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Scrap metal licensing delayed

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The government has delayed the implementation of scrap metal licensing to give councils extra time to prepare, according to LGC’s sister title Materials Recycling Week.

A ‘transition period’ to ease in the new regime has been put back by a month and a half until 15 October, Richard Pugh, head of designing out crime at the Home Office told an industry conference last month. The transition period had been due to begin on 1 September.

The change will give scrap metal dealers until 15 October to apply for temporary licences and a full license by 1 December, the date enforcement action is due to begin.

Ian Hetherington, director general of the British Metal Recyclers Association (BMRA) said: “Central Government and local authorities still need to provide finalised guidance for operators and licensing authorities and set detailed regulations for the new licensing system for scrap metal dealers.”

He said the current timetable only provided registered scrap metal dealers with a very limited window to apply for a new licence. He said they need to apply by October 15 “to minimise disruption to their business.”

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA) said: “[The delay] was something that we were pushing for because the original timetable was becoming too tight to allow councils to process claims when they had not had the fees guidance from the Home Office and various regulations would not be laid until August.

“The new arrangements now mean that councils will be able to ensure a smooth transition to the new regime.”

A Home Office spokesperson refused to comment on the reasons for the delay to the full enforcement of the law, but confirmed that the Home Office is revising the transitional arrangements. The fees guidance will be issued shortly, they said, and confirmed that there will be enough time for authorities to set up correctly and process applications from scrap metal dealers.

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