Legal requirements relating to the sale of wool

The production and sale of wool is regulated by the British Wool Marketing Scheme 1950, which is a schedule to the British Wool Marketing Scheme (Approval) Order 1950, as amended.

The majority of sheep owners are required to register with the British Wool Marketing Board before they can market their fleece wool. This includes products that are wholly or partly manufactured or derived from wool.

Exemptions from registration

Owners of four or less adult sheep are not required to register with the British Wool Marketing Board. Fellmongers who produce wool only in the course of their business as a fellmonger are exempt from the marketing provisions.

Restrictions on the manner in which wool can be sold

Wool producers who are registered with the British Wool Marketing Board are only permitted to sell their wool through an agency of the British Wool Marketing Board or to the British Wool Marketing Board itself.

Wool producers who are registered with the British Wool Marketing Board are also required to comply with the British Wool Marketing Board’s directions as to the persons to whom and the places to which any wool for sale is to be delivered.

The British Wool Marketing Board has the power to impose requirements relating to the manner in which wool is to be adapted for sale, marked, packed, transported, stored, insured and as to how long it must be delivered after it has been produced.

Obligations of the British Wool Marketing Board

The British Wool Marketing Board is required to accept all wool tendered by producers who are registered with it.

The British Wool Marketing Board is also required to sell all wool supplied by producers who are registered with it.

The British Wool Marketing Board is required to value the wool. When valuing the wool the British Wool Marketing Board is required to do so in relation to a schedule of maximum prices which it is required to publish annually for different classes of wool.

If a producer disagrees with a valuation he or she can appeal to the British Wool Marketing Board’s tribunal. The tribunal is required to act “judicially”.

The British Wool Marketing Board is required to pay the producer according to the valuation.

The British Wool Marketing Board has the discretion to make additional payments to producers if it considers it fit to do so.

Penalties

If a producer fails to register with the British Wool Marketing Board and is not exempt from registration but nevertheless sells his or her wool he or she commits a criminal offence.

If a producer who is registered with the British Wool Marketing Board contravenes the requirements of the British Wool Marketing Scheme he or she may be disciplined by the British Wool Marketing Board’s disciplinary committee. The disciplinary committee has the power to impose a penalty in such cases of up to £100 plus half the price of any wool sold in contravention of the British Wool Marketing Scheme. For other offences the maximum penalty is £100.

The disciplinary committee cannot, however, impose a penalty if the contravention constitutes a criminal offence under the Agricultural Marketing Act 1958 or under another act of parliament.