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LGA circulates draft guidance for Scrap Metal Dealers Act

The Local Government Association (LGA) has circulated draft guidance to help councils prepare for the Scrap Metal Dealers Act (SMDA), which comes into force in October.

The guidance comes after the British Metal Recyclers Association (BMRA) sent guidance to their own members last week.

The BMRA expressed concern that local authorities would not be ready for the legislation, but this draft guidance represents another step towards preparing the councils.

The LGA’s draft was sent to partners, including the Home Office, British Transport Police, the Environment Agency and BMRA last week.

A large volume of responses is being gathered this week, which will feed into formulating the final guidance. The deadline for submitting these responses is the end of this week.

Last week it was suggested that the LGA would officially release guidance within two weeks, but it is now waiting for fees guidance from the Home Office. There is no indication of when this will become available, according to the LGA.

When the SMDA coes into force on 1 October, all scrap metal dealers will require a licence from their local authority in order to be able to trade.

Ahead of the LGA announcement, MRW and the BMRA contacted 21 local authorities around England which will from October be overseeing the licensing of scrap dealers. Some councils had little idea of the impending change, some knew that new regulations were impending while others were awaiting briefing from Whitehall on how they would be implemented. Comments included:

  • “We know it is rumoured that it will be implemented on the 1st of October”
  • “We cannot give more information on the matter because they are waiting for the government to clarify the changes”.
  • “We don’t have any information from central government on the new Act so we know as much as you know. Maybe if you call in a month or so we might have more information”

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