More than a third of scrap metal firms are still awaiting a formal licence to trade under the new scrap licensing regime due to delays at local authority level, the body representing the UK’s metals recycling industry has claimed.
The Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act, aimed at curbing the trade in stolen scrap metal, officially came into effect in October 2013. Under the law, scrap traders operating in England and Wales are required to register for a licence to trade from their local authority
A two-month temporary licensing period was in effect until December to allow councils to process applications, but the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) claims that as many as 40% of some 600 scrap firms it has surveyed are still awaiting their full licence from their local authority.
Ian Hetherington, director general of the BMRA, said: “It is imperative that councils struggling with scrap metal dealer licences are given the adequate support to process them as quickly as possible. If not, legitimate traders may be put out of business as they are now required to possess a licence to operate legally.”