Liverpool’s scrap metal dealers will now have to obtain licences from the city council under new legislation governing the industry.
A new law is coming into force, replacing an existing registration system, and covering both scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operations.
Under the previous system councils simply had to register anyone who notified them that they were operating as a scrap metal dealer. At present there are 23 registered scrap metal dealers and four motor salvage operators in the city.
The new legislation makes it a criminal offence to operate as a scrap metal dealer or motor salvage operator without a licence.
The council will issue licences to suitable person applicants but has the right to refuse applications and can also suspend and revoke licences. Unsuitability can be based on a number of factors including relevant criminal convictions and previous enforcement action. The council also now has the power to inspect premises.
There will be two different types of license –a site licence, for which the proposed fee is £510, and a collector’s licence with a proposed fee of £100. The licences will last for three years before they have to be renewed.
Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for living environment and localism, said: ” This new law has been introduced because of concern nationally about the increase in metal theft and it is intended to raise standards in the industry.
“Legitimate businesses should welcome the fact that there will be more robust regulation which will prevent unsuitable people operating as dealers.
“The stricter control over disposing scrap metal will help to make Liverpool a cleaner and greener city.”