The British Metal Recyclers Association (BMRA) sent guidance to its members about the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, which comes into force in October, amid concern that official information has yet to be released.
MRW understands that the Home Office has advised the Local Government Association (LGA) and the BMRA that under the act anyone currently registered as a scrap metal dealer with a local authority will be able to receive a temporary dealer’s licence from 1 September to 31 October.
Applications for this temporary licence for existing registrants can be submitted from 1 August, with ‘new’ dealers able to do so from 1 September, when a licence fee will also be payable. Applicants after 1 September would be treated on a first-come-first served basis.
Although the law takes effect from 1 October, the provisions would not be enforced until November. This will allow legitimate dealers to continue to trade during the transitional period.
Non-registered dealers who apply from 1 September will not be given a transitional licence. They will receive a licence when the local authority decides that the dealer is suitable to operate under the new licencing arrangements.
The BMRA voiced concern over whether local authorities would be ready and said that without the swift issuance of guidance to local authorities as well, they may not be prepared for the changes in legislation.
Ian Hetherington, director general of the BMRA told MRW that the legislation required a “remarkably quick implementation”.
In response, the LGA said it was set to release some guidance to councils in the next two weeks.
Mark Norris, senior advisor for LGA, told MRW that there would be challenges in implementing the changes but “fortunately it’s a fairly similar scheme to the one that’s already in place in terms of liquor licensing”.
Norris added that the LGA had voiced its concern to the Home Office and made it clear that it would have preferred to have up until December to prepare rather than the legislation coming into force on 1 October.