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IRI December 20, 2012 0 Comments

Forfás today published A Review and Audit of Licenses Across Key Sectors of the Irish Economy, a report which reviewed 159 licences for key sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, food and drink, retail, hospitality and leisure, waste management, road haulage and construction.While the report includes mention of the licensing and registration faced by electrical contractors, gas installers and the construction industry in general, there is no mention of Fgas Certification, Prior Annual Notifications,  or indeed the RAC Sector as a whole. While this omission is regrettable, the main recommendations in the report are likely to be welcomed by the RAC sector given that the overall aim is to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden on SMEs.

Commenting on the publication, Martin D. Shanahan, Chief Executive, Forfás said, “Getting a business started can require a range of different licences, with numerous applications and the requirement to deal with a number of Government departments or agencies. For example, establishing a medium sized supermarket could involve up to 20 different licences. Our study shows that licensing is recognised as essential by business, but that the burden associated with many licences is high. Businesses are telling us that initiatives to reduce the regulatory burden would be very welcome.”

“The Forfás review found that there is potential to amalgamate a number of sectoral licences and that a single integrated licensing system would significantly reduce the licensing process for businesses, particularly in the retail sector and for the construction and food and drink sectors. There is significant potential to improve the way licences are processed and issued and to extend the renewal frequency of licences to reduce the burden on businesses while still ensuring that the regulatory objective is achieved. Forfás also found that there is opportunity for greater use of risk-based licensing to reduce the burden and associated costs for low risk and compliant businesses.”

On the publication of the report, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD and Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry TD, today announced that SME retailers will be able to apply for all of their annual licensing requirements at a single time via a single portal by Q4 2013.

The review and audit of licenses was Action Point 1.49 of the Action Plan for Jobs 2012.

Read the full report and recommendations on the Forfás website.