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Progress for UK’s Scrap Metal Dealers Bill

United Kingdom – In the UK, the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill has negotiated the House of Lords committee stage and is on course for implementation early in the fourth quarter of this year. The Bill is now unlikely to return to the House of Commons and will probably go forward for Royal Assent in May.

Introduced last year by Conservative MP Richard Ottaway, the Bill proposes a tougher licensing and enforcement regime in a bid to tackle metal theft. According to Ian Hetherington, Director General of the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA), the Bill represents ′a very good framework for regulation of the scrap metal industry – it is comprehensive and hopefully will rapidly become an Act′.

He hopes the Bill will close off ′loopholes′, such as the ′unfair playing field′ created by exemption of some metal traders – including motor vehicle salvage operators – from the current legislation.

Despite welcoming the progress of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill through the Houses of Parliament, Mr Hetherington laments the fact that its implementation will have been preceded by the ban on cash payments for scrap metal in England and Wales, which came into effect on December 3 last year. Early evidence suggests general compliance with this cash ban, although Mr Hetherington maintains it has caused disruption while doing little to reduce metal theft.

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