BUSINESSES in York were warned today to beware an Austrian-based exhibitors' fair guide which could cost them 757 Euros (£500).

The Evening Press received a document from Construct Data Verlag GmbH Austria, saying that it was being listed in a new fair guide as an exhibitor at the Great Yorkshire Show.

The letter stated that the entry would be published even if a binding order was not placed.

The paper was invited to fill in and return the form, giving it a chance to be published on-line with text and images in the guide.

It was also invited to place an order, and warned: "The order is invoiced and irrevocable unless revoked by registered letter within ten days...

"The costs per period of publication amount to Euro 757 and are payable upon issue of invoice."

Liz Levett, head of trading standards at City of York Council, said the wording was ambiguous and businesses should be aware that follow-up invoices might be sent later.

If any invoice was sent without an order having been placed, this would be in breach of the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act.

She said any business sent such an unsolicited invoice should take care not to pay and should inform her department.

But it would be impossible for trading standards to pursue the matter against an Austrian-based business.

A spokeswoman for the three-day Great Yorkshire Show, which starts tomorrow, was unavailable to comment on whether other businesses exhibiting at the show had received similar letters from Austria.