Scottish retailers have just a matter of hours left to respond to a Scottish government consultation on the introduction of a new fee for the renewal of personal licence applications. UPDATED: consultation now closed.

The Licensing (Scotland) 2005 Act requires personal licences to be renewed every 10 years.

With the licensing regime contained in the 2005 Act going live in September 2009, the 10-year point will be reached in September 2019. Many Scottish retailers will therefore fall into the first phase of renewal applications which opens on 31 August 2018.

The consultation is also seeking to determine what level of fee should be charged, should it be introduced.

“The Scottish government believes that because of the amount of administrative work that this will entail for Licensing Boards, there is a strong case for introducing a fee for applying to renew a personal licence to help Licensing Boards across Scotland cover the cost of administration,” the consultation document says.

“As the fee for a grant of a personal licence application is £50 we consider that it is then reasonable and proportionate that the renewal fee is also set at £50.”

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) called on the government to abandon plans for a fee and to “remove the renewal requirement in Scotland altogether.”

Commenting of the consultation, SGF policy officer, Luke McGarty said: “The fee for renewal of a personal licence represents another cost for retailers who are themselves licence holders.

“The consultation highlights that nearly sixty thousand individuals across Scotland hold a personal licence. This being the case, the cost to renew all of them – if the renewal fee was set at £50 – would be approximately £3m onto business and retailers.

“This is an additional cost which convenience retailers could do without and we believe that alternatives – such as removing the renewal requirement in Scotland altogether - need to be considered by the Scottish government before any decision is taken.”