It turns out: in principle, all metal …

Comment posted Scrapping metal theft: Justice Secretary’s steely measures against the rip off merchants by HMF.

It turns out: in principle, all metal dealers (of any size) do need a licence.

But LARGE dealers, with a turnover above £1M (currently £100k) — who can be assumed to be well-run businesses — can apply to be exempted from licencing, and (if in possession of an exemption warrant) would not require a licence.

SMALL dealers cannot be exempted, and require to be licenced, no matter how small the turnover.

I was as mystified as you — or more so. (As may be apparent from my other comments on this story.)

HMF also commented

  • It is I who have got it the wrong way up. I would have assumed that an exemption process would be available to small dealers. That assumption was wrong — exemption from licencing is only available to large dealers. As such, increasing the threshold does indeed bring more businesses fully into the licencing net.
  • No, I still don’t understand it.

    Previously, a “small” dealer (who could apply for a warrant) had a turnover up to £100k; now, a “small” dealer with a turnover up to £1M can apply for an exemption warrant. Really? I still think this will exempt more dealers, rather than bring more into the full licencing system.

    I am sorry to go on and on about this, and I would be grateful if anyone can give me an explanation in words of not-many syllables (because, as Pooh said, “big words bother me”).

    Variation: will someone please explain what the licencing / warrant requirements were in the past, and will be in the future, for dealers with turnovers of say £50k, £200k, £2M. One of these has changed — but in which direction?

  • Ahah, I may have got it now. (But it has taken several cups of coffee to get here.)

    My interpretation: ANY scrap metal dealer (no matter how small) must, in principle, be licensed. But small dealers may apply for an exemption warrant, exempting them from licencing. Any larger dealers must be fully licensed. The definition of “small” is being changed from £100k to £1M, so a dealer with a turnover somewhere in the £100k-£1M range will now be subject to the full licensing regime (whereas previously warranted) and will not be able to clain the small trader’s exemption warrant.

    Have I got this right now?

    I say that the publicity about this matter has not been entirely clear.

  • Raising an exemption limit from £100,000 to £1M would seem to INCREASE the number of exempt dealers, rather than bring more under control. Are you sure the story is the right way up? (Yes, this does seem to be what Mr MacAskill said, and Mr McMillan welcomed. I think I am missing something here.)

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12 Responses to It turns out: in principle, all metal …

  1. I’m a bit mystified, what about the dealers with a turnover GREATER than £i million? Don’t they too need a license?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • It turns out: in principle, all metal dealers (of any size) do need a licence.

      But LARGE dealers, with a turnover above £1M (currently £100k) — who can be assumed to be well-run businesses — can apply to be exempted from licencing, and (if in possession of an exemption warrant) would not require a licence.

      SMALL dealers cannot be exempted, and require to be licenced, no matter how small the turnover.

      I was as mystified as you — or more so. (As may be apparent from my other comments on this story.)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Raising an exemption limit from £100,000 to £1M would seem to INCREASE the number of exempt dealers, rather than bring more under control. Are you sure the story is the right way up? (Yes, this does seem to be what Mr MacAskill said, and Mr McMillan welcomed. I think I am missing something here.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Stuart McMillan has sent us this note on what the Law Society say in their response to the consultation:

        “The Sub-Committee notes the policy intent of this proposal which, by increasing the Exemption Warrant where a dealer has a turnover of over £100,000 to £10 million would, of course, significantly increase the turnover level required in order for a warrant exempting a dealer from licensing to be obtained and accordingly have the effect of drawing many more dealers into the licensing system.”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Ahah, I may have got it now. (But it has taken several cups of coffee to get here.)

          My interpretation: ANY scrap metal dealer (no matter how small) must, in principle, be licensed. But small dealers may apply for an exemption warrant, exempting them from licencing. Any larger dealers must be fully licensed. The definition of “small” is being changed from £100k to £1M, so a dealer with a turnover somewhere in the £100k-£1M range will now be subject to the full licensing regime (whereas previously warranted) and will not be able to clain the small trader’s exemption warrant.

          Have I got this right now?

          I say that the publicity about this matter has not been entirely clear.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • No, I still don’t understand it.

            Previously, a “small” dealer (who could apply for a warrant) had a turnover up to £100k; now, a “small” dealer with a turnover up to £1M can apply for an exemption warrant. Really? I still think this will exempt more dealers, rather than bring more into the full licencing system.

            I am sorry to go on and on about this, and I would be grateful if anyone can give me an explanation in words of not-many syllables (because, as Pooh said, “big words bother me”).

            Variation: will someone please explain what the licencing / warrant requirements were in the past, and will be in the future, for dealers with turnovers of say £50k, £200k, £2M. One of these has changed — but in which direction?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • It is I who have got it the wrong way up. I would have assumed that an exemption process would be available to small dealers. That assumption was wrong — exemption from licencing is only available to large dealers. As such, increasing the threshold does indeed bring more businesses fully into the licencing net.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • HMF
      If the current level of exemption is above £100,000 then by raising it to a million and above you would have a greater catchment number by introducing a licence system at 1Million and below you will eradicate the criminal element within small dealers.
      Just look how successful the driving licence is! we have no accidents involving licensed drivers the alcohol licence is even better we have no underage drinking and no more alcoholics.
      I think we need even more forms of licensing maybe a walking licence or a sickness licence just think about it if we had a sickness licence then no one could take a fake sickie without first applying for a licence

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • How about a blogging licence? Any childish insults, rubbish presented as fact, and/or talking gibberish, and you’re OUT. Not you personally, mind.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Interesting thinking,licence people and they will all of sudden stop stealing our property or selling it on.Well are the courts going to issue licences to all the criminals.Who will pay for the extra police to investigate the dealers if this business is so lucrative.Thats it lads we need a licence to go on the roof for the lead we better just stay in and watch cornation street instead.I am sorry I just don,t see a piece of paper working.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. There have been several mentions of unlicenced scrap metal dealers being caught in Argyll & Bute (Dunoon Observer). Some were offering a good service to the public but they were stopped from trading all the same.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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