18. The motor vehicle dismantling and scrap metal
recycling industries are regulated under the Scrap Metal Dealers
Act 1964, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Part II), and
the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994.
Small companies may have official exemptions. Mrs McKinley of
DEFRA told us there are about 1,500 businesses currently operating
under a Registered Exemption.
Compliance is monitored and enforced by the Environment Agency.
The BMRA told us that they also operate under a duty of care relating
to the shipment of waste legislation and the Packaging Directive.
19. There has been some suggestion that the regulatory
regime to date has not acted as an incentive for investment. There
are fears that the ELV Directive will exacerbate this situation.
Charles Trent Ltd told us:
"the uneven playing
field created by the inconsistent and inadequate regulatory system
has probably been the single biggest factor preventing companies
making the required investment; in the absence of improvements
in enforcement action (and in the face of existing competition)
it would simply be financial suicide".
The SMMT noted there was "huge concern amongst
treatment operators that there will not be adequate enforcement
of the standards. This has prevented many from making the investments
required to meet them".
20. The new regulatory regime will only work if it
is effectively policed: the role of the Environment Agency (EA)
in monitoring and policing the terms of the Directive is crucial
to its success. Valpak told us that their experience in packaging
has shown that: "without effective enforcement some obligated
companies may delay their participation and compliance with the
legislation thus putting a greater burden on those companies that
comply with the law".
The MVDA noted that whatever the disposal system adopted to deal
with ELVs, it will have to be policed in a more effective manner
than at the present time. They went on to say that the regulating
authority "will need sufficient funds to ensure that unscrupulous
operators are not able to short circuit the system and undermine
both the Directive and those who invest to operate within it".
Whatever system is put in place to deal with ELVs, it is imperative
that the Environment Agency has sufficient resources to be able
to monitor treatment facilities and ensure compliance with the
terms of the Directive.