Scrap metal consists of recyclable materials arising from many sources such as motor vehicles and domestic products and, unlike scrap waste, it has a monetary value which, historically, has frequently led to criminal activity in its acquisition and disposal.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the current legislation.
The Legislation | Kangs Solicitors Regulatory Advisors
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (‘the Act’), which came into force on 1st October 2013, is designed to combat the ever growing menace of the theft of metal such as lead from church roofs to cabling serving telecommunications, transport and power supplies and its reduction, by way of smelting, to an untraceable product which is then sold for cash by the thieves, frequently to unscrupulous dealers.
The Act introduced a system of regulation for those dealing in scrap metal, including those dealing with scrap motor vehicles, by the introduction of two classifications of licence:
- one covering dealers who conduct business from premises and receive delivered scrap and the other covering
- dealers who search out for and collect scrap.
Issue of Licences | Kangs Regulatory Offences Team
The issue of a license depends upon the applicant’s suitability and the local authority should consider such matters as:
- previous convictions for fraud/dishonesty,
- environment offences,
- a previous refusal of a licence or Environment Agency permit
The Secretary of State has issued guidelines that local authorities must heed when considering applications and in addition they have authority to:
- revoke a licence, if they deem a dealer to be no longer a suitable holder
- add conditions to a licence
- close down unlicensed sites
- undertake/authorise site inspections.
Duty to Keep Records | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
All licensed dealers now have a duty to keep records detailing:
- a description of the metal purchased
- the date and time of receipt of metal
- the person who supplied the metal (including verification of identity)
- the vehicle delivering the metal
- the method and recipient of payment
- how the acquired metal was sold on/disposed of
Penalties For Breach Of The Act | Kangs Criminal Solicitors
The Act creates offences as follows:
- dealing in scrap without a licence – unlimited fine.
- failure to notify change of details on a licence – maximum fine of £1,000.
- obstructing the local authority/police in carrying out site inspections/closure – maximum fine of £1000.
- dealing in cash – unlimited fine. (All payments must now be made by cheque or by electronic transfer.)
- failure to keep records – unlimited fine
- failure to provide records – maximum fine of £1,000.
How Can We Help You? | Kangs Regulatory Defence Solicitors
If you require assistance of any nature covered by the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 our team can be contacted through any of the following: