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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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