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Last week the Department of Trade and Industry confirmed that the antiques trade would again be granted a special dispensation.

When news of the new legislation – a revision of the 1991 Act covering the sale of goods between retailers and customers – first emerged in 1998, it was evident that the DTI were no longer in favour of the special status for art and antiques but seemingly after a consultancy period there has been a change of heart.

Failure to grant the dispensation would inevitably have met with opposition from some quarters of the trade (chiefly on the grounds of increased risk of theft) although LAPADA members already agree to abide by a similar code of practice on price display.