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Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011

Section 120: Suspension of licence or certificate for failing to pay annual fee

350.Sections 55 and 92 of the Licensing Act 2003 contain powers to make regulations to prescribe the annual fees payable by the holders of premises licences and club premises certificates. The annual fee is payable on the anniversary of the grant of the licence or certificate. A fee which is not paid on the due date can be recovered as a debt due to a licensing authority. No other sanction for non payment of an annual fee is available to a licensing authority. This section introduces amendments to the Licensing Act 2003, by inserting sections 55A and 92A, to require a licensing authority to suspend a licence or certificate for non payment of an annual fee if certain conditions are met.

351.A licensing authority will be required to suspend a licence or certificate if the annual fee is not paid when it is due. A licence or certificate holder will avoid this consequence if, at the time that the annual fee became due, the non payment was a result of an administrative error (by any person) or the holder disputed liability to pay the fee (whether as to liability to pay a fee at all, or its amount) and the grace period of 21 days had not expired. In the event of a dispute about liability to pay a fee, the holder of a licence or certificate must notify the licensing authority in writing of this dispute on or before the due date for the fee. If a licensing authority suspends a licence or certificate, it must notify the holder in writing and specify the date on which the suspension takes effect; this date must be at least two working days after the day the authority gives the notice. A suspension ceases to have effect on the day on which the authority receives payment of the fee from the licence or certificate holder. The authority is required to give the holder written acknowledgment of receipt as soon as practicable following receipt, and in any event no later than the period prescribed in subsection (6) of section 55A or 96A.

352.Subsection (6) makes provision for the application of these amendments on the amendments coming into force.

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