place where he has been in occupation for a continuous period of fewer than three months if he intends to occupy the place for a continuous period of three months or more before such trading, he gives a statutory declaration to the Minister and he occupies the premises for a continuous period of three months or more including that time. It is an offence to make a declaration without reasonable cause.

An application may be made for an occasional trading licence to the Minister.  There is a fee payable together with a per day fee.  The application must be made at least 30 days before the commencement of the occasional trading.

An occasional trading licence may contain such conditions as are specified.  Breach of the terms of the licence is an offence. The minister may revoke a licence if its terms and conditions have been breached. Fees may be reimbursed if the actual period of trading is less than that proposed in the application.


Enforcement

A person who has been convicted of two or more offences, the latest of which is within the last five years and two of which were incurred after the expiration of a disqualification period, may not be granted a licence.

An advertisement relating to occasional trading may not be published unless there is an occasional trading permit authorising the trading.  The advertisement must contain the number of their permit, and the name of the holder. Breach is an offence.

Authorised officers may be appointed in much the same way as under the casual trading legislation to enforce the legislation.  They may enter and inspect premises, take records etc. It is an offence to obstruct an officer.


Street Trading Act

The Street Trading Act has been repealed in relation to matters covered by the casual trading and occasional trading.

The Street Trading Act provides that it is not lawful to sell, the offer or expose goods for sale on any street in the City of Dublin without holding a street trader’s certificate granted under the Act.  It is unlawful to engage in stall trading in any street in Dublin without holding a street trader’s stall licence.

Regulations were made under the legislation in respect of  further urban areas including Dublin, Wexford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Castle Blayney, Youghal, Midleton, Listowel, Clonmel and Naas. A Council of a city or urban district may adopt the legislation, in which event references to Dublin apply to that area concerned.

Regulations were made under the legislation in respect of further urban areas including Dublin, Wexford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Castleblayney, Youghal, Midleton, Listowel, Clonmel and Naas. A Council of a city or urban district may adopt the legislation, in which event references to Dublin apply to that area concerned.


Certificate Required

The trader may sell goods only in accordance with the certificate, the Acts and regulations made thereunder and Council bye-laws, if applicable.Selling, offering or exposing goods for sale in contravention of the legislation is an offence subject to a fine on conviction.

The requirement for a certificate does not apply to a person bona fide employed as an assistant to a street trader authorised under the Act to have an assistant in respect of trading lawfully done by him.

The Act does not apply to a person selling or offering goods for sale etc. outside or in the immediate vicinity outside the house or other place in which he resides and who does not sell such goods, offer or expose them for sale to passers-by. The Act does not apply to a person who sells goods or offers them for sale etc. in a lawful public market or fair.

A street trader’s certificate may be issued by the Commissioner of an Garda Siochana on foot of an application.  It is in a prescribed format.  It authorises the person to offer, expose or carry on sales in any street of goods described, actually carried by him either directly in his hands or by trade, bag, basket or receptacle not exceeding the requisite size prescribed by regulation.

The certificate remains in force for one year.  No fee is payable.  It may not be issued to a person under 16 years of age.


Stall Certificate

A person who holds a street trader’s certificate may apply to the Council on payment of a small fee for a street trader stall licence. The stall licence is in a prescribed form and authorises the holder to expose or offer for sale in a wheeled or movable stall, barrel cart etc. or other vehicle, goods of the descriptions specified in the licence in any street in Dublin (or other applicable City or Town), subject to right to bye-laws and regulations prohibiting stall trading in particular streets.

A stall licence remains in force for as long as the street trader’s certificate subsists. A street trader holding a stall licence may employ a number of assistants fixed by the bye-laws to assist him in his trade in the street in which the trader is licensed.

Where a person holding a certificate is convicted of an offence which in the opinion of the court renders him unfit to continue to hold a certificate, the court may revoke it.

Dublin City Council (or other applicable local authority) has powers to make bye-laws in relation to street trading. The Garda Commissioner and the Council are to keep registers of certificates


Garda Powers

Members of an Garda Siochana may demand the production of a certificate.  A person who fails to produce a certificate is guilty of an offence. A person may be required to furnish his name and address on demand.  If he fails or refuses to do so, or gives a false or misleading name, he is guilty of an offence.

A person on whom a demand is made who fails or refuses to comply with the demand may be arrested, and his goods etc. may be seized.A member of an Garda Siochana may arrest a person who is offering or selling goods for sale in breach of the Act, bye-laws or regulations.

A member of an Garda Siochana who finds a person engaging in street trading in an area where the sale of goods of that description is prohibited may require the person to remove himself from the area.  If he does not do so, the member may arrest him without a warrant and seize his goods etc.


Disposal of Goods

Where goods are seized or removed, the Commissioner may cause them to be sold within three days and the costs of recovery, storage and sale may be deducted before giving the balance to the owner.  They may be sold within 12 hours, if perishable.  In the case of food or drink, it may be destroyed.

A person who proves that he owns the goods and pays the expenses of seizure and storage and any attempted sale may retrieve the goods on payment of those sums.

A person who is prosecuted for obstructing any highway or infringing market rights has a defence if he sold in the course of a lawful carrying out of business as a street trader in accordance with terms of the certificate.  Similarly, it is a defence for a prosecution under the Pedlars Act to show that the accused is selling in accordance with the terms of his street trader’s certificate.


General Dealers

1903 legislation requires general dealers to be licensed.  A “general dealer” means any person buying, otherwise than at a public auction held by a licensed auctioneer, or selling old metal, scrap metal, broken metal or partly manufactured metal goods in quantities, at each particular purchase or sale, of

  • in the case of iron, of less than ten hundredweight, or,
  • in the case of copper, of less than fifty-six pounds weight, or,
  • in the cases of lead, zinc, spelter, machinery or tools, respectively, of less than one hundred and twelve pounds weight, or
  • buying or selling in any quantities bottles, syphons, tools, bags, sacks, packing cases, boxes, articles of pottery or glass,

whether such person deals in those articles only or together with second-hand goods or marine stores. This does not include a pawnbroker or a licensed dealer in plate.

General dealing includes buying or selling in any quantities, bottles, syphons, bags, sacks, packing cases, boxes, articles of pottery and glass, whether such person deals with those articles only or together with second-hand goods or marine stores.

No person may carry on the business of general dealing without a District Court licence.  The licence is annual.   Breach of the legislation is an offence.


Requirement for General Dealers

The general dealer must enter in a book kept by him at his premises details of transactions including a description of articles purchased or received, the name of the person from whom he purchased, the time of purchase and the price paid.  Failure to do so is an offence.

General dealers must keep all articles for seven days after receipt unless they get permission from the District Court to sell.  They must attach an article or label of the date of purchase and write a receipt on it.  They must produce the same for inspection by a member of an Garda Siochana.  Breach is an offence.

General dealers must enter in books, names and address and persons to whom they sell articles.


Regulations

A member of the Gardai may demand and inspect the above books.  Where goods which have been stolen or fraudulently obtained or found in possession of a general dealer, the dealer shall on being so informed by the Garda, deposit the same with them.

Where a dealer is informed by a member of an Garda Siochana of particular goods that have been sold, then the dealer must give information to the Garda Siochana in relation to the articles if they are in the possession or later come into the possession of the dealer.

Where a general dealer receives information about the theft, embezzlement or fraudulent acquisition of articles of that description without being so authorised by the District Court, he is presumed to have knowingly received the goods as stolen.

A general dealer is not to undertake business between 10:00 o’clock at Saturday night and 9:00 o’clock the following Monday morning or up to 10:00 o’clock on any other night and 8:00 o’clock the following morning.  Deliveries are permissible in respect of goods previously sold during these hours.

Licensed dealers must maintain a sign “Licensed Dealer” over their door or principal premises.


The Pedlars Act

The Pedlars Act has been restricted by the above mentioned Occasional Trading and Casual Trading Acts.  The Pedlars Acts does not apply in relation to casual trading and occasional trading within the meaning of those respective Acts.

A pedlar is any hawker, pedlar, tinker, caster of metals, mender of chairs or other person with or without horses or other beasts of burden, who travels or trades on foot and going from town to town or to houses to carry on or expose goods for sales or procure orders for them whether or not to be immediately delivered or offering or selling his skill and handicraft.  A pedlar requires a certificate.  The certificate is given by the Garda Siochana for the area in which the person resides.  It is an annual certificate.

An Garda Siochana is obliged to keep a register of certificates and makes forms of application available.  The certificate is not transferable.  It is an offence to make a false statement in relation to an application for a certificate, to forge or to counterfeit a certificate.  Certificates may be endorsed; convictions may be endorsed in the certificate.

There is a right of appeal to the District Court against the refusal by an Garda Siochana of a certificate.  Notice of appeal must be given to an Garda Siochana within a week of the refusal.


Certificate Issues

Where a court convicts a pedlar of an offence under the Act, he may be deprived of a certificate.  He may be deprived of a certificate for begging.  The District Court may summons a pedlar to appear, and if he fails to appear and satisfy the court that he is of good faith, his certificate may be forfeited.

A pedlar shall on demand produce a certificate to any member of an Garda Siochana or to any person to whom he sells wares or a person on whose premises he is found.  The failure to do so is an offence.

A member of a Garda Siochana may open and inspect a pack, truck or case in which a pedlar carries wares or merchandise Where a pedlar either refuses to show a certificate, has no certificate or refuses or prevents a person entitled to inspect them from inspecting his wares, a person who is authorised to demand the certificate may apprehend him.


Exceptions from Pedlars Certificate Requirement

Certificates are not required for the following persons

  • a commercial traveller selling orders for goods or wares to or from persons who are dealers in them;
  • persons selling or seeking orders for books as agents of publishers;
  • sellers of vegetable, fruit, victuals and fish;
  • persons selling or exposing goods for sales in a public fair or market legally established.

The Pedlars Acts does not apply in relation to casual trading and occasional trading within the meaning of those respective Acts.