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MVDA seminar explains cash for cars

MVDA Cash for Cars meeting
Cash for Cars is with us and MVDA's recent seminar left dismantlers in no doubt as to where they now stand.
“Don’t shoot the messenger” was the call from MVDA at their recent seminar to explain what an auto recycler had to do to satisfy the new law.


There aren’t many of us who feel these changes are justified or fair but when has life ever been fair, particularly where governments are concerned. MVDA have worked tirelessly over the past few months, attending meetings, taking officials around sites, explaining the fundamental difference between an elv and scrap metal but all to no avail. The politicians are not interested, they are only interested in being able to say they have stopped these ‘criminals’ from hiding within the system. It leaves me in no doubt that this is the way our whole sector is viewed by these law makers.

Anyway, getting on one’s high horse never does any good. It has to be said MVDA did manage one concession. If you buy a vehicle with the intention of resale then you can pay cash as it is not classed as scrap. But as they stressed during the seminar, that doesn’t mean you can claim you intended to resell all your elvs as usable vehicles. The Police and not the Environment Agency who will be responsible for policing and if they have any hint that you’re abusing this they are going to dig deep. The MVDA’s advice is to not give them any reason to pick on you!

From a legal standpoint, the big change is that from October 1st, 2013, the Motor Salvage Operators Registration will be history and you will be registered under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. The reality under this act is that record keeping isn’t much more onerous than under the Motor Salvage Operators Registration. The major change is that cash cannot be used for the purchase - next month we shall look at cashless payment methods. Please bear in mind this does not apply to Scotland.

All scrap metal dealers (and that is you after October 1st) must be licensed to operate. The license will be issued by Local Authorities in whose area the operator is based and will be valid for 3 years. MVDA has been advised that the licence fee will be between £300 and £600 but will vary from one authority to another as each authority can set its own rate and rules.

There will be two types of licence, one for site-based operations which will allow the business to collect from any area, and the other for mobile collectors who must hold a separate licence for each area they collect from.

You will also need to check that you are a ‘fit & proper person’. This is nothing to do with environmental law, after all this is all about traceability of individuals via the money trail. This check has to be processed through an organisation known as Disclosure Scotland and there is a charge of £25 per person. Whether all directors / partners need a disclosure form or just one seems uncertain. MVDA’s sources had suggested that all those involved with the direction of the business would require the check, but one attendee reported that their local authority had indicated they would only require one.

What about time scales? The law comes into effect October 1st but we have to bear in mind that the vast majority of local authorities do not yet have forms. Officials have told MVDA, that if you are already registered as an SMD or MSO, then you must apply before 15th October 2013. You will then be allowed to continue to operate until your new license is issued.

If you were not already licensed, then you will need to apply as soon as possible, but technically you will be operating illegally until your new license is issued. MVDA have been told that, in view of the tight time scales, enforcement is unlikely before 1st December but that is not guaranteed!

MVDA also recommended that members get their certificate from Disclosure Scotland as soon as possible as it, along with the fee must be sent with the Scrap Metal Dealers application form.

In this instance MVDA have not been able to get those in power to see reason, but without them to constantly fight our corner things would be much worse. We appreciate MVDA allowing us pass on this information to non members. Unless we have a strong trade body, we cannot keep up the constant effort to ensure we can operate profitably in the future - membership is well worth the tenner per week for the service they do for our industry. vist their website.

Next month we shall look at systems for cashless paying for vehicles.

October 2013

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