There are roughly 200 approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) in the UK and, with the cost of full depollution rigs running into hundreds of thousands of pounds, many approved ATFs are understandably frustrated that the final date has been moved three times.
There is also little confidence in the sector that the latest deadline of January 31 will be met.
Dorchester-based Angel Autos is an approved ATF and company director Keith Doo said: "I, like many other legitimate operators around the country, was relying on a host of unfair competition on unlicensed sites being closed down by the deadline of November 1, but that deadline was moved to November 30. Now we are in January and the situation remains confused"
The British Vehicle Salvage Federation (BVSF) has also attacked the deadline slippage.
BSVF chairman Alan Greenouff said: "No one should get away with not complying with the laid down requirements."
The Environment Agency (EA), which is responsible for policing the new rules, said it was doing its best to make sure unlicensed sites are no longer operating.
"We have vowed to clamp down on the illegal sector. I would encourage compliant firms to give us chapter and verse on the location of illegals," said an EA spokesman.
But Doo, like other high tech operators, wanted clarification and a deadline.
He concluded: "No one seems to want to take responsibility for making a deadline and sticking to it. It is very frustrating."