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Should they repeal the Scrap Metal Dealers Act?

ELVs and the SMDA
SMDA13 is like so much law in modern times - it isn't policed correctly - the legitimate suffer while the illegal goes on unhindered.

I was recently talking the MVDA’s Secretary, Chas Ambrose who told that from his conversations with the Home Office, the government believe that SMDA13 is doing what it was intended to do, and that currently they have no intention to repeal the legislation.

But Chas went on to add that they had said is that they would like feedback from industry, both Trade Associations and individual operators. where there are issues. In particular, they want evidence of any problems.

Remember, this is not just about ‘cash for scrap’ as SMDA13 also incorporates the prior Motor Salvage Operator requirements.

MVDA’s (and I believe BMRA’s) preferred option is to have the Act properly enforced – which as most of us are aware, is not the current position. Without the act being properly enforced, it undermines all legitimate operators. If this cannot be accomplished, then there is simply no point in having it and it really should be repealed.

To date, the main areas of concern being raised by MVDA members are:
  • The huge variation in licence charges nationally (this should be benchmarked? With outlayers being queried?).
  • The disproportionate focus on sites, rather than mobile operators.
  • The huge variation in the number of compliance activities (inc. visits) undertaken by Government locally.
  • The lack of proactivity by government in identifying & prosecuting illegal operators.
  • Duplication of effort by different branches of Government.
  • The failure of different government departments to work cooperatively to identify & prosecute illegal operators (EA!).
  • The inability of the various public registers to cross-reference to allow easier identification of illegals.
  • The ignorance of local government about environmental permitting requirements – a WCL and/ or exemption is not adequate for a site-licence.

If you have any other particular concerns, please let us know and we shall pass them on to MVDA so that they can add them to the list.

In terms of providing evidence, there are 3 areas that MVDA are currently focusing on:
  • A survey of the variation in licence costs nationally.
  • A list of examples of site licences without environmental permits.
  • The feasibility of carrying out Freedom of Information requests to all English & Welsh local authorities for the number of compliance visits undertaken since SMDA13 was introduced.

We shall let you know of any future developments.

January 2017

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