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Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013


3.A summary of the Act is set out below. The Act has 23 sections and 2 schedules.

4.This Act repeals the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 (and linked legislation) and Part 1 of Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001, creating a revised regulatory regime for the scrap metal recycling and vehicle dismantling industries. The Act maintains local authorities as the principal regulator but gives them the power to better regulate these industries by allowing them to refuse to grant a licence to ‘unsuitable’ applicants and a power to revoke licences if the dealer becomes ‘unsuitable’. Suitability will be judged on the basis of a number of factors as outlined in section 3 of the Act including any unspent relevant criminal convictions. The Act will also provide local authorities and police officers with appropriate powers of entry and inspection.

5.The Act provides that an application for a licence must be accompanied by a fee. The fee will be set locally by each local authority on a cost recovery basis, but local authorities will have a duty to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State which will outline the issues that should be considered by local authorities when setting the fee and what activities the fee can cover. This fee will be an essential component of the new regime as it will provide local authorities with the funding they need to administer the regime and ensure compliance.

6.The Act aims to raise trading standards across the scrap metal industry by requiring more detailed and accurate records of transactions to be kept. Scrap metal dealers will also be required to verify the identity of those selling metal to them.

7.The Act incorporates the separate regulatory scheme for motor salvage operators under the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 into this new regime. This is to replace the current overlapping regimes for the vehicle salvage and scrap metal industries with a single regulatory scheme. The Act also revises the definition of ‘scrap metal dealer’ and ‘scrap metal’ to ensure they reflect the twenty-first century scrap metal industry.

8.The Act also repeals and re-enacts the amendment to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 in section 146 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which created the offence of buying scrap metal for cash. This offence came into force on 3 December 2012. The other two measures within the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 relating to tackling metal theft, namely a revision of police entry powers into unregistered scrap metal stores and increasing the financial penalties for offences in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 have also been repealed on the grounds that these provisions are covered separately in the new Act.

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