Local authorities are putting legitmate scrap dealers’s business in jeopardy because many are failing to issue licences six months after new legislation came into force, according to the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA).
On 1 October 2013, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act introduced a mandatory licensing regime for both mobile and site-based scrap dealers to prevent criminal activity in the sector. The full enforcement date was 1 December 2013.
But the BMRA has called on local authorities to process licences more quickly because delayed licensing is limiting the ability of authorities and police to impose the new regime.
The BMRA said “a considerable number” of scrap metal dealers are without a licence despite submitting their applications before the 15 October deadline.
This is causing a loss of business for legitimate traders as many customers will only deal with licensed operators, according to the BMRA.
For example, in December MRW reported that businesses and residents in Oxford had been told to check scrap metal dealers were licensed even though two councils in the county had yet to issue any licences.